BY MELISSA SABATINE
Have you ever walked through the terminal at your airport and had an idea come to
mind for a new technological or operational approach to improve efficiency? Have
you worked on the airfield during a heavy snowstorm and wished there were a
guidebook to help you more easily navigate the challenges of weather? Does your
airport have a small budget but you need outside help meeting big challenges?
Chances are high that you probably won’t encounter a fairy godmother, but you do have a way to achieve near-term practical solutions
with the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP).
ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program
managed by the Transportation Research Board (TRB)
of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and
Medicine and sponsored by FAA. Funded through AIP,
the ideas for ACRP research come directly from airport
operators and those working in the airport industry.
Funding more than 20 research projects each fiscal
year, ACRP focuses on research needs that other federal
research programs do not address. The research is
conducted by contractors who are selected on the basis
of competitive proposals.
ACRP is governed by an independent board known
as the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC). The AOC is
established by the DOT secretary with representation
from airport operators and other stakeholders, including
the industry associations. FAA serves as the program
sponsor, and the TRB acts as the program manager
Kitty Freidheim, president of Freidheim Consulting
and former Chicago Department of Aviation official,
chairs the AOC. AAAE Past Chair Kelly Johnson,
A.A.E., serves as AOC vice chair. I represent AAAE as
an ex-officio member.