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Consultant Selection

Airport Sponsors Seeking Consultant Services

 Airport Name  AER Document w/ Associated Files
University of Illinois - Willard Airport (CMI)  Architectural and Engineering Services
Whiteside County Airport (SQI)  Planning Services
Coles County Memorial Airport Planning Services

Procurement of professional architectural, engineering, and planning services for airport improvement program grant projects is covered by state and federal law ( 49 USC § 47107(a) (17) and 49 CFR § 18.36, as amended). Sponsors intending to utilize state and federal funds to pay for professional services are required to conduct a Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) process when selecting an Architectural/Engineering (A/E) or planning firm. FAA guidance (see links below) (150/5100-14E and 5100.38D) allows for Sponsors to procure professional services to complete multiple, phased grant projects through a single consultant selection process. These firms may be retained for up to 5 years for their services. The engagement of firms on a retainer basis is a common practice and assures the Sponsor of having the services of a selected consultant available for future work.

The selection process may be summarized in five simple steps:

  1. Develop a list of projects for which professional services are needed.
    • For the purposes of the procurement, the guidance requires that the professional services for the projects under consideration be substantially complete within the 5-year retainer period.
  2. Advertise for needed professional services and solicit interested firms. The purpose of this link is to provide a site with local and regional advertising exposure to interested firms!
  3. Narrow the number of qualified firms to 3-4 and request qualifications.
  4. Select a Consultant.
    • This process may vary from a review of paper submittals all the way to formal interviews.
    • Selection process must be thoroughly documented.
  5. Develop Retainer Agreement
    • The guidance provided by the FAA (see links below) limits the scope of the retainer to those specific projects that have been advertised in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and fully considered by all candidates in the procurement process.

The selection guidance is specific in its intent that competition shall not be unduly restricted. Sponsors entering into consultant selection are encouraged to consult with the state to obtain adequate permissions and guidance to ensure that all procedures required for eligibility of professional services are satisfied. Sponsors are reminded to limit the procurement process to those projects that have been requested and programmed in the 3-5 year program.

Upon selection of a successful candidate, sponsors must submit copies of the RFQ and the executed retainer to the Division for record and audit compliance.

While in the past that it may have been the accepted practice to include services for numerous extra projects as an eligible expense within the retainer, FAA guidance, when strictly applied, does not allow those additional tasks/projects to be eligible under the selection process.

Sponsor seeking consultants should complete the Airport Sponsor Consultant Selection Procurement Solicitation form and return to:
Division of Aeronautics
One Langhorne Bond Drive
Springfield, IL 62707-8415
Attn: Bureau of Airport Engineering

Call if you have questions: (217)785-4214. Your solicitation will be published at this link for Consultants to contact you. PLEASE SUBMIT MINIMUM 90 DAYS PRIOR TO SELECTION OF CONSULTANT.