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3 1. Introduction The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) is a Transportation Research Board (TRB) research program, which is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS). ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program that seeks to identify airport challenges and develop practical, implementable solutions. In developing research roadmaps, ACRP seeks to identify the highest priority, near-term research needs for a variety of airport fields. These research needs will help airports meet the unique, numerous, and ever- evolving challenges and opportunities they experience. This report describes the development of a research roadmap for the areas of administration and human resources (HR) within airports. Project Description and Background The administration and human resources functions within an airport can experience great challenges as airports grow, diversify, experience changing priorities, bring in new technologies, or change in other ways. These types of changes can create issues if they are not addressed. To effectively address these challenges and capitalize on opportunities, it is beneficial to use a top-down approach to identify research needs. As ACRP moves toward using a more strategic approach to identifying critical research needs and planning for new research projects that will benefit the airports industry, emphasis is needed on identifying gaps and uncovering challenges that need to be addressed. With this new approach to developing research ideas, research and knowledge generated through ACRP can be prioritized to ensure it meets the industryâs needs and will be executed in a way that will result in high-quality research products. The objective of this research is to develop an Airport Administration and Human Resources Research Roadmap that recommends priorities and timing, sets a research strategy, and provides a rationale for the research recommendations. This overall project and specific approach will assist the industry in gaining a better understanding of gaps in knowledge and practice, as well as opportunities and challenges related to the administration and HR functions of airports. The final product will prioritize specific research ideas and identify how they can be implemented to fill in gaps or address current challenges to the industry. Roadmap Development Process The development of the Airport Administration and HR Research Roadmap involved a multi- phase approach, which included a literature review, focus groups and interviews with airport leaders, and a survey of airport staff and the ACRP project panel. To gain an initial understanding of existing airport needs regarding administration and HR issues, the research team conducted a review of relevant literature related to airport administrative or HR topics. This task also included a review of existing research roadmaps to help better understand how research needs could be organized and presented. After completing the literature review and examining themes and findings, we conducted interviews with various airport executives to determine research priorities for administrative and HR areas. The interviews supplemented and further confirmed information gained in the literature review.
4 When creating the final Airport Administration and HR Research Roadmap, we emphasized alignment between the proposed research ideas and the current strategic priorities of ACRP. This will help ensure that future funding and project resources are allocated in a way that supports and furthers the needs and goals of ACRP. As such, themes from the literature review and executive interviews were aligned with ACRPâs Strategic Plan Priorities. Next, focus groups with airport administration and HR leaders were used to better understand research needs and focused on a variety of topics, including the existing gaps in knowledge or practice; unique challenges or needs based on airport size, geography, level and type of activity, and resource constraints; and prioritization of challenges or gaps. Finally, industry input was gathered to identify any remaining, innovative research ideas and to prioritize the research topics. To accomplish this, we administered a short, online survey to a representative sample of airport management, human capital, training, and information management stakeholders. The survey was used to screen identified research needs to identify those that are most applicable to the needs of various airports and can be implemented to assist with administration and HR issues. We also encouraged Panel Members to invite relevant contacts or colleagues to participate in the survey. The analysis from this survey was then shared with Panel Members to help identify a more specific timeframe indicating when research questions or ideas should be addressed. All the information gathered was combined to develop the final Airport Administration and HR Research Roadmap. This interactive roadmap identifies the research needs that are (1) most important and (2) most time-sensitive for administration and HR areas within airports. Airport Administration and HR Research Roadmap Products ACRP 11-02/Task 35 includes three products: a Research Roadmap Report (this document), a Visual Research Roadmap (shown below and described further in Appendix A), and a Research Idea Database (provided as a separate Microsoft Excel file and described in Appendix B). This Research Roadmap Report provides an overview of the project background and the process used to develop the final Airport Administration and HR Research Roadmap. This includes an overview of the literature review, interviews and focus groups with airport leaders, and a rating survey completed by airport stakeholders, as well as the associated findings. The Visual Research Roadmap in an interactive document located on ACRPâs website. This research roadmap visually conveys the identified research topics organized by topic and sub- topic and presents the research topics rated by their importance and distribution within a 5-year timeline. When viewing the online, interactive research roadmap users can hover over an icon to view the research topic and background information. This Visual Research Roadmap is shown below as a static image, and further detail is provided in Appendix A of this report.
5 The Research Idea Database is a Microsoft Excel file that contains detailed information for each of the research ideas developed during this project. The file can be searched or filtered to identify specific research ideas or topics, as well as tags that could be included when research ideas are entered into ACRPâs IdeaHub. The Research Idea Database is further described in Appendix B.