Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S01-18. Value, Benefits, and Limitations of Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) for Airport Project Delivery

Airport operators are required by Federal and State law to use various procurement methods to deliver best value publicly funded projects. With many airport facilities at the end of their useful life, airport sponsors consider both traditional and alternative procurement methods and tools to cost effectively develop, modify, renovate and maintain their facilities. Qualifications based selection (QBS) is a procurement method that selects companies on the basis of qualifications; cost is not considered. This is different from best value procurement, which provides a price element. Airports select and retain professional services using QBS methods, most typically when hiring architectural and engineering (A/E) firms for project planning, design, program/construction management and other activities. Less typically, airports use QBS for selection of construction contractors where enabling legislation and funding sources allow. Outside of the Federal requirement to use QBS, this research focuses on the merits of using QBS for all facets of project delivery, beyond professional services or design. Industry is increasing its use of alternative project delivery procurement methods. Airports can learn from other transportation modes, and have explored QBS strategies in the delivery of capital projects. Successful highway project delivery has included QBS for many years to complete projects in a competitive and efficient manner. There may be examples where airports have used QBS to increase project success by using a collaborative process for project delivery. The objective of this synthesis is to understand which airports are using QBS, when and why, and describe the benefits and limitations of QBS in construction, in addition to professional services. The intended audience for this report includes airport administrators and decision makers. Compiling this information provides additional resources to assist in decision making when choosing the most advantageous procurement approach. The researcher will collect data from as many U.S. airports or their tenant partners as possible (20-30) for a range of vertical and horizontal QBS projects. Data collection should represent a range of NPIAS airport categories and airport owners/sponsors.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S01-18

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Performing Organizations:

    Gransberg & Associates, Incorporated

    Norman, OK  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Gransberg, Douglas

  • Start Date: 20190318
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01659862
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S01-18
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 12 2018 3:03PM