Kansai International Airport Co. Ltd.
Osaka Bay, Japan

Kansai Japan International Airport - Design Management

As a member of the consortium constructing the Kansai International Airport, Fluor provided design management and project control services for the US$1.3-billion passenger terminal building. The 300,000 square-meter building was constructed to state-of-the-art design requirements and very high quality standards.

Client's Challenge

Japan's second major international airport is located 5 miles offshore on a man-made island in Osaka Bay. The airport was proposed to solve serious operational limitations caused by noise pollution at the Osaka International Airport. Its location on a man-made island in the bay allowed around-the-clock operations and a more natural flow of air traffic around Japan. A major road and railway access bridge connected the airport to the mainland.

The terminal building was designed by Renzo Piano, 20th recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. Unique features of the mile-long terminal building included curvilinear trusses with 80-meter clear spans and a curved-glazing wall system that covered the face of all the passenger gate wings.

The building design required a floating slab stiffened against flexure and almost 1,000 jack points at each interior column to level the above grade portion of the building and to accommodate differential settling. The main hall consisted of 87-meter clear-span trusses in compound curvatures of multiple radiuses.

Fluor's Solution

The terminal building was curvilinear, requiring calculation of XYZ coordinates for control and erection of the roof and glazing system. The building was built to a compressed construction schedule that required intense focus on constructability reviews and fast-track construction methods.

The very compressed construction schedule required that particular attention be given to constructability reviews and fast-track methods. The project team developed and wrote a computer program to perform the necessary calculations.

Fluor also provided contract negotiation and procurement support for international material and subcontracts, supervised international supply and erection teams, and provided translation for Japanese joint venture partners.

Fluor personnel were involved in managing and reviewing the terminal design, as well as establishing and implementing project controls and management systems. Fluor introduced a number of personal computer system applications for computer-aided-drawing (CAD) that were new to the Japanese construction industry.


Fluor was a member of the consortium to build the unique $1.3-billion passenger terminal building at Kansai Airport. Applying its expertise in using CAD systems, as well as capabilities in project controls and management systems, Fluor contributed to management of the fast-track construction program.

The airport opened in 1994.