The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S01-17 [Active (Synthesis)]

Attracting Investment at General Aviation Airports Through Public-Private Partnerships
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 2/1/2017 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Thomas J. Helms
Research Agency: Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey D. Borowiec
Effective Date: 5/15/2017
Fiscal Year: 2017

Final Scope

Many successful general aviation airports host a mix of aeronautical and non-aeronautical uses through public private partnerships (P3). Each has a complex mix of P3 terms to allow for developer return on investment while protecting avigation and complying with FAA requirements. This research focuses on practical business applications to make small airport developments successful.

The World Bank Public-Private Partnership Reference Guide (Version 2.0) defines a public-private partnership as follows:

Long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance.

Public-private partnerships at airports may include, but are not limited to, Fixed-Base Operators, airport management, hangar development, terminal development, hotels, industrial parks and other aeronautical and non-aeronautical uses.

The principal investigator will conduct a literature review, and a screening survey to identify GA airports that have completed or initiated P3 arrangements within the last 5 years. Candidates for survey include, but are not limited to, those airports listed in the information sources below. Based on the screening survey, selected airports will be surveyed and interviewed to gather information on the following-

• Identify the common P3 arrangements at GA airports. Examples include:
   1. Build, operate, transfer
   2. Build, operate, maintain
   3. Build to suit
   4. Others
• Describe development of P3 arrangements, including:
   1. Determine market, logistical, regulatory and operational feasibility of the proposed project
   2. Identify techniques to attract and incentivize potential investors, such as RFP, etc.
   3. Negotiate terms and agreements addressing costs, remuneration, risks, etc.
   4. Identify processes for approval of P3 arrangements by the different parties (e.g., MOU, Letter of Intent, etc.)
• Describe management of P3 arrangements.
   1. Design and Construction including
„X Reviews and approval
„X Inspections
„X Acceptance criteria
„X Use of a third party construction or project manager
   2. Ongoing Management
• Identify the elements of successful P3 arrangements. Examples include:
   1. Federal, state and local design and building requirements;
   2. Constraints such as terrain, weather and, particularly in Western states, water and mineral rights and/or accessibility;
   3. Coordination with other tenants and users whose activities might be affected by the construction process and thereafter by the new facility?
   4. Costs if the project is abandoned, especially clean-up and remediation costs if some construction and/or installation work was done?
   5. Project delivery mechanism
   6. Subordination and estoppel agreements
   7. Airport rules and regulations and minimum standards
A concise report will be written that summarizes the results of the literature review, survey and interviews. The report will include industry practices from 5 to 10 airports representing different P3 arrangements and types of airport, as well as gaps in knowledge and recommended research. At a minimum, the PI should develop industry practices based on one (1) BRAC project, two (2) non-primary commercial service airports, one (1) national or regional category general aviation airport, and one (1) basic or local category general aviation airport.

The PI should provide the panel with the list of the airports for the screening survey and subsequently, those airports to be interviewed, for concurrence.

Partial Information Sources
• NPIAS general aviation airports and non-primary commercial service airports
• FAA Asset Report (2012)
• BRAC Projects

Topic Panel 
Debra Braga, Jacksonville Aviation Authority
Curt G. Castagna, Aeroplex/Aerolease Group
Michael J. Clow, AFCO AV Ports Management, LLC
Amanda Hill, MaesAwyr, LLC Airport Planning + Development
Jeff Kadlec, Yellowstone Airport - Montana Department of Transportation
Janet K. Tinoco, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Kathleen Brockman, Federal Aviation Administration
Liying Gu, Airports Council International - North America
Christine Gerencher, Transportation Research Board 

Thomas Helms
email: thelms@nas.edu
phone: 703/835-9191

First meeting: April 19, 2017, Washington, DC 
Teleconference: May 15, 2017 
Second meeting: November 8, 2017


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