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Infraero pioneers the use of Digital Twins to increase the safety and efficiency of Brazil’s Airports

Infraero pioneers the use of Digital Twins to increase the safety and efficiency of Brazil’s Airports

Infraero, Empresa Brasileira de Infraestrutura Aeroportuária is one of the three largest airport operators in the world, managing 54 airports across Brazil. It facilitates more than 100 million passengers each year, accounting for nearly 60 percent of Brazil’s air traffic. Infraero is creating a parametric 3D model and database of Londrina Airport’s underground, land, and above-land information to improve its business intelligence and operations.
Londrina Airport will be the first in Brazil to have a digital twin. The final product will include 3D modeling of 20 buildings, one take-off-and-landing runway, two aircraft yards, taxiways, and access roads - a total airport surface area of 920,354 square meters. Infraero is going digital to improve its business intelligence and decision making.
By leveraging digital DNA to manage its assets, Infraero can take a more preventative approach to maintenance, effectively use airport space, and improve airport safety. Maintenance teams will be able to utilize real-time monitoring and control of assets for improved efficiency of remote asset management. The model will serve as a large-scale information repository to improve performance and obtain data more efficiently.
The digital engineering information, or digital DNA, of the project was modeled using Bentley’s design software. MicroStation’s point-cloud import feature enabled the team to model the entire airport via point clouds and conduct point-cloud studies to verify the existing facilities. OpenBuildings Designer was used to model existing buildings, such as the passenger terminal, cargo terminal, and fire station. OpenRoads was used to create the geometric project and runway system surfaces map: a comprehensive model of take-off and landing runways, taxiways, and service roads. When complete, the comprehensive building and infrastructure model will serve as a basis for future airport expansion projects, enable effective maintenance, cut maintenance costs, and increase asset availability. The live model will also facilitate a range of studies: passenger flow, demand and capacity, layout changes, and launch studies for new commercial areas.
Infraero has already experienced savings of BRL 540,000 per year with improved information management. The company plans to expand its use of BIM methods in the operation and maintenance phase of its other assets. The Digital Airport Pilot Project at Londrina Airport will serve as a model as the other 53 airports managed by Infraero seek to effectively leverage their digital DNA.
Patrícia Oliveira, BIM champion, Infraero, said, “[Bentley’s software enabled] comprehensive digital modeling [to] promote integration and collaboration across different areas of the company. [This will] benefit all business sectors [and offer] consistent and up-to-date information to all stakeholders.” 
Londrina Airport is the first airport in the region to effectively leverage its digital DNA to improve business intelligence, asset management, and operations; it serves as an example for other airport owner-operators in the region that seek to promote safe and high-quality airport infrastructure.
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