Print Bookmark

Atkins is helping to shape the future of aviation around the world, ensuring they meet the needs of airport authorities, operators, airlines and passengers alike.


Atkins can help at any or every stage of airport development and design, drawing on the vast expertise and experience of our global team.

For more than 25 years Atkins has been working with government bodies, local authorities, airport authorities and operators, financiers and constriction companies helping them to deliver successful solutions across a wide range of airport and aviation projects.

We have vast international experience of airport design and development from completely new airports to systems within them, from major developments to alterations or system enhancements. We can help you at each stage in planning, designing and enabling the development of your airport or aviation business.

One of our major strengths comes from the fact that our staff undertake engineering and design work as well as consultancy, giving us a deep understanding of what is achievable in practical terms and what is financially viable. Equally, our ability to resource all disciplines without going outside the company is a substantial advantage to our clients.

Our approach is based on an in-depth knowledge and understanding of airport and airline operations and their businesses and we apply our creativity to deliver cost-effective and workable solutions in everything we do.



From economic studies, operations analysis and masterplanning to architecture and integrated airport facilities, Atkins embraces every area of design, development, construction and operation.

We provide integrated services for the planning, design and delivery of all aspects of airport development, including:

Feasibility and planning

  • Feasibility studies and master planning
  • Surface access modelling
  • Traffic management and operational assessment
  • Aviation regulatory advice
  • Safeguarding assessment
  • Movement area planning and capacity analysis
  • Environmental impact studies
  • Aviation safety assessments.

Project delivery

  • Project management
  • Risk management
  • Contract administration and site supervision
  • Airfield pavement & PCI surveys
  • CDM services
  • Facilities management.


  • Airside infrastructure – pavements, AGL, NAVAIDS and ATC
  • Airport facilities – passenger terminals, cargo terminals, hangars
  • Airport systems – baggage handling systems, fire fighting systems, ICT systems including FIDS and CUTE
  • Fuel storage and distribution
  • Security systems – CULS, ICISS, PASS and more
  • Landside infrastructure – motorways, access roads, car parks.


View all

12 Aug 2015

For decades the global aviation industry has enjoyed sustained growth, with economic development, globalisation and liberalisation fuelling a demand for greater capacity and connectivity. New technologies, far from replacing the need to travel, encourage greater international connectivity between people and business – providing new reasons to travel. “Aviation is a sector that has continued to grow for at least the past 40 years, and all forecasts indicate that it will continue to expand at a healthy rate across all regions for the foreseeable future,” says Graham Bolton, aviation director at Atkins. In fact the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that demand will more than double by 2034, resulting in some 7.3 billion global air passenger journeys made every year, compared to 3.3 billion today. “History shows good correlation between growth in aviation and GDP, so as people and economies become more successful, aviation expands,” says Bolton. Through enabling the effective movement of goods and people, aviation itself is seen as a significant enabler of growth, with the US Federal Aviation Authority in 2014 identifying that aviation contributed 5.4 per cent to US GDP. Although events such as the outbreak of SARS and the terrorist events of 9/11 have interrupted growth, the industry has always rebounded. “We see occasional blips from political or environmental events, but what is really interesting is that every time there has been a blip passenger numbers have recovered quickly,” says Bolton. Developing infrastructure in response to this increasing demand involves a complex balancing act between the needs of

Asia Pacific , Middle East & Africa , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe ,

Donna Huey
11 Aug 2015

As Building Information Modeling (BIM) continues to reveal opportunities for revolutionizing the engineering and design industry, we are still seeing challenges around adoption. Many organizations have managed to sort out ways to leverage BIM in pockets such as 3D- and 4D- visualizations, conflict detection in multi-discipline design, or even augmented reality in construction. But the capability of the technology today is already so far beyond that. So why is there a lag? The design and construction industry has historically been slow to exploit new technology. Perhaps there is a lack of know-how, or far more likely, a bit of fear around change and how it (and we) fit in. The recent Harvard Business Review article, Beyond Automation—which discusses how to protect your career from the growing threat of computer automation—got me thinking more about the gap between today’s reality and tomorrow’s potential. “Automation starts with a baseline of what people do in a given job and subtracts from that. It deploys computers to chip away at the tasks humans perform as soon as those tasks can be codified … Augmentation, in contrast, means starting with what humans do today and figuring out how that work could be deepened rather than diminished by a greater use of machines.” – Thomas Davenport and Julia Kirby, Harvard Business Review The article struck me as a means to generate a roadmap and illustrate “how” to engage with BIM from wherever you sit within an organization. It correlates to how we can drive a view of BIM as

