Current airport infrastructure is in a state of decline, with reports scoring it at an underperforming classification of D+. To address this issue, significant improvement and advancement of the infrastructure is needed. With backing on an authoritative level, the nation can expect an increase in the number of improvement projects. Airport stakeholders have long been accustomed to delivering their projects using traditional methods, such as design-bid-build (DBB). Design-build (DB) is an alternative delivery method that has added benefits for project metrics, such as schedule and cost performance. There is a lack of research evaluating DB within the context of airport projects. This study fills this knowledge gap. The goal of this research is to provide an improved understanding of DB with respect to DBB on fundamental key risks that impact schedule and cost performance in airport projects. This goal is achieved by a multistep interdependent methodology comprised of: (1) collecting and assessing data on 34 risk factors, (2) calculating the risk ratings of each factor, and (3) statistically analyzing the risks for their actual effect, as well as how they are perceived by between different stakeholder groups. The results show that the traditional DBB delivery method results in greater risks for most risk factors than does DB. Furthermore, contractors perceived DBB more negatively than DB. The top significant risk in DBB is the low level of team collaboration. Conversely, while statistically insignificant, unclarity or incompleteness in project scope was the most critical risk factor in affecting DB. To this end, DB implementation has promise for handling many risks better than DBB, and greater integration of DB should be prioritized in future airport projects to reap those added benefits. Ultimately, this research contributes to the body of knowledge by providing insight for airport stakeholders on the crucial risk factors that must be considered in project delivery.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1943-5479; 0742-597X

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2023 American Society of Civil Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2023