In the winter of 2015, a small group of BIM enthusiasts working for various airports huddled over food and drink one evening in the midst of an industry conference comparing notes. Over the course of the evening they found they had many of the same experiences, challenges and goals and lamented that moments like these, spent freely sharing their experiences for mutual benefit, had to be squeezed in around other activities at conferences such as the one they were attending.

“Why,” they asked “can’t we have an open forum for a day or two to freely share the successes and failures we deal with that are specific to airports and BIM?” Conferences are great, but there is so much going on it is hard to catch your breath, much less catch up on highly technical endeavours. Developers and vendors are great, but they can be distracting.

We resolved to do something about this lack of opportunity.

A few months later, the first BIM Early Adopters in Aviation event (now AI3) was held at Denver International Airport.

The idea is simple. Invite the members of aviation agencies to come and talk about BIM processes free from the distractions of sales pitches, huge crowds, and with the focus on the aviation industry. Make it free, and welcome aviation officials of all knowledge levels and at all scales. Communicate openly and honestly about successes as well as failures so that everyone can learn from those experiences and improve processes for everyone.