All operations will transfer from the existing terminal to the new terminal in an overnight move. That means taking all equipment that could not be moved prior to the shutdown of the existing terminal over once all passengers have exited the facility.
To effectively manage and execute the move, the airport has initiated a plan called Operational Readiness, Activation, and Transition (ORAT). ORAT is a comprehensive plan employed to ensure the operational readiness of a new airport from day one of operations onward. The team overseeing ORAT is Chrysalis who will help in training and documentation, operational testing and simulations, gap and issue resolution, risk identification and mitigation, tenant management, asset capture and disposition, the physical move, and stakeholder communication among other things.
ORAT will help us get to opening day prepared to have a successful opening and ensure that the terminal is operational from day one.
The ORAT process transforms the design and construction of the beautiful new facilities into spaces people are ready to use. The ORAT team has to check a lot of boxes, coordinate many schedules, and keep communication at the forefront in parallel with making plans for and completing the actual physical relocation of items from old to new buildings. The relocations are phased so that "mission-critical" items, anything needed to get people on and off of planes, is never far from reach. Detailed plans of "what goes where" are developed so that everyone knows what to expect and on opening day is focused on delivering exceptional service rather than looking for pencils.
"How in the world do we turn off the lights at the old terminal one day and start flying out of the new terminal the very next day?"
That's the question Chrysalis Global Aviation's ORAT team answers at each airport they serve. ORAT is the process by which Chrysalis works with the Airport, tenants, contractors, and the public to ensure nothing is missed and that the airport is able to function smoothly on day one. To achieve this, thousands of smaller tasks mush be accomplished to allow for:
- The public to find the new terminal - travelers and visitors need to be able to find the new terminal. Whether this is the first time they've ever been to MSY or just the first time they'll be heading to the new terminal, highway, roadway, and curbside signage needs to be able to direct them to dropoff, pickup, and parking options safely. The designers and engineers have created the signs. ORAT conducts functional simulations to verify uncertainty has been reduced for future users.
- Travelers and visitors need to be able to navigate the new terminal. ORAT enlists volunteers in advance of opening day to test using simulations new signage, restrooms, WiFi, and everything else that makes a passenger experience in the terminal a pleasant one. Additional ambassadors and information desk personnel will be scheduled to help acclimate visitors to the new terminal and its amenities on and after opening day. The airport is enhancing its guest experience program to help keep enthusiasm and exceptional standards for care high.
- Tenants and their employees need to know their ways around the new terminal in order to keep flights operating on schedule. The new terminal will have equipment and systems that does not exist in the current facility. Even when new, things don't always run perfectly, but knowing what to do to get back on track can be the difference between a great experience and a ruined vacation. The employees will receive training on these new systems in advance of opening day so that they're comfortable operating them and can do so safely. Every tenant in new terminal will have an ORAT Orientation, a tour of the terminal conducted both from the eyes of a visitor and specific to that employee's daily routine. In addition to efficiently performing their own duties, they need to be able to provide accurate and consistent directions to any guest, regardless of which airline they're flying.