The Story of John Wayne International Airport Terminal C: Pull Planning in the Hard Bid, Multi-Prime, Multi-CM Arena

Thirty-five miles south of Los Angeles (CA) is Orange County’s only commercial service airport: John Wayne International.  The Terminal C expansion project started July 22, 2009 with a 24-month planned completion.  The Airport authority’s goal was to be fully operational by Thanksgiving 2011 with a Grand Opening planned for 11/11/11. McCarthy Building Company was selected as General Contractor for Terminal C, but as owner changes  mounted, McCarthy found itself three months behind with that  relentless 11/11/11 completion date jetting toward them.

Late in the game – on May 27, 2011 – McCarthy began implementing the Last Planner® System.  Because the key to completion was startup of the 9 air handlers, the first phase pull was Startup, Testing and Balance of the first air handler.  Weekly Work Planning began the following week.  Thirty-three calendar days later the first AHU started up; the ninth was completed on 8/4/11, thus allowing Test & Balance and Fire Alarm Testing to be signed off on time.

When the Owner saw how reliably the trade contractors were performing – with PPC’s of 81% to 88% in the initial six weeks – JWA itself began using Last Planner® System with its Multiple Prime Contractors who were installing the nation’s first CUPPS system (central computer system used by all the airlines).

The Result:  Substantial Completion as planned on 11/11/11 and Terminal C fully operational November 20, 2011 – four days before Thanksgiving.