The five QSs were whittled down from a longlist of 12. BAA undertook a quality review of each of the 12 QSs late last year, which eight passed. Three of that group of eight have also now been eliminated.
Andy Aston, BAA's supply-chain manager, confirmed that the client was in talks with five firms and hoped to finalise a deal next month.
One QS that pitched for the framework agreement claimed the number of framework QSs had been reduced from eight to five as a result of the downturn in flights after 11 September.
Aston denied that this was the case, and stressed that the company planned to spend £500m a year on capital investment. he said: "The World Trade Centre was a factor, but not an overriding one. This is a 10-year opportunity we are looking at."
It wasn’t enough that firms had the right processes – they had to demonstrate their skills
Andy Aston, BAA’s supply-chain manager, on what firms have to do to keep their framework deals
BAA's quality review examined each QS's staff, culture and practical experience. Aston said: "It wasn't enough that firms had the right processes – they had to demonstrate their skills."
The QS deal is the first in a wave of second-generation frameworks being negotiated by BAA.
Martin Plimmer, BAA's supply-chain director, said the next two frameworks would be for building services firms and infrastructure contractors. Architects and civil engineers are to be appointed later.
BAA has shortlisted five building services firms and is due to finalise the framework in March. Plimmer said it would then look at its infrastructure contractors. Amec and Laing are among those on the first-generation framework.