Airports operator BAA has revised its framework agreements with contractors and consultants to make them less bureaucratic
The second generation frameworks will have fewer questions, reducing the time taken to complete and assess them.

The changes have been brought in by BAA's design director, Mark Shirburne Davies, who joined BAA at the start of the year from Terry Farrell and Partners. He said: "We have cut down massively on bureaucracy. The number of questions [in the tender document] has been scaled down, and they have become more focused. We want the best consultants out there to apply."

BAA invited tenders for the £75m second generation agreements last week.

BAA's current framework architects – Richard Rogers Partnership, GMW Partnership, HOK, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, Reid Architects, and Pascall + Watson – have all been invited to tender to renew their deals. But Shirburne Davies said that he expected more than 100 bids, and that the incumbents would not be reappointed automatically.

In response to criticism that the first generation agreements spread work too thinly among firms on the framework, Shirburne Davies noted that BAA had used only three of its framework architects: Richard Rogers Partnership on Heathrow Terminal 5, and GMW Partnership and Pascall + Watson on Heathrow Terminal 3 and projects at Gatwick airport.

But he dismissed industry rumours that BAA intended to reduce the number of agreements from six to three. He said: "We anticipate a higher workload over the next 10 years, so we'll be looking for a similar number of consultants."

Llewelyn-Davies, Pascall + Watson, Reid Architects, BDP and consultant TPS Consult are among the bidders. A shortlist of 10-12 consultants will appear in October.

Pascall + Watson, Llewelyn-Davies and BDP are also bidding for framework agreements with Manchester airport, which is owned by the city council.

The airport aims to streamline its current stable of agreements. It currently has nine separate deals, with consultants, QSs, architects and engineers and is now looking for a multidisciplinary team of consultants, which it will recruit under two framework agreements. One is for project consultants, and the other is for contractor-led design and build teams.

Graham Robinson, former partner at consultant Gleeds, has been appointed head of supply-chain development at Manchester airport.