Dallas Airport Builds Depot for World’s Largest Aircraft

Fri February 10, 2006 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The new Airbus A380 aircraft, a marvel of aviation engineering, has a wingspan of 262 ft. (80 m), a length of 239 ft. (73 m) and a cargo payload of 150 tons.

What it didn’t have, until recently, was an air cargo facility in the United States that offered parking space specifically designed to accommodate this massive aircraft.

That need was recently filled with the completion of the Trammell Crow Company Air CargoCentre III and AirFreight & LogisticsCentres at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport.

This four-building project included the 116,000-sq.-ft. (10,777 sq m) Air CargoCentre III and AirFreight & LogisticsCentres 1, 2 and 3 (sized 114,000, 113,000 and 54,000 sq. ft., respectively)

“Response to the buildings has been exceptional,” said Steven Bradford, principal, Trammell Crow Company. “The project has been extremely well received by all the international carriers and received great reviews from third party handling companies. DFW Airport views this as a successful, high profile project which will provide long term benefits for the airport and its customers.”

“The new facilities will serve a huge role for the domestic and international air cargo shipping business at the airport,” said Robert Brandt, senior vice president of development services for Trammell Crow Company, Dallas/Fort Worth.

“They fill the last available spot on the west side of the airport, which is an excellent location with good access to adjacent freeways. They’re state-of-the-art facilities and are the first in the country to support the Airbus A380 aircraft, so they’re very well positioned for the future in many respects.”

“The airport’s cargo business has been increasing exponentially in the past few years,” said Naresh Shahani, tenant construction facilitator for DFW Airport. “The new facilities with the aircraft ramp will capture more and more air freight business in the future, particularly for international cargo.”

A key feature of the Air CargoCentre design is that it will support parking for three Boeing 747-400F or two Airbus A380 aircraft.

No other airport in the United States has a cargo facility that was specifically designed to accommodate the A380.

Air CargoCentre III also features a 125-ft. (38 m) clear span bay for material handling, with mezzanines at both entrances.

“We have very high standards for the Air CargoCentre design specifications,” said Bradford. “The new facility meets those specifications and supports the A380 as well. The project is a very smart, intelligent design and a great master plan that works with the existing infrastructure. It truly represents advanced, long-term thinking.”

The AirFreight & LogisticsCentres are designed to support single or multiple third-party logistics providers and shippers.

The buildings have access to the aircraft apron area via a security gate that is manned 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

This integrates the complex with the airfield, without having the buildings inside the secured area themselves.

This design will increase operational efficiencies while reducing truck traffic and congestion at the airport.

The new complex includes an in-ground fueling system and underground oil/water separators to clean storm water run-off before it flows to retention ponds.

An on-site private road facilitates truck staging and a 300-ft. blast fence protects Airfreight & LogisticsCentre 3.

Bob Moore Construction Company was the general contractor for this project.

“What we built is functionally a part of the secured perimeter for an international airport,” said Kyle Whitesell, senior project manager of Bob Moore Construction. “We had to maintain the integrity of that perimeter even as we built the buildings. A job site is typically a very open and fluid environment, but we had to sustain a high level of control as we rolled out the buildings and all the paving. That took a lot of communication and attention by all parties involved, particularly our subcontractors and site superintendent Steve Barrons, and they did a great job with it.

“After all the hard work, it is extremely gratifying to see it completed now. We had a tremendous team for this project. Robert Brandt and Steven Bradford with Trammell Crow provided superb leadership on the project, and people like Naresh Shahani, Doug Bryan and Curtis Inglis with DFW Airport gave us an amazing level of help, guiding us through the permitting, inspection and closeout process.”

“Any airport would be a challenging place to complete a major construction project, with all the necessary requirements for security, environmental issues and federal regulations,” said Brandt. “The team understood the requirements of the various agencies like the FAA and Environmental Affairs. They did a tremendous job of getting along with the airport and being a good neighbor.”

Brandt was pleased with his experience with Bob Moore Construction. “I loved working with Kyle,” he said. “He was a huge support and played a key role in developing our budgets. Throughout the project, Kyle was always very accessible. I could almost always get him on the phone, and he was always responsive to my calls about budgeting and scheduling, which developers love. That’s key for a developer for determining whether a project has any legs or not.”

Bradford also enjoyed the working relationship with the general contractor. “We worked with several people at Bob Moore Construction, all the way up to Phillip Bell, the president. We found the organization to be extremely professional, responsive, highly qualified and competent. Kyle is the essence of customer service which is why everyone on our team likes to work with him.”