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 for airlines and travelers. Qualification based selection (QBS) is one tool that can be used as an early step in the project delivery process to justify and hire firms based on their qualifications rather than using a low bid. 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 prequalification of construction contractors. With increasing common use of alternative project delivery procurement methods that combine professional services with construction trades, some airports have explored QBS strategies to enhance decision making. Successful highway project delivery has included QBS in instances where the design and construction contractors team to complete the design and bid out the project in a competitive and efficient manner. Use of QBS during this process allows for owner control, vests interest in the project at all levels, and can minimize risk for all stakeholders. The objective of this synthesis of airport practice is a snapshot of how airports may apply the use of QBS in various project delivery scenarios, and describes the benefits and limitations of QBS for specific project delivery methods. The audience for this report is airport project management staff responsible for project delivery. Compiling this information provides airport staff with additional resources to assist in decision making when undergoing the selection process for project delivery options, resulting in cost effective, efficient and high-quality projects. Through literature review and data collection from a range of US airports with recent experience with traditional and alternative project delivery methods, the researcher will locate, assemble and document existing information on the use of QBS at airports for project delivery; and how the source of funding for airport projects affect the availability and use of QBS, including federal, state and local laws and regulations that may be applicable; and the value, benefits and limitation of QBS. The following methods will be considered when researching how QBS is used to fulfill best value project delivery: Design-Bid-Build; Design Build; Construction Manager at Risk; Construction Manager-General Contractor; Public Private Partnerships; and Other general procurement for design, construction, including on-call services, etc. The researcher will collect data from 20-30 airports and airport partners that deliver projects; and report on information received, including: Definition(s) of QBS; Project type – e.g., terminal renovation; Project funding; Project procurement and delivery method used from above list; Step in process where QBS was used; Qualifications matrix used for selection; Cost and price verification methodology to justify/validate QBS selectee provides best value bid; Value, benefits and limitations of using QBS and lessons learned; Open issues-gaps in knowledge; Enhancements needed for next time QBS use in the field; Further research; and Appendix information that includes selection criteria used. A concise report documenting literature and data collected will be delivered, highlighting effective practices for each project delivery method.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • 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

  • Start Date: 20180416
  • 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