City of Santa Monica

Staff Report

Award of Feasibility/Design-Build Contract to shorten the runway at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) to 3,500 feet per Consent Decree between the City and FAA.


Department:Public Works, Civil EngineeringSponsors:
Category:03. Consent Calendar

Recommended Action

Recommended Action

Staff recommends that the City Council:

1.               Award RFP# 2500 to AECOM/Aeroplex, a California-based company, an engineering consultant for reducing Runway 03-21 at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) to 3,500 feet per consent decree between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the City of Santa Monica.

2.               Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a feasibility/design-build agreement with AECOM/Aeroplex, in an amount not to exceed $879,741 (including a 10% contingency).

Staff Report Body

Executive Summary

On February 2, 2017 the United States of America through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the City of Santa Monica entered into a Consent Decree that among other things establishes the operational runway length at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) to be 3,500 feet. Staff solicited Design-Bid-Build and Design-Build proposals from two pre-qualified aviation planning and engineering consultants with the intention to advance the project on an expedited schedule. A Design-Build approach typically facilitates delivery of projects sooner than the Design-Bid-Build approach.  The proposed Feasibility/Design-Build Agreement has three phases. The proposed Agreement will entail an initial feasibility phase, which will provide alternatives for Council consideration and future selection, and allow for compliance with applicable environmental review requirements, depending upon which alternative is selected. Phase one consists of this feasibility analysis for design alternatives. Phase two consists of preconstruction services including all design work necessary to develop a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP). Phase three is the construction phase based upon the scope of work covered by the GMP. The approximate total project cost is currently estimated at $4 million. Staff would return to Council spring of 2017 with feasibility options for design and in the fall of 2017 for approval of the GMP. Staff anticipates that construction of the runway would occur from October to December of 2017. Staff recommends a feasibility/design-build contract be awarded to AECOM/Aeroplex for the runway at SMO in an amount not to exceed $879,741 (including a 10% contingency).



On March 22, 2016, staff issued a Request for Qualifications for Consulting Aviation Services in anticipation of any future planning, environmental, and engineering projects at SMO. Two proposals were received, one from Mead & Hunt, and the other from the team of AECOM/Aeroplex. Both consultant teams were pre-qualified to provide consulting aviation services at SMO.


In January 2017 the City and the United States of America and the Federal Aviation Administration agreed to enter into a Consent Decree that resolved all outstanding disputes between the parties, and relinquished all claims by the U.S. and the FAA.  The Consent Decree allows the City to close Santa Monica Airport to aviation uses forever after December 31, 2028; mandates that the operational Airport runway length be shortened from just under 5,000 feet to 3,500 feet; and includes other terms governing the operations of the airport until its closure. The Consent Decree was agreed to by the Federal Government on January 27, 2017. The City Council gave their approval the following day, on January 28. The Consent Decree was approved on February 1, 2017 by Judge John F. Walter of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.



The City’s goal is to expeditiously achieve the reduction of runway length to improve safety for both surrounding residents and airport users.  The FAA has designated a local Airports District Office representative as the City’s point of contact with whom to consult in achieving the runway shortening provided for by the Consent Decree. 


Vendor/Consultant Selection

On February 1, 2017, the City issued a Request for Proposals letter (RFP #2500) for aviation planning and engineering services to shorten the runway at SMO to 3,500 feet per the Consent Decree between the FAA and the City of Santa Monica. The RFP letter was emailed to the two pre-qualified aviation consultants: Mead & Hunt and AECOM/Aeroplex. Subsequently, on February 3, 2017, the City issued Addendum No. 1 to RFP #2500 revising the Design-Bid-Build schedule in the original letter RFP, and requesting the consultants to also submit a Design-Build option with an expedited delivery schedule.


Both consultants submitted proposals on February 15, 2017. Mead & Hunt’s proposal is for Design-Bid-Build with an option to construct the project under the Construction Manager at Risk (CMR) provisions. AECOM/Aeroplexs proposal is primarily focused on Design-Build. While the most aggressive completion dates in both proposals show the project being completed in December 2017, AECOM/Aeroplexs proposal offers a Design-Build option that would reduce the procurement timeline for construction services, with the possibility of completing the project at the earliest possible date. The schedules in both proposals are contingent on significant assumptions regarding the scope and time required to obtain important input in voluntary consultation with the FAA. In addition, both proposals included provisions to pursue interim runway shortening strategies.  The proposals were reviewed by a selection panel consisting of staff from the Airport, Civil Engineering, Public Works, and City Attorney's offices.


Evaluation was based on the following selection criteria: experience, references, work plans, project team, cost, and delivery schedule.  Based on this criteria and criteria in SMMC 2.24.073, staff recommends AECOM/Aeroplex, as the best qualified team to design the shortening of Runway 03-21 at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO) to 3,500 feet in accordance with the terms of the consent decree between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the City of Santa Monica based on their extensive experience with some of the largest airports in the country including Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. Staff would return to Council for approval of conceptual design in the spring of 2017 and subsequently for approval of a GMP for construction in the fall of 2017. The approximate total project cost is currently estimated at $4 million.


Staff will work with the selected contractor to establish a firm schedule for completion of the work, including key milestones, incorporating the potential for an interim solution prior to runway shortening construction.  The contract will also include financial incentive provisions for early achievement of either the interim runway shortening once Council selects the desired design option, the completion of the physical reconstruction or a combination of the two.  Recognizing the need for public input, voluntary FAA consultation and detailed design development and construction mobilization, unless something unforeseen happens, our target for completion of the runway shortening itself is no later than the end of this calendar year.


Airport Commission

Based on the City’s commitments, and the community’s expectation, to reduce operations at the Airport at the earliest possible time as stipulated in the Consent Decree, staff has proceeded to advance procurement prior to presenting this item for discussion to the Airport Commission. This item is scheduled to be presented to the Airport Commission at its regular meeting on February 27, 2017.  Due to the timing of the staff report process it is not possible to include any actions taken by the Commission at that meeting in this report, however any actions taken will be forwarded to Council separately in advance of a Council vote on this item and shared as part of the report at the meeting.


Financial Impacts and Budget Actions

The contract to be awarded to AECOM/Aeroplex is for an amount not to exceed $879,741. Award of this contract requires transferring budget from M330638.589000, Airfield Pavement Maintenance, to C339197.589000, Runway Shortening Project. Staff recommends transferring the entire available amount of $1,759,707 from M330638.589000 to C339197.589000 to cover design and a portion of construction costs. Remaining construction funds will be requested in the FY 2017-18 Capital Improvement Program budget. The approximate total project cost is currently estimated at $4 million.

Meeting History

Feb 28, 2017 5:30 PM  City Council Regular and Special Joint Meeting
draft Draft