year, the AOC has developed a comprehensive strategic
framework outlining goals to support the solicitation of
quality problem statements and to ensure that the good
work of the program is reaching airport practitioners.
The strategic plan contains nine objectives and 27
interrelated action items. The framework for the plan
was built around four priorities: to ensure that problem
statements are of the highest quality and greatest
relevance to the airport industry; to align program
products with the interests of key audiences; to expand
and diversify product dissemination; and to implement
processes to monitor product quality, relevance and
timeliness. The AOC identified these priorities due to
the opportunities they represent for ACRP to continue
to grow and develop into the next decade.
As a complement to ACRP’s Graduate Research
Award program to stimulate thought, discussion and
research by those who may become the future airport
operators, ACRP now administers the University
Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs.
The competition builds on the former FAA Design
Competition for Universities, which now is an ACRP
program funded by FAA. The competition is managed
for ACRP by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium of
This competition challenges individuals and teams
of undergraduate and/or graduate students working
with faculty advisors at U.S. colleges and universities to
consider innovative approaches related to airport issues.
Students can win cash prizes for their innovative design
solutions. First place winners present their work at a
national awards ceremony.
This past year, the competition focused on design
solutions in the following broad areas: airport operation
and maintenance, runway safety/runway incursions/
runway excursions, airport environmental interactions,
and airport management and planning. Some specific
challenge areas are defined in the Technical Design
Challenges section of the guidelines. Students are not
limited to the suggested topic areas listed. They are free
to propose design solutions based on other topics that
fit the four broad challenge areas. Stay tuned, as you
are likely to see many of these winners present their
concepts at future AAAE conferences.
Two other popular initiatives that have grown along
with ACRP are the Impacts on Practice series and
the ACRP Ambassador Program. ACRP’s Impacts on
Practice series is designed to provide examples of how
airport industry practitioners are using ACRP research
results to assist them in their work. ACRP publications
can help to improve airport administrative practices,
develop safer and more effective operational techniques,
and increase performance efficiency. Members who use
ACRP products to further these goals are asked to share
their stories so that others might seek out ACRP to help
them as well.
Initiated in 2012, the Ambassador Program is a
key component of ACRP’s efforts to bring timely and
useful publications to the airport industry and engage
airport practitioners in ACRP’s many activities. The
Ambassadors volunteer to represent ACRP at industry
conferences and events. They use these opportunities
to talk with practitioners, answer questions, and share
the goals and value of the program. Ambassadors
serve a two-year term and agree to represent ACRP at
a minimum of four-six industry conferences or events
during that term. Ambassadors receive the training,
guidance, support and materials they need to fulfill
Johnson commented, “The beauty of ACRP is that
anyone can participate on so many different levels and
use the products produced.” To learn how to submit
your next hot research idea for consideration, or to share
how ACRP has helped you, go to www.trb.org/ACRP.
Melissa Sabatine is AAAE’s senior vice president of regulatory
affairs. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The beauty of ACRP is that
anyone can participate on so
many different levels and use
the products produced.
The AOC meets every July to discuss research
proposals and prioritize funding needs