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Doing business with airports: Getting on the supply chain

An e-tendering and match up service – AirportSmart – has been developed by three international airport operators: BAA, Aeroports de Paris and Copenhagen Airports.

Here a number of UK airports which advertise tender opportunities and registered users also gain access to a number of international opportunities.

All airports jobs in the UK above £3 million in value are published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and in addition the majority of airports publish smaller jobs on their websites.

Meanwhile, another way to try and win work in the airports sector is by getting on the supply chain of a main contractor that specialises in such work. This includes Balfour Beatty, Costain, Mace, Hochtief, Carillion, Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O’Rourke and May Gurney.

Recent tenders for airport work

ClientWorkTender close date
BAATen-year LEPC Framework Agreement27 May
BAABAA “The manufacture, supply and delivery of light fittings to Heathrow Airport projects to support £4bnof capital expenditure.”26 May

AirportSmart – the meeting place for clients and suppliers

Airport Smart has been developed by three international airport operators: BAA, Aeroports de Paris and Copenhagen Airports.

It aims to serve the international airport industry as a buying club for airports and their suppliers – similar to CompeteFor which the Olympic Delivery Authority uses to procure services for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Birmingham International Airport, London City Airport, Manchester Airport, Dublin Airport Authority and National Air Traffic Services are also represented on the website.

It is a good starting point for suppliers interested in seeing the opportunities available in the airport sector – both in the UK and abroad.

Suppliers interested in being on AirportSmart’s database can register directly at the website, respond to a public tender notice from the Official Journal of the European Union or they may be invited to join directly by a buyer.

Once registered, suppliers can download tender documents and upload their responses if they have been invited by a client to do so – all free of charge.

If the client decides to go ahead with the contract, all short-listed suppliers will be invited into a competitive bidding competition.

Bidding may be by a number of means such as an online-auction or on-line sealed bid or an offline negotiation.

It is only when suppliers have been invited and have accepted the opportunity to bid for business will they have to pay a non-refundable bid processing fee to AirportSmart.

Larger firms that may be bidding for several tenders throughout the year can pay an annual portal access fee which gives them company login rights to invited tenders.

Some of the tenders published will be done jointly between the buying organisations and some will be unique to each buying organisation. The successful suppliers will contract with the buying organisation not AirportSmart.

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