Airports and their support industries have changed significantly over the past several decades. Academic programs must continue to evolve with these changes to better prepare the next generation of airport industry professionals. Emphasis should be placed on an enhanced, comprehensive approach to careers in the airport industry to include topic areas such as finance and administration, planning and engineering, operations and facilities, technology, law, humanities and social sciences, etc.
As a means to prepare students for career tracks in the airport industry, research is needed to better understand the skills needed and develop model academic curriculum templates to provide a foundation for career success. This research seeks to bridge the gaps that may exist.
The objective of this research is to develop guidance to assist academia in preparing graduates for careers as airport industry professionals. The guidance should identify and consider the current and future skills needed for airport industry professionals and how current and future educational programs align with those skills.
The guidance should consider the various roles of the airport industry professional at a variety of types and sizes of airports and contain at a minimum:
- A description of current and future core competencies needed for various level of positions and roles;
- A list of gaps in existing aviation educational programs and an overview of other non-aviation-specific educational programs as they relate to current and future workforce needs;
- Program structure and content that would foster an individual to be adaptive with an eye toward future trends and life-long learning;
- Methods for highlighting the broad range of career opportunities and how to engage students for careers in the airport industry; and
- The role and impact of academic accreditation on various airport-related aviation programs.
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
The research plan should include appropriate interim deliverables, for ACRP approval, that include at a minimum:
1. An overview of structure and content of existing aviation academic programs that include an airport-related curriculum, as well as other non-aviation academic programs that would have relevance in the development of the airport industry professional;
2. Case studies that identify cooperative education and collaborative opportunities to broaden exposure to the airport industry;
3. A method to identify existing and anticipated gaps in applicant preparedness and prerequisites for a variety of positions, including support roles, at different sizes and types of airports; and
4. An interim report that describes work done in early tasks with an updated work plan for remaining tasks and a detailed outline and draft introductory chapter of the guidance document.
The research plan should include other appropriate checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including, at a minimum, (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed and (2) one face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting, as well as web-enabled teleconferences tied to the panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables as deemed appropriate.
The final deliverables will include (1) a guidance document that meets the research objective and includes model course curriculums that identify and consider the current and future skills needed for various career tracks within the airport industry; (2) a presentation to be used to communicate educational requirements for career tracks and opportunities within the airport industry; and (3) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products.” (See Special Note G.).
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, there should be 3 months for ACRP review and comments and for contractor preparation of the final deliverables. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that ACRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services. ACRP will pay panel members’ travel costs for the face-to-face meeting. Proposers should assume that the meeting will be held in Washington, DC.
A. ACRP publications and other relevant industry-related resources should be consulted when conducting this research. It is expected that portions of these publications and/or resources will be discussed or linked into the final publication as appropriate, including but not limited to:
- ACRP Project 01-34, “Developing Innovative Strategies for Aviation Education and Participation;”
- ACRP Research Report 186: Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity;
- ACRP Synthesis 8: Aviation Workforce Development Practices;
- ACRP Synthesis 49: Helping New Maintenance Hires Adapt to the Airport Operating Environment;
- ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic 06-05,”Promoting Aviation Career Education in High Schools and Community Colleges”
B. A strategic priority for ACRP is to ensure quality in its research projects. ACRP therefore encourages the principal investigator of the successful proposer to participate in a 1-day symposium on ACRP Research in Progress that will be held during the Transportation Research Board’s 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Proposers may include this cost in their proposed project budget.
C. Airports have received many surveys in response to ACRP projects. In an effort to ensure an adequate response rate and collection of information, proposers may consider the use of focus groups, Internet/web-based technologies, social networking sites, and industry conferences or other techniques that may be appropriate.
D. Proposals are evaluated by the ACRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of a proposal is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.
E. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf
). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a “federally” Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
F. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," in each proposal must include an Implementation Plan that describes activities to promote application of the product of this research. It is expected that the implementation plan will evolve during the project; however, proposals must describe, as a minimum, the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in applying the research product, (e) the activities necessary for successful implementation, and (f) the criteria for judging the progress and consequences of implementation.
G. The required technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should (a) provide recommendations on how to best put the research findings/products into practice; (b) identify possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products; (c) identify issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommend possible actions to address these issues; and (d) recommend methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/products. Implementation of these recommendations is not part of the research project and, if warranted, details of these actions will be developed and implemented in future efforts.
H. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the ACRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
I. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB’s Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB’s policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, “Use of Copyrighted Material,” in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.
J. If the research approach includes human subjects testing, proposers should be aware that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has its own Institutional Review Board (IRB) that must review and approve the results of the proposing agency’s IRB process. It should be assumed that this step will require several weeks.