The National Academies

ACRP 08-02 [Final]

Integrating Collaborative Partnering for Airport Projects

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Research Agency: Michigan State University
Principal Investigator: Sinem Mollaoglu-Scott
Effective Date: 5/11/2017
Completion Date: 7/10/2018

Construction at airports is complex and, as with any construction project, prone to cost overruns, delays and claims. Traditionally, owners of construction projects have sought to minimize, mitigate, manage and/or transfer risks associated with these through a variety of different methods. This can be done through the contracting mechanism and/or the project delivery method. In addition to those, collaborative partnering can be layered on top of the contracting and project delivery methods to manage and mitigate risk and improve project outcomes.  Collaborative partnering is a structured process to bring owner, designer, and construction teams together, face-to-face, throughout the life of the project by a neutral third-party. It not only includes those in design and construction, but all stakeholders, providing them a voice in the process, especially those who will be responsible for managing and/or operating (or operating in) the asset or assets that are being constructed. This process improves communication, trust, and conflict resolution. Collaborative partnering has been around since the 1980s and has been used extensively in construction for over 20 years. Previous research has shown that there can be cost and time savings, as well as increased safety. Only recently has collaborative partnering been utilized at airports but already benefits have been realized.   However, this is still new and evolving for airports and there isn’t much airport specific guidance on the benefits and process of using collaborative partnering.

The objective of this research was to develop guidelines on integrating collaborative partnering into airport construction projects. The guidance should be applicable to airports of differing governing structures, procurement methods, and size and complexity of projects.


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