Asia Pacific , Middle East & Africa , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe ,

Aina Lleonart Piza
24 Jun 2015

Encouraging more girls to pursue engineering careers is such a hot topic now. As a woman engineer I am really interested in promoting gender balance in the profession. I am doing my bit as a STEM ambassador, reading reports published by various institutions to understand the problem and trying to change both parents and children’s perception of what an engineer does. However, the focus must not be solely on the generations to come, but also on the ones which are here now; starting their careers, progressing to senior roles or running the business. I attended an Atkins Women’s Professional Network event a few months ago, which gathered women engineers from all levels within the company. It was a coaching webinar to explore identifying skills and passions, building relationships and personal branding. The discussions around the topic of promotion were very interesting, particularly the perspectives that each generation held. More senior women had the perception that it had been very difficult for them to reach their current position and explained that sometimes they had felt left out of the ‘core group’ of their part of the business. I could see strong characters, women used to having to prove to everybody that they were where they were because they had earned it, were experts in their field and knew what they were doing. In the intermediate generations most participants were more comfortable in their working environment, a lot of them looking for resources to understand how to do the next big step in their careers, where

Asia Pacific , Middle East & Africa , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe ,

23 Jun 2015

Inspirational women from Atkins are working on some of the world’s most exciting projects from tunnels in Hong Kong to master planning in Oman, and they hope that their experiences will encourage more young women to consider a career in engineering. Historically women have been a minority in the engineering sectors but a variety of campaigns and initiatives are seeking to increase the proportion of females in the industry as global demand for infrastructure puts pressure on skills. At the same time companies such as Atkins are working hard to find and retain talented women to enable a diversity of thinking and approach within the company. However a lack of awareness about the opportunities in the industry is widely regarded as a critical issue and women from around the Atkins’ regions are keen to highlight the advantages of working in engineering and infrastructure. “The best thing about working in this industry is the variety, every project has different issues and stakeholders, it’s always exciting, ” says Dalal Darwish, social development consultant in Oman for Atkins in the Middle East. A biology graduate, Dalal joined Atkins in 2008. “I really wanted to join Atkins because of its reputation and its international span. I wanted to work on bigger projects and here my opportunities are broad,” she says explaining that she has been able to work with teams on projects across the Middle East. As part of the masterplanning team Dalal spends her time working with stakeholders to understand the complex issues affecting projects

Asia Pacific , Middle East & Africa , North America , Rest of World , UK & Europe ,


View all

Atkins has won a contract as lead consultant and masterplanner to develop the Asia Aerospace City (AAC) in Subang, Malaysia into a world class facility for the aerospace industry. The development will be designed as a smart city with cutting edge research and development facilities, integrated office suites, academic facilities, a convention centre and a hotel. Spread over a 30-acre site the campus is located near Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur.  

Malaysia , Group ,

In tandem with China’s economic expansion there has been exponential growth in air travel. Cities that were caught up in the first wave of growth are rapidly being overhauled. So-called ‘second tier cities’ are now building airports. It is predicted that more than 1,000 new airports will be built in China in a relatively short time span. Won in a limited competition, the design of the new domestic terminal building for Yinchuan in China’s western province of Ningxai reflects the Islamic influence of the minority groups in this, the most important Muslim port of China. The 53-metre clear span roof is a light and airy space while the structural frame of the terminal buildings is manifestly a representation of the pointed arches of Muslim architecture. The structure also suggests ‘flight’ with the upward sweep of its aerofoil shaped roof.

