The National Academies

ACRP 11-01/Topic 10-02 [Final]

Legal Issues Relating to Large Scale Airport Construction Projects
[ ACRP 11-01 (Legal Aspects of Airport Programs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $75,000
Research Agency: University of Nevada- Las Vegas
Principal Investigator: Pramen Shrestha
Effective Date: 10/3/2017
Completion Date: 10/3/2018

Several U.S. airports are currently engaged in large-scale, multi-year capital improvement programs. For many airport counsel, these programs are once-in-a career occurrences. Although these programs present many of the same issues as smaller scale airport construction projects, these large programs also present a series of specialized legal issues.  ACRP has published several research reports addressing many of the technical and practical issues that arise during these programs.  Yet, they lack in-depth analyses of related legal issues.
The objective of this research is to provide an overview of the legal issues presented by large-scale airport construction programs and the various methods of addressing them. The digest should include issues such as project management structure and contracting for both internal and external management as well as the structure of construction contracts.  For example, researchers should consider construction manager at risk vs traditional design-bid-build, compared to various forms of public private partnerships; and levels of procurement and pass-through of the airport’s federal, state and local obligations, depending upon the contractual structure. The digest should also address:
  • unique legal issues arising from environmental permitting for large capital improvement programs;
  • legal issues that arise from the multiple sources of funding required for such large-scale capital programs, including the use of federal grants, passenger facility charges, tax exempt bonds, and airport-generated funding;
  • the legal issues raised by transitioning tenants and operations from existing to new facilities;
  • phasing and staging of construction;
  • large-scale insurance programs, such as contractor controlled insurance programs (CCIP) or owner controlled insurance programs (OCIP);
  • addressing local issues through outreach and education;
  • special construction contract provisions applicable to large-scale programs, such as dispute resolution (including the use of dispute resolution boards, arbitration, and mediation) and project labor agreements;
  • methods to address the long-term nature of these programs, such as bonding over a multi-year program;
  • allocating responsibility for remediation of hazardous materials and addressing scheduling issues; and
  • the use of incentives, including both liquidated damages and bonuses or other incentives. 

ACRP publications and other relevant industry resources should be consulted.

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