TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Web-Only Document 40 outlines the key research gaps and areas of topics of interest for airports in the design and construction field over the next five years.
The research ideas generated as part of this project are organized into seven high‐level themes that represent the main areas and challenges of interest to airports in design and construction.
While design and construction are designated as their own research areas within the ACRP program, the roadmap takes a consolidated approach and combines the two in both the report and the visual representation.
The roadmap includes 40 research ideas that are categorized into seven high‐level themes: Customer Service; Integrating Advanced and/or Disruptive Technologies; Project Management, Delivery and Finance Models; Safety and Security; Sustainability and Resiliency; General Design and Construction; and Workforce Development.
The research ideas are further categorized into twelve subtopics: 1) Passenger Experience; 2) Integrating Technology and Data; 3) Finance and Revenue Development; 4) Alternative Approaches to Project Delivery Mechanisms; 5) Sustainable Design and Construction; 6) Innovative Approaches to Security / TSA Operations; 7) Construction Best Practices / Guidance and Tools; 8) Modernizing and Retrofitting Airport Facilities; 9) Construction Materials; 10) Accommodating Changing Demographics; 11) Curbside, Roadways and Vehicles; and 12) Unmanned Aerial Systems.
The completed Research Roadmap in the Area of Design and Construction of Airport Facilities includes the following products:
• An interactive version of Appendix B: Visual Research Roadmap.
• Appendix C: Research Ideas Database, which is a searchable Excel file containing ideas generated during the project.
• A PowerPoint presentation: Summary of Airport Design and Construction Research Roadmap, which describes the roadmap and related products.
With the airport industry’s introduction and early adoption of safety management systems (SMS), safety processes are taking on a more proactive way of doing the business while continuously improving safety. This shift in approach will drive safety research in the near and long-term future.
The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program’s ACRP Web-Only Document 50: Research Roadmap on Safety Issues reveals evidence of this shift, with input from the industry clearly indicating that more detailed guidance on, and the sharing of lessons learned regarding the elements and processes falling under the SMS umbrella, is needed.
Two supplemental files accompany this web-only document, including a Safety Research Topics Database and a Visual Research Roadmap.
As an industry-driven research program, ACRP relies on a flow of quality research ideas. Traditionally, ACRP primarily has used a bottom-up approach for these ideas, expressed as formal problem statements. ACRP’s Oversight Committee has adopted a strategic plan for the program that includes as a priority ensuring “that problem statements are of the highest quality and greatest relevance to the airport industry.” As a key step to achieving this strategic priority, ACRP is developing a series of research roadmaps, one for each of its 10 topic areas. The goal of these research roadmaps is to identify gaps in knowledge and practice, uncover key opportunities and challenges, and outline and prioritize specific research ideas needed to address these gaps. The roadmaps will also produce research ideas to be entered into ACRP’s IdeaHub, its online collaboration platform for turning ideas into problem statements to be considered for funding.
Airports face unique, numerous, and ever-evolving environmental challenges and opportunities. Common environmental topics have focused on noise, water quality, and air quality. More recently, issues related to sustainability and resiliency have emerged. A research roadmap is needed to help airport industry practitioners identify and prioritize research needs related to environmental issues.
The objective of this research is to develop an airport environmental research roadmap. The roadmap should recommend priorities and timing, set a strategy, and provide a rationale for the recommendations. In addition, the roadmap should:
- Focus on airport environmental research needs to be undertaken within the next 5 years;
- Consider existing relevant environmental roadmaps and research recommendations;
- Consider the needs of airports of all sizes, geographies, levels and types of activity, and resource constraints;
- Recognize airports are a component of communities and intermodal transportation systems;
- Address potential positive environmental effects that airports can generate;
- Reflect priorities of a broad group of stakeholders;
- Prioritize research with consideration to ACRP’s strategic plan;
- Create environmental research ideas to be entered into ACRP’s IdeaHub for further development into problem statements; and
- Include a long-range (i.e., beyond 5 years) environmental research needs assessment that accounts for uncertainty, data limitations, emerging technologies, and evolving policies.
Research is complete. Results are provided in ACRP Web-Only Document 45, a Dataset, and an Interactive Roadmap.