Key aviation underwriting considerations mainly focus on the unique engineering risks presented by any innovative designs, and the potential exposure to the public and to airline operators created by works in proximity to airport operations. Therefore the perceived risk range between a basic greenfield site and a complex expansion project can be significant. However, in the 21st century, the difficulty in selecting the site for any new airport usually involves conceding the perfect site scenario and it is not unusual for significant remediation to be required prior to works commencing.
In terms of the airport design, insurers will be assessing the usual exposures to fire, flood and natural catastrophe and the quality and experience of the contractors. Beyond this, many new airports incorporate high profile design features which may be bespoke to that building, or push the boundaries of existing open span design.
Expansion projects require careful dovetailing of the construction and operational insurances to make sure that both the existing airport and the new works are insured in a comprehensive but efficient manner. This may also require a dual approach to the construction and the aviation insurance markets to test the offered coverage and pricing and ascertain which combination presents the project with the best commercial value.
Some airport projects that we have worked upon have included unique features such as significant areas of land reclamation, tunnelling risks under existing runways and significant road and rail interface works; all of which bring underwriter concerns and complex insurance nuances which have to be carefully managed.
The Gallagher construction specialists work for all elements of the construction supply chain including designers, contractors and owners/developers. Where an airport is to be built, expanded or refurbished as part of a concession agreement, the insurance arrangements become much more complex as both concession and finance insurance requirements have to be considered and ultimately complied with.
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