The private sector has always been involved in the funding and operation of airport concessions, but today, airport sponsors are turning to the private sector for the financing of crucial airport infrastructure such as terminals, airfield improvements and passenger support functions. Private investments in airport infrastructure, often called public-private partnerships (P3s) offer opportunities that are not available with traditional Airport Improvement Program and Passenger Facility Charge funding. Airport sponsors seeking counsel about private investments or public-private partnerships often call upon Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell to provide guidance on the structuring of these transactions; negotiation of contracts, licenses and agreements; development of requests for proposals; and monitoring of private operators to ensure compliance with regulatory and contract requirements.
Beyond P3 arrangements, airport proprietors also seek the firm’s counsel on the structuring of project delivery in light of each proprietor’s objectives and legal framework. Whether the tool be construction-manager-at-risk, design-build, design-build-finance-operate-maintain, or the myriad other permutations of project delivery, our lawyers are familiar with the most cost-effective mechanism for projects. We recognize that no single delivery method fits all projects—even all projects for the same airport. Our lawyers are frequently asked to educate airport management and local elected officials on the benefits and risks associated with various delivery methods. We frequently are called upon to provide tutorials to local officials and to teach professional courses on the options for private investment and on the structuring of such transactions to optimize airport sponsors’ goals.