Transportation Research Board Requests Proposals for Airport Crisis Management and Project Delivery

The Transportation Research Board has issued requests for proposals for two Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) projects.

ACRP was established by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2005 to provide unbiased and reliable research to solve common problems, learn about new technologies, and assess innovations in service and operations. One of the key areas for ACRP is security.

The first of the new requests for proposals is to develop a guidebook for the assessment, selection, procurement, and implementation of project delivery methods applicable at airports of all sizes. The current Guidebook for Selecting Airport Capital Project Delivery Methods explores various project delivery methods for major airport capital projects. However, since this was published in 2009, delivery methods that were considered alternative are now common, there are hybrid approaches, other methods are emerging, and there are lessons to be learned from these examples.

Today’s project delivery strategy must also consider risks. This requires understanding the risks for each delivery method and related procurement strategy. The procurement strategy must focus on selection of the delivery team, which represents the best combination of qualifications, approach, and cost. It should also include provisions for competitive pricing during project implementation.

Considerations must also include the impact on airport staff that will likely affect every discipline and department of the airport (e.g., planning and development, engineering, airport operations, security, finance, and legal).

Understanding of the different factors and implications that go into the decision-making process will allow airports to make a more informed, risk-based decision on the delivery project method and procurement strategy that will best meet its objectives.

The new guidebook should therefore include a risk-based assessment tool or methodology for delivery method selection. It must also provide an explanation of existing and emerging delivery methods and the variations within each; organizational capabilities (including staff skills, knowledge, and capacity) required for assessment, procurement, and implementation of each delivery method; alignment of procurement and management structure with selected delivery method; development of a process to select the delivery team; examples of successful and unsuccessful lessons learned; and financial planning considerations including funding sources, liability, budgeting, and cash flow implications of each delivery method.

The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals are due before 16:30 on February 18, 2020.

The second request for proposals concerns crisis management and resiliency at airports. Airports spend a great deal of time and effort to prepare for the response to all possible incidents, events, and emergencies.  While airports have been planning to prevent such events, it is becoming more critical to plan for the resumption of normal operations and business as the aftermath can have lasting effects that can be felt throughout the aviation community for a long period of time. The effects run the spectrum from loss of life and facilities to delay and lost revenue.

Outside of the aviation community, many other industries are tackling this issue as well. Critical business and government providers must prepare for not only the emergency but the recovery and resumption of normal opportunities.

The objective of this research is the development of an airport business resiliency program for integration into existing airport crisis management programs. The airport business resiliency program should be applicable to multiple types of incidents and events based on lessons learned and best practices to help airports and stakeholders implement business continuity planning before and during periods of atypical operations.

Based on analysis of relevant incidents and events, this research should provide risk management strategies to develop a scalable program to align with existing Airport Emergency Plans (AEP) and/or other airport, airline, and stakeholder plans. The researcher should pay special attention to pre- and post-incident/event planning.

The scalable program should include at a guide for developing an airport business continuity plan; guidelines for implementing the airport business resiliency program; a review of technology, systems, and platforms being used to successfully support the airport business resiliency program; a training plan; drill and exercise programs, an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) response plan; outreach and communication strategies for pre-incident/event planning and response; a maintenance plan for continuous review and update of the airport business resiliency program; and guidelines for understanding the financial impact of an incident/event.

Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time.

Proposals for both requests are due before 16:30 on February 18, 2020.

See the requests for proposals here and here

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Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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