Airports provide critical connections in the operation of the transportation system and have significant multiplier effects on national and regional economies. To meet their social, economic, operational, and environmental obligations in the face of changing conditions, airports are undergoing dramatic transformations in business models, facilities, and social responsibilities. The airport industry, like other industries, is challenged when sudden or unexpected changes occur in the marketplace.
Recent advances in long-term strategic planning have developed sustainable methods of managing change in the presence of uncertainty. Yet, the strategic planning process has not been widely embraced in the airport industry. Airport professionals and members of airport policy boards can and should use the strategic planning process to manage these transformations effectively and proactively. Leadership of airport industry associations should utilize the strategic planning process to identify and assess industry-wide issues of uncertainty and thereby encourage airports to use the strategic planning process.
Applied research is needed to guide airport professionals, airport policy boards, and industry associations (AAAE, ACI-NA, and NASAO) in developing strategic plans and specifically plans that encompass uncertainty.
The objective of this project was to prepare a practical guidebook for airport professionals, airport policy-making organizations, and industry associations that provides procedures, tools, and benefits of the strategic planning process. The guidebook addresses the use of continuous strategic planning and considers relevant policy, management, and technical issues at airports, recognizing local, national, and global uncertainties.
Status: The final report was published as ACRP Report 20 and includes an interactive workbook.