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Suggested Citation:"Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Flight Plan to Recovery: Preparing Airports for the Return of the Traveling Public. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25954.
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Page 12
Page 13
Suggested Citation:"Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Flight Plan to Recovery: Preparing Airports for the Return of the Traveling Public. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25954.
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Page 13

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1 Introduction   “Flight Plan to Recovery: Preparing Airports and Their Business Partners for the Return of the Flying Public” was organized by the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB’s) Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) as part of its series of convening activities, “ACRP Insight Events.” This event focused on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response and its impact on airports operational and economic recovery. Presentations from airport industry leaders in the airport ecosystem identified and discussed current and ongoing practices to get passenger confidence back to aid in airport recovery. Specific topics presented the aviation industry with challenges that are mutually shared by all partners, including safety, public confidence, and financial sustainability. Other topics included gaps in the industry and public response to date and how the industry may address them, as well as operational mitigation strategies to enable recovery in the post-lockdown environment. “Flight Plan to Recovery: Preparing Airports and their Business Partners for the Return of the Flying Public” took place as a Zoom webinar on May 28, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Nearly 1,000 people registered for the event, which had a global audience with a wide range of interested disciplines that included airports, airlines, consultants, academicians, and local and regional government, among others. The program agenda for the event is provided in Appendix A, and the speaker biographies are in Appendix B. The results of a survey distributed to attendees after the event are in Appendix C, and a list of attendees is in Appendix D. Presentations and recordings of the event are posted on the ACRP Insight Event web page, http://www.trb.org/ACRP/ACRP-Insight-Event-COVID19.aspx. Readers who are interested in more information can e-mail the ACRP Senior Program Officer for the event, Theresia Schatz, at tschatz@nas.edu. The event opened with introductory and welcome remarks, followed by an overview by Winsome Lenfert, Deputy Associate Administrator for Airports with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and a health update, which included information on the safety of travel during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and another presentation on passenger risk, confidence, and behavior. These remarks were followed by an industry overture on what is the new normal to ensure the health and safety of travelers. Next, airport case studies and best practices were presented and the challenges were discussed. Then an update from representatives of multiple airport tenants was presented. The update included airline highlights of current and future plans to adapt and adjust in a COVID-19 environment as well as a look at other stakeholders representing concessionaires, ground transportation providers, and a governmental agency. An overall question-and-answer session was then held. The program ended with a brief wrap-up. ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators. ACRP is managed by TRB, a part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and is sponsored by FAA.

2 ACRP Insight Events are forums that foster dialogue between professionals across sectors, institutions, and industries. ACRP Insight Events convene airport industry leaders and subject matter experts in various fields to encourage discussion and promote broader and deeper insight on topics of significance to airport operators. These in-depth, face-to-face gatherings are designed to promote communication and collaboration, foster innovation, and help identify areas of future interest and research, especially for topics of emerging importance.

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This report summarizes an event focused on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response and its impact on the operational and economic recovery of airports.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program'sConference Proceedings on the Web 27: Flight Plan to Recovery: Preparing Airports for the Return of the Traveling Public includes presentations from airport industry leaders who discussed current and ongoing practices to get passenger confidence back to aid in airport recovery during an ACRP Insight Event over Zoom on May 28, 2020.

Specific topics presented the aviation industry with challenges that are mutually shared by all partners, including safety, public confidence, and financial sustainability. Other topics included gaps in the industry and public response to date and how the industry may address them, as well as operational mitigation strategies to enable recovery in the post-lockdown environment.

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