The Sky Is The Limit! – Or How To Test A New Airport Terminal
The brand-new €1.7bn expansion of Oslo Airport is complete and scheduled to open in April 2017. Will the grand opening be a day of triumph or tragedy? After intense years of planning, constructing and moving into the new facilities, all stakeholders deserve a prideful and memorable inauguration of the new airport infrastructure. Unfortunately, too many airport opening days have been memorable for all the wrong reasons and resulted in corporate embarrassment, loss of reputation or crucially exceeded budgets.
How does a small team of mostly software testing experts approach the overwhelming assignment of testing and assessing the operational readiness of a new international airport? A list of test objects in the new 117 000 m² departures and arrivals areas includes a brand-new state-of-art baggage handling system, a new central building with 34 check-in desks and 12 security check lanes, a new baggage hall for domestic arrivals, as well as a new monumental pier consisting of 11 new aircraft stands and highly sophisticated flexi-gates. Vastly complex, deeply integrated airport IT-systems and physical equipment – both new and legacy – all adds up to the mighty challenge.
This is the story of how our team spent a year working with airport stakeholders to test and trial every new system and procedure from passenger and baggage handling to security and airside operations using thousands of live test passengers, an enormous volume of test bags, as well as hundreds of million Euros worth of real-life aircrafts. From designing test cases and writing test plans in a comfortable office to patrolling the vast terminal and airside facilities in construction boots, helmets and workwear, or getting dirty climbing through the baggage handling system, our test team has gone through every single detail to make sure the new airport will be ready on time.