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Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report (2019)

Chapter: 1. Introduction

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Suggested Citation:"1. Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25605.
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Suggested Citation:"1. Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25605.
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Suggested Citation:"1. Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25605.
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Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report 1 ACRP 11-02/Task 33, “Research Roadmap on Policy and Planning Issues” is one of several research roadmaps that ACRP commissioned to generate research ideas to meet the needs of airports and “to solve common problems, learn about new technologies, and assess innovations in services and operations.” Planning (and policy) together represent one of 10 categories of research that “directly involves and benefits the airport industry.”2 These Research Roadmaps augment the continuous ACRP solicitation process to airport industry practitioners for research ideas and problem statements. In recent years, the ACRP has also added the ACRP IdeaHub, which is a convenient on-line forum where practitioners and researchers can share ideas with each other and the ACRP.3 Many of the issues and research needs identified through the process eventually lead to problem statements, which are reviewed by the ACRP’s Airport Oversight Committee (AOC) for possible funding. Once commissioned, project panels are then convened to draft a request for proposals, select a contractor, and oversee the work. The Policy and Planning roadmap is designed to augment this process by taking a strategic view of developments in the airport industry, inventorying policy and planning issues of import, and then identifying gaps in research and understanding of key issues. By reporting on the policy and planning strategic themes, issues and research ideas, it is the intent that ACRP 11-02/Task 33 will contribute to the development of problem statements for review by the AOC. 1.1 Project Background Policy and planning issues are especially sensitive to developments in the aviation industry. For the purposes of this report, policy represents the high-level decisions made by airport boards, executives and public officials that internally set the direction for airports. Policy also includes those government decisions that externally influence how airports operate (these decisions come from government agencies such as the FAA and local governments). For example, airport boards and executives may adopt new commercial strategies to raise additional airport revenues (an internal decision), while the FAA may change the criteria or funding levels for airport programs (an external decision). The intent of ACRP is not to make recommendations for changes in policy, but 2 Transportation Research Board website, http://www.trb.org/ACRP/ACRPOverview.aspx (accessed January 30, 2019). 3 See https://ideahub.trb.org/ (accessed January 30, 2019). 1 Introduction

Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report 2 instead to identify the state of practice at airports (internal) and to identify those government decisions that affect how airports conduct their business (external). Planning, in contrast, is the process by which airports prepare for the efficient development of infrastructure consistent with local priorities and FAA guidelines. Often, planning is done in response to changes in demand impacting an airport. These can include changes in passenger volumes, shifts in the type and number of vehicles accessing airports, airline-scheduling changes that affect the number and type of aircraft arriving and departing an airport, and changes in FAA requirements such as modifications of requirements for local airspace or an airport runway or taxiway. The sensitivity of policy and planning issues to developments in the airport industry quickly became apparent as the project’s stakeholder outreach formally began in March 2018.4 Even by the standards of the aviation industry which has gone through the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 and at least two major recessions over the last 20 years, airport leaders and stakeholders described significant changes in development needs, new models and growth of air service, changes in the use of airport and customer technology, revisions in airport business models, and new ways and challenges of interacting with their communities. These initial ideas were refined as more airport and stakeholder input was received and the remaining phases of the project were completed. This recent dynamism was apparent in our Literature Review where many of the recent trends identified in first set of airport and stakeholder discussions were not yet captured in the collective literature on airports, as well as publications in transportation or public administration, reinforcing the value of the ACRP’s research roadmap process. Accordingly, because of our discussion with the 11-02/Task 33 Project Panel about this issue, we have included our full Research Ideas Database in Appendix C. 1.2 Data Sources and Research Roadmap Process The Policy and Planning Research Roadmap used a three-phase data collection effort. First, the Steer team did independent research, conducting initial discussions with airports and stakeholders to inventory an initial list of candidate strategic themes, issues and research ideas. Second, we accessed a number of sources in our literature review, including the Thought Leaders Forum and ACRP IdeaHub, to supplement and refine our initial list. Third, we undertook a more extensive outreach process where we talked to over 25 airports (30 total airport officials) and 20 additional airport stakeholders and shared the material with the 11-02/Task 33 Project Panel, which provided valuable feedback, additional ideas as well as augmenting our understanding of the Thought Leaders Forum through their first-hand accounts and clarifications of the published material. 4 Although the majority of outreach was conducted through August 2018, comments were included for the project through November 2018.

Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report 3 Once our inventory was complete, we completed our “gap analysis” that compared the strategic themes, issues and research ideas against current literature and, where possible, current work being conducted through the ACRP as well as the IdeaHub. The Literature Review is included as Appendix B. The process is described in Section 2. Section 3 includes all strategic themes, issues and research ideas, which are also depicted in our on-line app in Appendix C.

Next: 2. Selecting the Strategic Themes, Issues, and Research Ideas »
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Major technological and security changes in the aviation industry over the past 20 years have forced airport leaders and aviation stakeholders to think of new research ideas that will improve the planning and development of policies and new models that foster growth of air service, incorporate new airport and customer technology, revise airport business models, and better interact with neighboring communities.

ACRP (Airport Cooperative Research Program) Web-Only Document 39: Policy and Planning Issues Roadmap Report is one of several Research Roadmap Reports that the ACRP commissioned to generate the research ideas that will help airports solve common problems, learn about new technologies, and assess innovations in services and operations.

Planning and policy together represent one of 10 identified categories of research that directly involves and benefits the airport industry. Policy and planning issues are especially sensitive to developments in the aviation industry. For example, airport boards and executives may adopt new commercial strategies to raise additional airport revenues (an internal decision), while the FAA may change the criteria or funding levels for airport programs (an external decision).

These Research Roadmaps augment the continuous ACRP solicitation process to airport industry practitioners for research ideas and problem statements.

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