The National Academies

ACRP 01-08 [Final]

Guidebook on Best Management Practices for Leasing and Developing Airport Property

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Research Agency: R.W. Armstrong
Principal Investigator: Rick Crider
Effective Date: 6/24/2008
Completion Date: 10/15/2010

An effective airport leasing policy can be a key asset of airport management in optimizing utilization and financial performance of airport facilities and property. Such a policy, coupled with effective implementation guidance, can establish a clear set of objectives and performance benchmarks for airport management in conducting a successful negotiation that generates a business agreement meeting the needs of the airport, tenants, investors, and local interests.
Negotiating and concluding an airport business agreement requires special expertise in understanding the nature of a diverse group of businesses.  Identifying and acquiring such expertise may be challenging for many airports.  Where does airport management turn when facing its first air cargo building proposal, its first office building proposal, its first corporate hangar complex proposal, or its first hotel proposal?  How can airport management evaluate any of these proposals for the first time if it has no roadmap? Past experience has shown that trial and error does not often lead to successful airport leasing and development policies. When airport management understands the risks, motivations, and objectives of all stakeholders, there is a greater likelihood for developing a portfolio of successful facilities that best serves the interests of all concerned. 
Airport management and potential tenants may understand the key aspects of a business agreement; however, because both parties experience different risks, motivations, and objectives, they may begin negotiations from very different positions. An established set of leasing, management, and development policies can help airport operators gain a better understanding of what is most important to future tenants.  The ability to identify the difference between what airport management would like to have as opposed to what it must have while also identifying that difference for potential tenants, significantly increases the odds for a successful negotiation and business agreement.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for airport management and other relevant stakeholders to implement leasing, property management, and development agreements in the context of airport improvement and expansion plans. The research will identify and define best management practices used in formulating airport leasing and development policies to support public and private investments for aeronautical and non-aeronautical uses at airports. Relevant stakeholders should include, but are not limited to, tenants, investors, and local interests.
Status:  The Guidebook has been published as Report 47.

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