Airport capital improvements are dynamic and involve many elements, including phasing, financing, planning, design, and construction. Incorporating these various elements into a single plan, and then managing, overseeing, and communicating these multiple elements is a daunting task for airports and their interested stakeholders. Airport capital plans involve various stakeholders during their development, management, and oversight of the program. Capital plans change over time as projects move from planning to implementation, requiring updates to the scope, budget, financing, and schedule of those individual projects. Airport staff members from many different departments (e.g., planning, engineering, and finance), consultants, and outside agencies are involved in the project administration, each with their own set of priorities and responsibilities. The airlines and the FAA also have an interest in receiving timely and accurate information and have certain criteria that they are seeking when reviewing or evaluating the capital plan.
It is not uncommon for roles and responsibilities to be misunderstood that inhibit effective communication. A collaborative business process that (1) describes all stakeholders and their respective roles, responsibilities, expectations, and information requirements and (2) identifies procedural steps is needed. This process can then be implemented at airports to facilitate communication among multiple stakeholders to ensure a successful capital plan.
With many off-the-shelf or customizable software programs, capital plan information can be tracked overall or on an individual project basis. A defined process by which to best capture and communicate information used to administer the capital plan through a technological solution is also needed. This technological process is an important aspect of successfully maintaining the capital plan. This process is even more important once a project leaves the “planning” stage and enters the “implementation” stage.
The objective of this research is to develop a handbook that identifies best management practices in all phases of development, management, financing, and oversight of airport capital plans and includes those elements, steps, and key milestones that are necessary to create a collaborative business process that ensures the consistent flow of information and maintains the capital plan. This includes reporting, updating, and tracking financial and individual project information and identifying the processes that facilitate communication between internal and external stakeholders (e.g., airlines, FAA, local and state officials). The handbook should also identify and translate the elements of the collaborative business process so that it can be incorporated into an information technology solution.
This handbook will be developed for those individuals at an airport who have a responsibility in the development, financing, management, or oversight of the airport capital plan or who have information that is required to maintain and ensure the capital plan is current and up to date (e.g., project managers, CFOs, COOs, engineers).
For the purposes of this project, an airport capital plan includes the capital improvement programs (i.e., individual projects) and the finance plan to support implementation.
Status: The handbook has been published as Report 49: Collaborative Airport Capital Planning Handbook.