The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agencies, not adequately addressed by existing federal research programs. The ACRP undertakes research and other technical activities in a variety of airport subject areas involving administration, environment, legal, policy, planning, safety, human resources, design, construction, maintenance, and operations at airports. ACRP is able to draw on its targeted research to help U. S. university students be engaged in contributing innovative approaches to issues facing our nation’s airports and the National Airspace System.
Airports are vital national resources. They serve key roles in the transportation of people and goods and in regional, national, and international commerce. They are where the nation’s aviation system connects with other modes of transportation and where federal responsibility for managing and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry.
The ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100 - Century of Aviation Congressional Reauthorization Act. In October 2005, the FAA executed a contract with the National Academies, acting through its Transportation Research Board (TRB), to serve as manager of the ACRP.
The primary participants in the ACRP are (a) the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), an independent governing board appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant airport associations such as the Airports Council International -North America (ACI-NA), the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airports Consultants Council (ACC) and the Airlines for America (A4A) as vital links to the airport community; (b) the TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (c) the FAA as program sponsor. The ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport professionals, state and local government officials, equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research organizations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibilities, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort.