3D Laser Scanning and Utility Locating Accelerate Airport Renovations

3D Laser Scanning and Utility Locating Accelerate Airport Renovations

Accurate As Builts for Investing in Airport Infrastructure

Construction Teams are Challenged With Completing Renovations Without Impacting Operations

There are 5,211 public airports in the United States, ranging in size from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), one of the busiest airports in the world, to Dawson Community Airport, which has the honor of being the U.S.’s smallest airport.

Airports in the United States operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, resulting in non-stop wear and tear. They are aging fast; therefore, many airports are significantly investing in infrastructure development.

ACI-NA’s 2023-2027 Airport Infrastructure Needs Report estimates that the total airport infrastructure needs for the 2023-2027 period are $151 billion. All airports, regardless of their size and geographical location, desire to upgrade or expand their infrastructure to accommodate an increase in capacity, enhance the efficiency of their processes, increase service quality and the overall customer experience.

Construction teams are challenged with completing large-scale renovations and upgrades without impacting operations or passenger experiences. There is pressure to keep everything up and running while undertaking repairs and renovations.

The planning of an airport construction project requires analysis and coordination. Construction teams need to procure accurate site maps for design planning. Accurate subsurface utility locating can prevent injuries from dangerous utility exposure and subsurface strikes. As built data aids in design planning to expedite construction completion, plus reduce risks, shutdowns, change orders, delays, and costs.

On Monday, April 3, 2023, two construction workers were tragically killed in an accident at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The workers were moving utility lines as part of a broader, $19 billion J.F.K. improvement project when they became trapped under a trench collapse, said officials with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

GPRS is committed to helping you manage and mitigate risk on your job and for your team. We provide complete facility infrastructure visualization through utility locating, concrete scanning & imaging, 3D laser scanning, video pipe inspection, leak detection, drone photogrammetry, and state-of-the-art mapping & modeling services, so that you and your team can see potential hazards and design obstacles to mitigate risk to keep your project on time, on budget, and most importantly, safe.

Accurate as built and subsurface documentation of airports can quickly be completed with GPRS 3D laser scanning and utility locating services. From the data collected, reliable construction documents are delivered in point clouds, 2D maps, and 3D models to proactively plan for renovations or expansions. This data is necessary for your project team to upgrade terminals, concourses, airfields, runways, parking lots, and more. The mapping of utilities is critical for subsurface construction planning, such as water and sewer upgrades.

Below, you can see some of the ways GPRS assists airports to expedite and ensure safer and more accurate construction and renovation projects.


Airport Construction Projects Completed by GPRS

Case Studies Featuring 3D Laser Scanning and Utility Locating

John Glenn International Airport Renovations
John Glenn International Airport renovations included the installation of a prefabricated ceiling panel system and new doors.

John Glenn International Airport – Columbus, Ohio

Airport Entrance Upgrades Requires 3D Laser Scanning


GPRS provided 3D laser scanning services for John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, Ohio. The client was upgrading the existing airport entrance. Renovations included the installation of a prefabricated ceiling panel system and new doors. The primary objective of the laser scan was to capture the ground, curbs, ceiling beams, and related structural features to design and prefabricate the upgrades.


The client had a 60-day window to complete renovations, and no in-house engineers. The airport entrance did not match the architectural drawing; the ceiling structure was sloped where the drawings showed it level, and differing beam heights and widths between two levels of the airport created additional challenges. They needed accurate as builts to tie the upgrades to the existing structure and align with the camber of the structure. The client also had to deliver precise measurements to the ceiling panel system prefabricator and to provide the builders of the custom doors precise measurements on entryways. This would minimize any assumptions that could lead to field changes and schedule delays during construction.


The airport, which serves 7 million annual travelers, needed to remain in operation with little to no interruption of services. So, 3D laser scanning was completed at night during low passenger activity periods, so the airport could remain in operation. The GPRS Mapping & Modeling Team worked closely with the client to create maps and models to expedite components and minimize inaccuracies. 2D CAD drawings, and a 3D BIM model were delivered, which eliminated field adjustments and delays during renovations. The laser scan data also helped the client to plan how the new entrance would tie into the existing entrance, while taking into account all of the field variables.

Pittsburgh International Airport Utility Locate
GPRS mapped the subsurface infrastructure prior to groundwork at Pittsburgh International Airport.

Pittsburgh International Airport – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Terminal Modernization Project Requires Subsurface Mapping


GPRS was awarded the utility locating and mapping phase of the PIA Terminal Phase I Modernization project for Pittsburgh International Airport. GPRS helped execute 100% subsurface damage prevention planning by mapping all the subsurface infrastructure prior to groundwork. The drawings for the project were completed in CAD and overlaid onto the existing as builts.


The airport’s architects and engineers required accurate underground infrastructure and feature locations and measurements for project planning.


GPRS located known and unknown utilities, tunnels, duct banks, and other subsurface features to update the airport’s as builts and record drawings.  Data was collected with GIS instrumentation to ensure accurate mapping.

Willow Run Airport Water and Sewer Upgrades
GPRS partnered with the Wayne County Airport Authority to provide locating services and mapping of subsurface utilities along the path of new water and sanitary line installations.

