Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is First International Airport in U.S. to Achieve Prestigious ISO 55001 Certification for Asset Management

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, already the world’s busiest and most efficient airport, recently became the first international airport in North and South America to achieve ISO 55001 certification for Asset Management System. At an October award ceremony, Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corporation CEO and President, Dr. Kofi Smith, was presented the certification by ABS-QE, the first and only global certification body accredited by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board.

Defining the fundamentals required for businesses to proactively and cost-effectively manage the lifecycle of their assets from acquisition to decommission, ISO 55001 became a new international standard for AMS in 2014 and enjoys a strong presence in Asia and Europe, with a growing presence in the Middle East. However, the certification is rare in the Western Hemisphere.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the first international airport in the Americas and the third organization in North America to earn the designation. “In the busy, day-to-day world of the airport that never sleeps, higher-level strategy and responses can get lost,” said Donna Ahlrich, Continuous Improvement Industrial engineer at the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Corporation (AATC). “Working to achieve ISO 55001 has given us the tools to be proactive rather than reactive. We will use this certification to continue to commit to delivering world-class facility services to maintain our airport’s reputation as one of the world’s best-maintained passenger terminal complexes in the world.”

The ISO 55001 certification requires businesses to manage the risks associated with ownership of assets and improve quality assurance for customers and regulators. It can also provide confidence for new business acquisitions, supporting international business growth. For travelers, ISO 55001 certification ensures a consistent customer experience through the levels of service delivered to them through the reliability of the asset portfolio. It reveals dedication to delivering an outstanding passenger experience through best-in-class asset management practices.

A privately-held corporation since 1979, AATC is an airline-owned and controlled management team, established to deliver the most efficient and cost-effective airport operation and maintenance services in the industry. In 2015, AATC’s business partner MOPAC Plant and Building Services brought the certification to Dr. Smith’s attention. AATC partnered with operations and maintenance service partner Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. to begin AATC’s ISO journey.

Ahlrich was hired to support the certification process: “Any ISO implementation first and foremost requires total commitment from executive leadership. Our CEO, Dr. Smith, who we refer to as our head coach, made this program a top priority.”

“On a daily basis, the team members of AATC hold themselves accountable to our tagline – Delivering Excellence and Exceeding Expectations,” Dr. Smith added.

AATC is instrumental in providing outstanding facility services to maintain the airport’s 7.2-million square feet of interior space and base building systems. Earning the prestigious ISO 55001 certification, a certification that has been awarded to only seven other international airports globally, means AATC can manage its system, processes and procedures more efficiently. This ensures that the more than 100 million airline passengers – more than 270,000 daily – that travel through the airport, and the 63,000 airport employees that serve them, are more comfortable.

The keys to success were understanding every employee has a stake in its Asset Management System, continual improvement of processes and improved relations with service partners. Achieving ISO 55001 is now the foundation for AATC’s future. With ISO 55001 ingrained into the work culture, AATC can efficiently and effectively improve management of assets, plan for successful expansion and pursue additional ISO certifications.