Public Private Partnership Projects, or P3 projects, combine public and private efforts to more efficiently and effectively produce public works. By increasing the involvement and financial interest of the private sector, project costs often decrease while efficiency gets a boost. For this reason, P3s have been pegged as an important part of overhauling America’s infrastructure. We’ve already seen extensive use of public-private partnerships on roadways, but it looks like they’re taking to the skies. Currently, several airports are utilizing P3s.
We’ve discussed the FAA before regarding Drones in Construction.
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P3 Projects for Airports
The state of America’s infrastructure is not great. While Donald Trump has vowed to use P3 projects to make American roads great again, our airports need some work too. On the face of it, P3 projects for airports make a lot of sense- even moreso than roadway projects, airports are home to a variety of public and private entities. Exploring the use of P3 projects for airports is becoming a trend, and some major hubs are taking the plunge. Here are a few examples:
Denver International Airport
The city of Denver recently agreed on a $1.8B P3 project on the Denver International Airport. This is not the first time the Denver airport has done the P3 dance – just one year ago a commuter rail project was completed using the P3 format. This P3 will improve security and modernize the layout of the ticketing and entryway.
La Guardia airport in New York upped the ante on its P3 agreement. Last June, LaGuardia entered into a $4B P3 to completely overhaul a terminal. Under the project, their private partner will also complete infrastructure and an entryway.
The Kansas City International Airport is currently reviewing P3 proposals to build a new terminal. I can’t stand the airport for personal reasons, but it’s not just me- KCI is consistently lands near the bottom in airport rankings. Four groups bid on the $1B project.
Shoutout to Construction Dive for the lowdown on these projects. Click the links under each city for an in depth look at the project.
As we mention all the time, P3 projects are all the rage in construction right now. The ability to combine the expertise and efficiency of the private sector with the long term security of a public partner is a great match for transportation projects. P3’s are not without their faults, though.
Protection on P3 projects depends on a case-by-case basis, and that’s pretty troubling. It can be hard to know whether a mechanics lien or a surety bond claim is proper, and sometimes, neither is available. While it makes sense to use P3 projects for airports, the awarding authorities need to make sure that parties down the chain are protected.