What are the Basic Criteria for Selecting an Airport Consultant?

An effective airport consultant should have the skills and knowledge to help an airport’s operations run smoothly and efficiently. When selecting an airport consultant, it’s essential to consider several factors. They include the consultant’s experience and qualifications, their understanding of the airport’s specific needs, and their ability to provide comprehensive services.

For many airports, selecting a consultant to help guide the airport development process is a critical stage that must be devoid of errors. However, with many airport consultancy services out there, it can be challenging to figure out where to start. Countries and states have set out different criteria for selecting an airport consultant. But what are the basic criteria for selecting an airport consultant? The answer lies in understanding the specific needs of your airport project and looking for the right airport management consultant to fulfil those needs.

What Should You Look for in an Airport Consultant?

1. Capability to complete all project services and key personnel’s relevant professional qualifications

Is the consultant equipped to provide all of the relevant services (such as surveying, planning, CAD, etc.)? Ensuring the airport consultant you’re considering has the necessary tools and resources to complete the project is essential. This can include GPS systems and software programs or databases needed for research or to collect statistics. It’s also good to ask about the consultants’ technical support capabilities. For example, inquire whether or not they provide remote assistance if any problems arise during a project.

It’s also important to verify that the consultant’s team or network includes people with the appropriate knowledge and experience to carry out general aviation airport planning projects. Ask prospective consultants about their team structure. Do they employ in-house staff or contract out specialist tasks? What experience levels do these individuals possess? Do they have qualifications in related fields such as engineering, aviation management etc.? By understanding these factors, you can ensure that your chosen consultant has sufficient resources at its disposal before signing them up for your project.

2. Experience designing airports like the proposed project

Does the airport consultant have experience in planning and designing airports for general aviation, such as the one you propose? Background and reference checks are essential for determining a potential airport consultant’s level of experience and skill. This can be done by asking for evidence of previous projects they have worked on or requesting case studies demonstrating their success and experience in similar situations. Ask what qualifications they hold, how long they’ve been in business, if there are any areas where they are strong or weak, and whether their team consists of other professionals who are experienced in the field.

3. Technical approach and schedule for carrying out the work

Can the consultant demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the project’s unique needs and how to meet them? Is the consultant conversant with applicable planning guidance? Can the project be completed in the timeframe proposed?

When assessing an airport consultant’s technical approach, you should also examine their methodology and process. Ask the consultant for details on how they tackle a project, what techniques they use to identify issues and develop solutions, and how much input clients are expected to provide throughout the process. As airports are complex entities with many moving parts, airport consultants must have the capacity for creative thinking to resolve existing issues and anticipate future challenges and design plans accordingly. This includes having a firm grasp of planning laws and thinking outside of traditional parameters when necessary.

4. Ability to meet project deadlines and reputation for competence, punctuality, and quality work

Can the proposed planning team fulfil the proposal’s schedule? What’s the consultant’s track record of meeting deadlines? Have other airports’ projects proven successful?

Get the facts on potential airport consultant services by talking to your contacts in the field. Recommendations from trusted sources can significantly assist in making a selection, sometimes more so than a candidate’s resume or portfolio. Furthermore, seeking out feedback from former clients allows you to gain insight into how good certain consultants are. This is invaluable when choosing between two candidates who seem equally qualified for the job at hand.

5. Consultant’s service levels

Check that the consultant’s service level agreement is consistent with your needs. Inquire about post-project assistance. How quickly can they respond to requests? Do they offer assistance with post-project implementation? Can they make changes or modifications after completion without additional costs? Before signing a contract with a consultant it’s in your best interest to read the fine print of the service level agreement carefully. This will help you choose the service provider that will best meet your needs.


Selecting an airport consultancy firm is a critical decision that requires careful consideration and research. Taking all these factors into account will help you choose a reputable airport management consultant who can deliver results for your project.

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