The National Academies

ACRP 11-01/Topic 16-01 [Pending]

Update to ACRP Legal Research Digest 18: Buy America Requirements for Federally Funded Airports

  Project Data
Funds: $75,000
Contract Time: 12 months
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen


One new requirement included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (also known as Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL)) is Build America, Buy America (BABA). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued guidance for BIL, and while nationwide waivers and grace periods have been issued, many questions remain.

BIL raises new issues for airports. Generally, federal funding was not available for terminal projects but is specifically available under BIL. Applying Buy America requirements to terminal buildings, including all component parts, may not be as straightforward as runway or taxiway projects, which are the highest priority under Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding. There is a need to discern how BABA affects construction projects at airports and update the information in ACRP Legal Research Digest 18.


The objective is to update the information in ACRP Legal Research Digest 18 on Buy America requirements for federally funded airports to include new requirements in the BIL, which raises issues for airports. These include:

  • Buy America requirements apply to parts of airport projects when using federal funds; BABA expands the requirements to construction materials, which could be difficult to apply to terminal projects.
  • The application of the domestic content thresholds. 
  • Available waivers, other exceptions, and their practical implications.
  • Considerations for the management and approach to BABA compliance. 


This research will be conducted in two phases and four tasks in a firm fixed-price agreement. At the conclusion of Phase I, ACRP will make a determination whether to proceed with Phase II. The tasks will be as follows.

Phase I

Task 1a. Kick-off call. Participate in a call with the panel to discuss the scope of work.

Task 1b. Conduct background research and collect relevant material. Based on the initial but complete review of the source materials, submit a detailed report outline. The outline should contain sufficient detail to describe what a report of appropriate length will contain. This outline should also contain the estimated pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection. This material will be submitted for ACRP consideration and approval. Participate in a conference call with the ACRP panel 3 weeks after submission of the outline.

Phase II

Task 2. After ACRP approval of the detailed outline, conduct additional research, and case and statutory/regulatory analysis. Collect additional primary data to the extent necessary.

Task 3. Submit an initial draft report in accordance with the approved outline (including any modification required by ACRP). Participate in a conference call with the ACRP panel 3 weeks after submission of the initial draft report.

Task 4a. Revise the initial draft report as necessary and provide a red-line and clean version of the draft final report (DFR).

Task 4b. The ACRP will provide written comments, each of which will need a point-by-point response. The report will be revised as appropriate and submitted as a final report.

FUNDING: $75,000

25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 1 outline 

50% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 3 report 

25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 4 final report


STATUS: Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.

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