The National Academies

ACRP 03-33 [Final]

NextGen—Airport Planning and Development

  Project Data
Funds: $425,000
Research Agency: Leigh Fisher
Principal Investigator: Bill Dunlay
Effective Date: 7/11/2014
Completion Date: 9/30/2016
Comments: Research complete. Results published as ACRP Report 150, Vol. 5


The Next Generation Air Transportation System (“NextGen”) is a term used to describe a pervasive and critical component of the future of the National Airspace System (NAS). This project is part of an ACRP NextGen Initiative, comprised of five distinct projects, which will be conducted simultaneously. ACRP will be coordinating and sharing scope, ideas, and preliminary results among all five projects. The titles of ACRP projects included in the ACRP NextGen Initiative are:

  • ACRP Project 01-27, NextGen—A Primer
  • ACRP Project 01-28, NextGen—Guidance for Engaging Airport Stakeholders
  • ACRP Project 03-33, NextGen—Airport Planning and Development
  • ACRP Project 03-34, NextGen—Understanding the Airport’s Role in Performance-Based Navigation (PBN)
  • ACRP Project 09-12, NextGen—Leveraging NextGen Spatial Data to Benefit Airports

Airports rely on planning to ensure that safety, efficiency, and capacity needs are met in a responsible and cost-effective manner. FAA is in the process of developing and implementing various NextGen capabilities, many of which have direct implications for airport facilities and operations.

While airports could benefit from incorporating NextGen capabilities, many don’t have the necessary information and guidance to incorporate them into their planning process. In addition, NextGen capabilities are complex and continue to mature, and there is uncertainty regarding user priorities. Research is needed to provide guidance to help airport industry practitioners incorporate NextGen capabilities into their planning processes.


The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook to help airport industry practitioners understand and incorporate NextGen capabilities into planning for all categories of airports.
The guidebook should also include at a minimum:

  • A description of how specific NextGen capabilities affect airport planning and development;
  • Methods to assess the improvements in safety, capacity, efficiency, and environmental performance related to NextGen capabilities and their economic impacts;
  • Case study examples of NextGen projects, highlighting best practices and lessons learned for incorporating NextGen into the airport planning process; and
  • A comprehensive list of published documents applicable to incorporating NextGen into airport planning.


Research is complete.  Results are published in ACRP Report 150, Volume 5.

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