Airport sector – Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa Airports Operator


S.E.A. S.p.A. – 20090 Milano Linate Airport – Italy (


Head of Automated Equipment Dept. – May 2001–Jan 2014


  • Prepare the project for tender,
  • obtain the authorizations from the relevant Authorities,
  • follow the Tender’s development,
  • to serve as president of the Offers’ Assessment Committee,
  • follow the work and tests in order to place into service no. 15 APRON Drive Passenger Boarding Bridges (two of which are innovative with an elevating Rotunda) by the inauguration date of Satellite C of Malpensa Terminal 1 (13th January 2013).

The importance of this experience

Experience has allowed to:

  • Improve the ability to manage and communicate with the Chinese contractor, overcoming linguistic, behavioral and cultural differences, as well as differences in the approach and management, etc. This led to the creation of excellent interpersonal relationships, which contributed to becoming one of the project’s key success stories.
  • Improve soft skills (leadership, self-discipline, role mode, among other things) and professional relations with the project team and stakeholders.
  • Optimize the completeness and clarity of information, as well as the frequency of information provided on the project at all stages of its development.
  • Improve risk management and Lessons Learned.

The project, called “Milan Malpensa Airport – Terminal 1 3rd/ 3rd – Satellite C – Supply, installation and bi-annual maintenance of APRON drive passengers boarding bridges with auxiliary equipment”, including:

  • supplying and putting into service at the Satellite C no. 15 APRON Drive Boarding Bridges (two of which are special, with elevating Rotunda), complete with 17 400Hz units of 90kVA each, with 9 PCA units of 60 tons each, with 4 PCA units of 120 tons each and 10 potable water cabinets, to improve the Terminal 1’s Levels of Service, as well as to improve the airport’s operation and passenger-perceived Quality Levels.
  • total time for supply and implementation of all the works: 517 consecutive calendar days from signing the Contract (reduced to 457 consecutive calendar days following the improvement proposal from the successful bidder).
  • 6 months of integral maintenance contractually borne by the Contractor, starting from the Testing phase with a positive outcome and from the commissioning of the 15 PBBs.

Activities carried out and approaches adopted

The project was carried out as part of the strategic expansion of Terminal 1 at Malpensa Airport, which included the expansion of the main building of Terminal 1 (known as the third part of the Terminal) and construction of the 3rd Satellite (Satellite C).
In-depth market analysis was carried out prior to the development of the project to determine the exact state-of-the-art of the PBBs (Passengers Boarding Bridges) technology (almost at the level of Technical Dialogue), and to understand which and how many PBB Manufacturers could provide the high-quality products and the state of technological/ diagnostic development.
Preliminary analysis of the main Stakeholders (Maintenance, Airport Coordination, Handlers, Emirates, among others) was carried out to make sure the project was as in-depth and detailed as possible and to dissect the Lessons Learned, following the installation and commissioning of the previous PBBs in 1998:
• errors committed,
• operational problems,
• functional problems,
• type and frequency of various failures,
• type of technology adopted,
• problems encountered,
• etc.
It was followed by the consequent correlated risk analysis, in order to identify the best design solutions and the best technological solutions, diagnostic, functional and performance. As a consequence of the above mentioned, to define clear and shared goals of the design type and technological solutions, adopted for the new project.
Setting up the most economically advantageous tender with technical scores for reductions in overall supply and installation times and improvement works and services (mainly maintenance) offered in the tender by Competitors. These would have then become contractual obligations for the successful tenderer and subject to penalties for non-compliance during the testing phase.
Continuous involvement and motivation of the Project Team during the various development phases of Project itself (Design, Authorizations from Authorities, Purchasing phase, Construction in the Workshop and on-site Installation). Management of the team working with the Chinese Contractor, which required a different approach/ development of a Chinese-style of project management that differed from Western ones; overcoming challenges of linguistic differences. Therefore, Alberto Servienti’s strong, first-hand involvement was needed to manage these cultural and behavioral differences.
Preparation of a lean and concise Communication Plan (to the Company’s Top Management, Stakeholders, etc.), with fairly frequent reports (once every 15 days) on the works’ progress, problems encountered and solutions adopted.
Meetings (carried out personally by Alberto Servienti) at the Contractor’s Headquarters and production plant in China during the Construction Design phase, the workshop assembly phase, and the Factory Acceptance Testing phase before maritime shipment.
Risk management during the various phases of the entire project’s development, especially when a Typhoon struck southern China 20 days after the first of two of the PBBs shipments, which forced a change of ship, Owner and route to respect on-site delivery deadlines.

Skills employed

Alberto Servienti developed and followed the project (as Project Designer, Project Engineer and Consultant of the Project Manager, being considered an Expert of this type of equipment) throughout all its stages: Start-up/Launch, Planning, Execution, Control and Closure. The Launch, Planning, Control and Closure phases were carried out almost completely independently, with full confidence of the Project Manager and with continuous reporting to him. Conversely, the execution stage was followed with more direct involvement by the Project Manager.
At the Purchasing stage Alberto Servienti became the President of the Offers’ Assessment Commettee.
The main management tools used comprised: identification and analysis of Stakeholders, development of the WBS, OBS and RAM, scheduling through the CPM, a Communication and Reporting Plan, the holding of weekly coordination meetings with the Project Team and monthly and fortnightly meetings with the main Stakeholders and Top Management, the main risk management plan.
Monitoring and controlling the Construction Project prepared by the Contractor, both through a document checklist and a detailed analysis of the drawings and interfaces with the civil works/equipment part of connection with the Satellite, with consequent corrections and improvements to the project itself.
Meetings held in China at the Contractor’s Headquarter and Factory Acceptance Tests of the first PBB.
Control and monitoring of the on-site installation stages, with daily functional inspections and checks, as well as technical-functional testing of the installed PBBs.
Collection of all the documents of the As-built project, all the material certificates and all the ongoing and final tests.
The final documentation of the project eligibility and testing reports was prepared by ENAC (Italian Civil Aviation Authority), whereas the final SAL (Status of Work) and closure of the remaining technical and administrative documentation was prepared by the Works Management Office.
Closure of the maintenance contract is paid by the Contractor 3 months in advance of the initial contractual dates.


The Award of the most economically advantageous tender to the market leading Chinese Contractor.
Launching (with ENAC Testing and Accessibility Report) by the contract deadline (within 457 days), with the official inauguration of Satellite C and PBBs in January 2013.
Completion of all the contractual works without any cost increase.
The reduction, of 6 to 3 months, agreed with the Contractor of the contractual maintenance borne by him, after the launching and excellent results regarding reliability and availability of the PBBs.
Very low maintenance time and lower than initially foreseen, which was verified during testing.