ACRP Research Report 16: Guidebook for Managing Small Airports, 2nd Edition, is for airport practitioners, owners, operators, managers, and policy makers of small airports who are responsible for a wide range of activities. The 1st edition has been edited and reformatted for currentness, relevance, and usability and updated with additional information and new subject areas (e.g. unmanned aerial systems, geographical information systems, digital notices to airmen, social media, and federal and state obligations). Also an online resource has been created of existing related material, such as ACRP publications, industry sources and sample documents, e.g., leases, insurance requirements and checklists. The resource can be found at crp.trb.org/acrp0132.
Managers of small airports are responsible for a wide range of activities, including financial management, oversight of contracts and leases, safety and security, noise impacts, community relations, compliance with federal and state obligations, facility maintenance, and capital improvements. Because those tasked with managing small airports may have varying degrees of experience and backgrounds, ACRP published ACRP Report 16: Guidebook for Managing Small Airports (2009). Since the publication of ACRP Report 16, a significant amount of additional research that could be of direct benefit to small airports has been completed. Other organizations, e.g., FAA, state agencies, and trade and industry groups, have also developed and initiated new policies and guidance. In addition, small airports are facing new industry challenges not addressed in the original publication (e.g., unmanned aerial systems). While the 1st edition of the guidebook continues to be an important resource, an update was needed.
Under ACRP Project 01-32, research was conducted by Hanson Professional Services, Inc. along with Marr/Arnold Planning, LLC, and David NewMyer of Southern Illinois University. The research was conducted through industry outreach via surveys identified through coordination with state agencies and various roundtable discussions held at industry conferences. Additionally, an industry panel made up of several geographically diverse small airports, served as a sounding board for the research team at key points in the study process. A resource review examined written and electronic documents that provide the regulation and existing guidance for best practices on managing small airports. Based on this review and industry input, the guidebook is organized into management areas and is intended to be used as a self-help guide, providing the user with key insights, definitions, and background on many small airport management topics as well as links to additional resources.