Teams led by fluor corp., hensel Phelps Construction Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. have won contracts to plan the stepped-up federal security mandated for the nation's major airports. The contracts, announced April 25 by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation's Transportation Security Administration, call for each team to submit a plan and a timetable for federalizing the screening of airport passengers and luggage.

TSA's major tasks include shifting to federal screeners from a private work force and installing new baggage-scanning machines at 429 airports.

TSA is under severe time pressure. Under the aviation bill signed last fall that established the agency, TSA has until Nov. 19 to have federal screeners and law enforcement personnel at the 429 airports. The same law says screening for checked bags must be in place by Dec. 31. TSA said on Apr. 30 it had put the first 200 screeners at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

The teams face a tight deadline to deliver their plans, too. "We have 30 days," says Bob Pesavento, a Hensel Phelps executive vice president in Aurora, Colo.

The three teams will divide a total of $8.9 million. The amount each team will get varies and is based on the bids they submitted, says Rebecca Trexler, a TSA spokesperson. DOT isn't releasing the amounts for each team.

The contract is the first of two phases. The teams will submit airport security master plans and schedules for implementing the changes. Trexler says the job involves "everything from where to put the explosive-detection equipment to possibly redesigning the passenger checkpoints."

Trexler says TSA will decide which plan or portions of plans are the best and then award a larger phase-two contract "to one or more companies" to implement the blueprint.

Lori Serrato, a Fluor spokesperson, says that "the three entities chosen have strong backgrounds in logistics and planning [and] building airports...." Fluor's team includes consulting firm Accenture Ltd. Hensel Phelps' group includes Carter & Burgess Inc., Fort Worth. Lockheed Martin is teamed with KPMG Consulting and has Parsons Corp., Pasadena, Calif., as a subcontractor.