Airport Capital Improvements: Developing a Cost-Estimating Model and Database

Airport capital investment needs are approaching $20 billion dollars annually, based on a 2009 Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) capital needs survey. Working to meet this need, individual airports, state and local agencies, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are dependent on individual case-by-case engineering cost studies and the bid process when estimating, planning, and budgeting for airport capital improvement projects. The engineering, planning, and finance staffs at airports may not always have sufficient project development experience or sufficient information to prepare valid capital cost estimates. In fact, many smaller airports do not have staff to perform these functions and must, as a result, rely on external consulting expertise. In addition, there is insufficient consistency, standardization, and accuracy across the airport industry to compare project cost estimates that result from variations in regional costs, state and local conditions, or levels of technical expertise. Moreover, unique conditions at any given airport make simple comparison with similar projects at other airports often difficult if not problematic. Airports; state, regional, and local agencies; and FAA may not appreciate the options and choices implicit in various designs and their tradeoffs, or have an independent way to benchmark the work of their consultants. Further, airport sponsors need consultants and/or staff that are well versed in current market conditions and emerging innovations. Experience also indicates that increased availability of relevant data can facilitate the capital budgeting process and improve overall project cost estimating, project planning, and implementation, resulting in a more efficient and effective approach to developing an airport capital improvement program. The objective of this research is to develop a user-friendly, interactive, construction cost-estimating model and associated database for airport capital projects along with an implementation guidebook. Projects encompassed by this research should include both airside and landside: (1) airfield, terminal, service and maintenance facilities; (2) runway construction, extension, and rehabilitation; (3) utilities and other infrastructure; (4) security improvements and enhancements; and (5) other airport development projects. The cost-estimating model should be customizable by the user to address standard as well as unique local and regional cost factors. In addition, the model should be able to respond to particular characteristics of airport projects and import readily available commercial construction information databases or services where feasible.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $400000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 01-19

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Performing Organizations:

    MCR Federal

  • Principal Investigators:

    Karlsson, Joakim

  • Start Date: 20110713
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140831
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37948

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01545893
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 01-19
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 27 2014 1:00AM