NSPE successfully advocated for the inclusion of an important provision in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4) to strengthen qualifications-based selection requirements for airports. NSPE and other engineering and construction associations sent a letter to Bill Shuster (R-PA), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, urging the incorporation of a bipartisan amendment offered by Rep. Bruce Westerman, P.E. (R-AR) and Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). The Westerman-Lipinski amendment clarifies existing rules to ensure that airports follow a uniform QBS process for airport projects that use Airport Improvement Program funds. “[E]ngineering and design are highly skilled, multi-disciplined professions whose services directly affect public safety and welfare. Firms provide technical expertise, innovation, and the latest technologies – skills that are the most important factors in enhancing project performance and cost savings. QBS ensures that these attributes are emphasized in the procurement process. The amendment would expand existing requirements to cover any airport project that uses federal AIP program funds at any stage.”
As a result of this initiative, the amendment was incorporated into the legislation. The House of Representatives approved the FAA reauthorization on April 27 by a vote of 393 to 13. The focus now shifts to the Senate where companion legislation is being drafted. NSPE will provide further updates as they become available.