Willow Run Airport – Ypsilanti, Michigan

Water & Sewer Upgrades Requires Subsurface Utility Mapping


GPRS partnered with the Wayne County Airport Authority to provide locating services and mapping of subsurface utilities along the path of new water and sanitary line installations. By working hand in hand with the project engineering firm, and contractors on the site, GPRS helped protect the existing underground infrastructure from damage and the project was safe and successful. Data was collected and used for updating as builts.


There were no accurate as builts for the project’s underground infrastructure when work commenced. When initial subgrade work began on site, there were conflicts and damage with previously unknown/undocumented utilities.


GPRS marked all underground utilities along the proposed route of water and sanitary line installation for safety of excavation process.  Additionally, all utility findings were collected with GPS and overlaid onto the existing as built drawings for future reference.

3D Laser Scanning at the Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center used GPRS 3D laser scanning services during recent upgrades to Launch Complex 39B.

The Kennedy Space Center – Cape Canaveral, Florida

3D BIM Model to Upgrade Launch Complex 39B


The Kennedy Space Center used GPRS 3D laser scanning services during recent upgrades to Launch Complex 39B. Our client was installing piping from the mechanical room under the launch pad up to the surface where they terminate, rerouting overhead piping through the mechanical room, as well as, removing and installing new equipment. GPRS delivered accurate and reliable as built data for the Kennedy Space Center to plan upgrades and reroute piping.


The client needed fast and accurate as built documentation of the project areas so they could effectively plan upgrades and piping routes and note any clash points. Understanding exactly where the mechanical room equipment was located below the launch pad surface was crucial to this project and difficult to determine using a method other than 3D laser scanning.


The GPRS Mapping & Modeling Team delivered an LOD 300 3D BIM model of the structural and MEP details. Accurate information helped the client plan for the equipment and piping and determine the vertical penetration points. This saved time and money by prefabricating the piping offsite and minimizing rework from misaligned pipes and equipment.

GPRS 3D laser scanned a facade at LaGuardia International Airport to expedite the installation of ACM panels.

LaGuardia Airport – Queens, New York

Field Verification to Prefabricate ACM Panels


Our client was installing ACM panels to the canopy of a newly constructed terminal at LaGuardia Airport using an overhead lift 80 feet in the air. There was no room for trial and error. The client was not interested in hanging panels, discovering issues, and having to take them back down. The client needed accurate data to fabricate components offsite and complete a flawless installation.


The construction plans did not match the existing conditions at the site. The installation process needed to be precisely planned to avoid rework, as any deviation could cause a major issue. To circumvent the active construction site, the GPRS Project Manager scanned the site at night to eliminate structural movement and trades working.


GPRS 3D laser scanned the canopy and curtain wall façade to capture accurate as built data and generate 2D drawings and a 3D model to prefabricate panels and expedite installation. 22" x 34" 2D CAD drawings were created with the panel layout for the client to take to the field. The panels were labeled with a custom number and included cut and shim points. This information can be shared with the construction team to ensure everyone is on the same page and can coordinate their work effectively. This saves time, money and headaches, by preventing costly modifications in the field.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport Parking Lot Structure
GPRS provided 3D laser scanning services for six parking lot structures at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

Dallas Fort Worth International Airport – DFW Airport, Texas

Prefabrication of Canopies for Parking Lot Structures


GPRS provided 3D laser scanning services for six parking lot structures at the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, ranging from 500 to 2,500 square feet in plan area. The client wanted accurate dimensional information to prefabricate replacement canopies for each of the structures.


The client needed accurate information to design replacement fabric panels, including the location of the attachment plates and fasteners. They requested a quick turnaround on this project, GPRS expedited deliverables within 15 working days of the purchase order.


Dimensions were quickly verified in these high traffic areas of the airport with a Leica laser scanner. GPRS’ Mapping & Modeling Team created an LOD 200 Revit 3D model including basic structural elements, such as exposed structural columns and joists, grade and canopy. With the 3D model, the following details could be used to expedite prefabrication and installation - elevations, plan dimensions, radii of rolled elements, plus locations and dimensions of all attachment hardware.

GPRS 3D Laser Scanning Services
GPRS provides as built and subsurface data of airport infrastructure in point cloud, 2D CAD drawing, and 3D BIM model format for your construction project.

GPRS Delivers 3D Laser Scanning and Utility Locating for Airports

Millimeter Accurate 3D Laser Scan Data and 99.8% Accurate Utility Mapping

Completing airport infrastructure improvements requires reliable and accurate data that documents existing conditions. GPRS 3D laser scanning and utility locating services deliver millimeter accurate 3D laser scan data and 99.8% accurate utility mapping & concrete scanning to expedite planning, provide historical records for future projects and O&M, and ensure your project’s success.  

Every GPRS Project Manager completes an extensive training program to ensure their expertise in laser scanning and utility locating, and they have extensive field knowledge to provide you with the best possible results for every project.

GPRS provides accurate data, point clouds, 2D CAD drawings, and 3D BIM models of airport infrastructure to help your team Intelligently Visualize the Built World.TM

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