It had potential to be the biggest long-term project in the history of an engineering firm that had seen more than its share of impressive projects. As a national firm, UMA’s survival depended on large, multi-year engagements to keep its staff as billable as possible.
The bespoke opportunity was part of the expansion of Pearson International Airport — Canada’s largest. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA), the facility’s owner, had bet its future on this expansion to turn Pearson into an international gateway. UMA was bidding to design the “ground side” — the approach roads, parking, and other facilities.
UMA’s office manager told me that the deciding factor in his firm’s getting the job was that its proposal included the CVs of three highly skilled professionals — world-renowned thought leaders in the niche field of airport design. Having these professionals listed in UMA’s proposal reassured the airport authority that the project would benefit from world-class expertise.Continue Reading