Government

Getting blue sky results through better aviation infrastructure budgeting

Patty Labadie

Patty Labadie

The United States’ (US) vast aviation infrastructure system—139 hub airports, 239 non-hub primary airports and 121 non-primary commercial service airports, has been earning itself an unfavorable reputation, both domestically and abroad, for under-performance and crumbling infrastructure.

 

The good news is that US airports have begun to address these infrastructure issues. To maintain passenger levels, many airports have realized that expansion of facilities and development of infrastructure is a critical component to success. Pivotal as better designed, better functioning facilities can sway passengers to choose certain airports over others, and consequently encourage airlines to invest in the improvements. Hub and non-hub airports are focused on developing strategies and allocating capital funds to expanding facilities and rehabilitating existing assets.

 

Despite the late engagement in developing and modernizing airport infrastructure and loud criticism from industry stakeholders labeling large-scale projects ‘too ambitious’ for the current economic climate, US airports are catching up to other regions around the world and are well on their way in leading the next generation of modern airports (Business Insider, April 2016).

 

To be sure, the task at hand is a significant one. The cumulative impact of sustained under-investment in the nation’s aviation sector’s infrastructure is estimated to be $258 billion. In addition, airport projects are complicated and often take multiple years to complete. (American Society of Civil Engineers, The Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America’s Economic Future, 2013)

 

Project managers need to:

  • Select which investments to make, rank priority against competing projects, and operate within the limitations of existing budgets and financial governance
  • Employ data from previous projects to accurately forecast project costs
  • Apply performance measurement in procurement systems to achieve predictable outcomes
  • Prioritize the numerous interconnected components associated with the project
  • Use data analysis including information from existing ERP applications to ensure project performance and monitor budget adherence

 

Conventional budgeting and financial management systems don’t, as a rule, offer the capabilities required to manage complex projects that take years to complete.

 

Questica Budget is a web-based budgeting solution that provides a controlled environment for budget input, review, approval, and maintenance. It offers one point of data entry and seamless integration into an airport’s ERP system. Questica Performance allows project managers to establish and manage objectives, leveraging financial and statistical data from any number of sources. Reporting, analytics and dashboards are built-in tools for the ongoing monitoring of project progress and performance.

 

Unlike other budgeting software, Questica’s solutions were built solely for the public sector and currently manage over $55 billion in annual budgets for 200-plus public sector customers, including airports and transit systems.

 

If you would like to find out how we can help airports optimize the benefits from facilities and infrastructure improvements, schedule a demo of Questica’s solutions today.

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