Aircraft movement on the north-south runway at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith
International Airport will soon become more efficient thanks to new taxi-way
designs produced by leading engineering firm Sinclair Knight Merz (now part of
Sinclair Knight Merz is a multi-disciplinary engineering company working mainly
in the fields of infrastructure, mining, environmental work and power and
energy. It operates across Australia and in South-East Asia.
designs will provide the runway with additional stacking spaces and
interconnecting taxiways, allowing planes to leave the runway and move between
runways more quickly. This will enable increased traffic while maintaining
strict safety standards.
Sinclair Knight Merz produced the detailed
design using 4D Model (later renamed 12d Model) software.
Tony Ingold, Executive Engineer, Sinclair Knight Merz, said they needed a
software package which would help them develop and investigate options very
quickly as well as carry out 3D visualisation during the design process in order
to ensure the most effective design solution.
Sinclair Knight Merz’s Sydney office has had a copy of 4D Model installed for
several years and has used that software and some other programs for its road
and civil design. About 12 months ago the company had to reassess its design
software requirements due to a rapid increase in its civil design workload.
“We had several different packages in-house and felt this was an opportunity
to rationalise our systems as well as providing more design software seats,”
said Mr Ingold. “We invited several suppliers, including 4D Solutions, to
demonstrate their software. 4D Model was chosen to best suit our other civil
“The main reasons for choosing 4D Model were its speed and,
because it is an Australian company based in Sydney, we felt they would provide
the best training facilities and local technical support and be on the spot if
we needed them.”
The Sydney airport job has been a good test of 4D
Model’s capabilities. The design encompasses two rapid exit taxi-ways and seven
other taxi-ways to improve the efficiency of the runway operations. 4D Model was
used for the design and grading of the taxiways.
“The challenge on this
job was to ensure the new pavements would shed water efficiently while tying
into existing pavements,” said Mr Ingold. “They also had to meet the strict
Federal Aviation criteria for gradients and cross-falls.
“We used 4D
Model to do the gradings, taking advantage of its ability to carry out 3D
visualisation during the design process to ensure the fitness of the design for
use,” he said. “4D Model was also used to produce the stormwater drainage
drawings and to calculate bulk earthworks. It handled all these tasks very
“4D Model also allowed us to develop and investigate options
very quickly, a key advantage when you are doing a job to strict deadlines.
“Features of 4D Model which we have found useful on other jobs include its
ability to model utility services as part of road design,” said Mr Ingold. “This
allows us to check for clashes and modify service depths if necessary.
“Also the speed with which drainage design can be taken from the conceptual
stage to finished working drawings is a big advantage,” he said.
Sinclair Knight Merz is either using or evaluating 4D Model at a number of
its offices. All offices operate independently and choose the best products for
their local needs. Sydney now has seven 4D Model users, and the software is
being used in the Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin and Cairns
Download this Case Study as a PDF