The Airport Cooperative Research Program has an outstanding reputation and is recognized as a credible industry research program, providing airport operating agencies research products on issues that are not being addressed by other research programs. Since its inception in 2006, the ACRP has received more than $96 million and approved a total of 426 research projects, more than 300 of which were completed as of December 2014. The results of this research investment have benefited many airport practitioners. However, to secure its future in this rapidly changing industry, the ACRP requires a unified vision and a “roadmap” to guide the program’s priorities and activities.
To provide this guidance, the organization engaged in a strategic planning process of introspective analyses and consultation with ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC) Members and ex-officio representatives. As the ACRP seeks to continue providing solutions to practical problems faced by airport practitioners, the program needs to be ever more responsive to the changing needs of the industry.
Positioning the ACRP at the forefront of future airport trends is a critical step to continue meeting the research needs of airport practitioners. The organization’s Strategic Plan for years 2015 through 2020 describes how we see the program pushing boundaries and embracing opportunities, and focuses on four key strategic priorities:
- Ensure that problem statements are of the highest quality and greatest relevance to the airport industry: Problem statements must pose a significant, important question that can be investigated and that contributes to the airport knowledge base and repertoire of practices. Problem statements should be geared toward addressing the most critical tactical, operational, managerial, technical, and process issues faced by airport operating agencies and practitioners.
- Align program products with the interests of key audiences: To foster the research program benefits, ACRP products and services should be aligned with the needs and best interests of their users and beneficiaries and presented in ways to maximize learning and implementation.
- Expand and diversify product dissemination: An essential objective of the ACRP is to inform the airport industry and decision makers by disseminating high quality and timely research products that provide near-term practical solutions to issues faced by airport practitioners. To better meet and satisfy user demands and real market needs for applied research, the research findings and products need to be distributed and communicated effectively, including adaptation of the research results to the needs of different audiences using different communication channels.
- Implement processes to monitor product quality, relevance, and timeliness: To optimize the research value, continuous quality improvement and monitoring practices need to be integrated into the program to maximize the organization’s success in building relevance and quality into all of its products.
STATUS: This project has been completed and the final report, 2015 ACRP Strategic Plan, is available for download from the TRB website.