Schiphol Airport is going digital to avoid construction delays

As one of Europe’s largest transportation hubs, punctuality is incredibly important at Schiphol Airport. Avoiding travel delays is a big part of customer satisfaction, both among passengers and airlines. But getting flights off the ground on time is only one of the many ways that the staff at Schiphol creates a seamless travel experience. To really enhance the entire travel experience, Schiphol plans to become the “Leading Digital Airport” by 2018. This aspiration is being applied to everything from the new website and app, to a planned terminal expansion.

Digital technology will be part of the expansion construction project, which will include a new terminal building and a pier, to help avoid costly delays. The ambitious construction project will increase passenger capacity by 15 million annually and is set to be completed in 2023. There is a lot at stake with a project this size – airlines, passengers, and terminal tenants are depending on this project being ready on time. To help keep the project on track, the Dutch surveying company 4Indoor used NavVis reality capture technology to document the construction site at Schiphol.

How reality capture tech keeps construction on track

NavVis reality capture technology can be used to document milestones, monitor progress and plan how the space will be used. With NavVis technology, the current status of a site can be captured and made easily accessible in any browser. Typically, construction documentation consists of hundreds of images. NavVis IndoorViewer software makes it possible to view both panoramic images and point clouds as a virtual 3D construction site.

Capturing the construction site at certain milestones provides stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of progress. The data captured by the NavVis M3 Trolley can be used to verify models, both before construction or a refurbishment even starts and once the project is complete. During construction, regular scanning then enables the comparison of point cloud data to detect deviations and track project progress. Once construction is complete, a scan can be compared to the planned model to confirm whether the project was executed according to plan.

Capturing data on a regular basis and tracking progress also has advantages for the end customer. The virtual construction site is easy to share by sending a web link. The staff at Schiphol, for example, will be able to see whether the new terminal will be ready in time. They can also use the IndoorViewer once construction is nearly complete to provide tenants with meaningful data that will help them with planning and setting up the new location.

How the use case extends to the entire building life cycle

Documenting construction progress with NavVis technology offers benefits beyond just having remote access to a site. Capturing each stage of construction means that pipes, electrical wiring and everything else behind the walls will be visually accessible after the drywall goes up. The NavVis IndoorViewer is interactive and lets users make accurate 3D measurements, as well as add, search for, and filter detailed building information.

Once construction is complete, this digital building documentation can be handed over to the operations team to use for facility management and for maintenance, planning and renovation purposes. If the scans take place regularly, it will also help Schiphol staff in planning by identifying what each square meter in the airport is actually being used for.

See what NavVis construction monitoring looks like in the screenshots from Schiphol airport below:

Panoramic images give a realistic overview of the site:


Coloured NavVis point cloud (5mm resolution):


Schiphol 3D ifc/CAD model visualized in the NavVis IndoorViewer:


Panoramic images give a realistic overview of the site (left), Coloured NavVis point cloud (5mm resolution) (middle), Schiphol 3D ifc/CAD model visualized in the NavVis IndoorViewer (right).