The National Academies

ACRP 01-22 [Final]

Guidebook for Successfully Assessing and Managing Risks for Airport Capital and Maintenance Projects

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Research Agency: Direct Effect Solutions
Principal Investigator: Mindy Price
Effective Date: 8/14/2012
Completion Date: 5/14/2014

There are many different types of risks that can affect the successful outcome of an airport capital or maintenance project. Although it is typical to think of risk as the protection of people and assets, there are also operational, financial, reputational, and political risks, among others. Risk assessment and management is becoming more common at airports to help control costs resulting from tighter budgets, changing regulations, and evolving FAA processes. Each airport is going to have a different risk tolerance, and the assignment and management of risk also will be different. 
While the process for conducting risk assessments is applicable to all size airports, the degree of complexity will vary based on available resources. In fact, it is likely that smaller airports with fewer resources will engage consultants to help them with this process, while larger airports may manage it internally. Research is needed to assist staff at all levels and at all sizes of airports to understand risk assessment and management for capital and maintenance projects.
The objective of this research was to develop a guidebook to assist airport staff in assessing and managing risks associated with capital and maintenance projects to ensure that their project scope, schedule, and budget objectives are met. The guidebook should be user-friendly and scalable to all sized airports.
The guidebook includes the following:
  • Discussion of the value and benefits of assessing and managing risks
  • A description of the different ways in which risk assessments and management can be applied in the airport environment
  • Recommended risk management practices that can be scalable based on resource availability, project exposure, and/or other pertinent considerations
  • Checklists and tools (e.g., flow chart) associated with the risk assessment and management process
  • Description of common risks and mitigation strategies
  • Lessons learned from examples that have been both successful and unsuccessful
  • List of additional relevant resources

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