China ,

The southern runway and associated taxiways comprised of a 3.8km long and 60m wide runway, high speed exit taxiways, parallel taxiways and cross airfield taxiways. The aprons are comprised of passenger terminal aprons, a cargo terminal apron, an aircraft maintenance apron and a business aviation apron. The total area of pavements was 2.5 million m2 of which 1.9 million m2 was located on reclaimed land. Atkins carried out the Engineering Design from Initial Scheme Design to Detailed Design as well as the design support during construction stage of airfield pavement, airfield and apron oil separation and stormwater drainage systems. Atkins was also responsible for the coordination of all apron and airfield systems including apron floodlighting system, apron fixed ground power system, apron preconditioned air system, aviation fuel system, combined potable water and fire hydrant system, communications systems, ground lighting system and apron/airfield markings. Lack of clear specification for the dimension of future generation of aircraft, operational requirements for a wide range of aircraft on airbridges as well as the drainage on reclaimed land presented major challenges to the design. The project was carried out from 1994 to 1998 and the Chek Lap Kok Airport was officially opened in 1998.

China ,

The passenger and aircraft movements at HKIA have increased steadily since the original airport’s opening in 1998 and growth is anticipated to further continue. To meet this demand, it was necessary to increase the total number of passenger aircraft parking stands and airbridge served contact stands. Atkins has been involved in various contracts from the concept design phase through to construction phase of the Midfield Concourse (MFC). The Midfield Development involved the initial development of the Midfield Area located between the two runways and which includes new taxiway and twenty aircraft parking stands. The total area of pavements is 350,000m2. The project included a new “I” shape passenger MFC building, extension of the Automated People Mover (APM) system to service the MFC, including a new APM station underneath the MFC and APM tunnel extension. Atkins provided airfield infrastructure and utilities design and construction stage support services, which included the addition of 20 airport parking contact stands. Atkins was responsible for the design and construction stage support for the airfield and apron works including airfield pavements, apron oil separation and storm water drainage systems, aviation fuel system, combined potable water and fire hydrant system, communications systems and power infrastructure, and apron/airfield markings. Our team worked with the Airport Authority to provide an advance works contract which enabled early operation of six aircraft parking stands to meet the ongoing increased demands of the Airport as well as vacate the construction site as far as possible. This allowed the construction activity to be carryout in a streamline manner.

China ,

Initial award included the design of new cargo aprons, involving four cargo stands. Subsequently, Atkins was awarded the Cargo Apron Expansion which comprised of eight cargo stands in the existing cargo terminal apron and involved 81,000m2 of pavements. The apron expansion area was adjacent to the operating Taxiway K and Taxilane L. From 2000 to 2003, Atkins carried out the Engineering Design from Initial Scheme Design to Detailed Design as well as the construction supervision of airfield pavement, airfield and apron oil separation and stormwater drainage systems, apron floodlighting system, apron fixed ground power system, aviation fuel system, combined potable water and fire hydrant system, communications systems, ground lighting system and apron/airfield markings.

China ,

The new terminal for Xi'an airport in central China will provide an additional 270,000 square metres of space. When the airport expansion is complete the anticipated passenger volume will be 31 million per year. Our competition winning design for the new terminal building suggests a connection to the formality of traditional Chinese architecture. The three dimensional form is inspired by the architectural style of the Han and Tang dynasties where the sculptural roof rises in symmetrical layers towards a central axis.

China ,

We are working with the Airport Authority Hong Kong to implement a three-runway system (3RS), involving construction of a new airport platform north of the existing north runway. Our scope of works includes the design of the ground improvement works, reclamation, seawalls, re-provisioning works and the extension and modification of existing large box culverts. The size of the reclamation will be approximately 650 hectares - about half the current size of the airport platform. The main challenge of the project is that no dredging of the soft sediments is allowed because of environmental concerns. Our key task is to develop cost-effective methods to strengthen the soft sediments in-situ such that the post-construction settlements are limited to acceptable values. A follow-up field trial will be conducted to confirm the performance of the treated seabed using the Deep Cement Mixing (DCM) technique. The detailed design will be delivered within a tight schedule to facilitate the anticipated award of the main works contract in 2016. Our services will continue into the construction phase with the provision of design support services. Upon completion of the 3RS, the expansion plan will allow the airport to handle an additional 30 million passengers a year according to the Airport Master Planning of 2030.

China ,


View all