The National Academies

ACRP 01-36 [RFP]

Advancing the Practice of State Aviation System Planning

Posted Date: 10/30/2018

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Contract Time: 18 months
(includes 2 months for ACRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for ACRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/15/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Joseph D. Navarrete
   Phone: 202/334-1649
   Email: jnavarrete@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 12/19/2018
Fiscal Year: 2018


A state aviation system plan provides agencies with an important planning tool to optimize overall system performance.  FAA Advisory Circular 150/5070-7, The Airport System Planning Process, outlines the basic elements of a system plan, yet it does not address specific components that may be unique to individual states.  While the advisory circular provides a good base from which to work, research is needed to guide practitioners on how system plans can better reflect emerging trends, optimize increasingly limited resources, identify roles and responsibilities in managing state aviation systems, and scope system plans that meet the unique needs of each state.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook for scoping, developing, and implementing state aviation system plans. The guidebook should build on FAA Advisory Circular 150/5070-7 and allow states and practitioners to tailor their plans to meet their specific needs and governance structures. At a minimum, the guidance should help to: 
  • Set goals, objectives, and strategies;
  • Assess the potential effects that emerging societal, commercial, economic, and technical trends (e.g., unmanned aerial systems, urban air transport, spaceports, on demand cargo) could have their aviation system;
  • Identify value-added studies (e.g., economic impact, sustainability, obstruction mitigation, compatible land use) to complement aviation system planning;
  • Define the system [e.g., airports and related assets and services, airports in the FAA’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS) vs. non-NPIAS airports];
  • Identify and establish means (e.g., advisory committee) to engage stakeholders (e.g., FAA, various state agencies, state and local officials, airport managers, tenants, users, general public) throughout the process;
  • Inventory the system and collect, store, and analyze data;
  • Define system performance metrics;
  • Conduct market studies and demand forecasts (e.g., unconstrained vs. constrained);
  • Determine facility requirements;
  • Assess funding opportunities, including, federal, state, local, and other sources;
  • Select a method (e.g., priority rating model) to assist in selecting projects for funding;
  • Identify methods for monitoring system performance and determining when an update is needed; and
  • Incorporate these topics in a system plan scope of work (e.g., for an RFP).
 The guidebook should also:
  •  Be easily used and understood by practitioners with varying degrees of expertise, including a non-aviation audience;
  • Feature graphics and tools (e.g., decision trees, flow charts);
  • Include an introduction to state aviation system planning, and its value, and the benefits of integrating the plan with other plans (e.g., master plans, comprehensive plans, state transportation plans, FAA NPIAS);
  • Allow users to target and focus on particular aspects of the system (e.g., cargo, sustainability, geographic areas); and
  • Include supplemental resources (e.g., example scopes of work, glossary, sample stakeholder outreach materials, suggested advisory committee membership).
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research 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, at a minimum, tasks for the preparation and submittal of: 
  • The draft introduction to state aviation system planning;
  • Interim report that documents results to-date and updated guidebook outline;
  • Preliminary draft guidebook sections (to be determined at the interim meeting); and
  • Stand-alone technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products,” as described in Special Note E.
The research plan should also include, at a minimum, the following checkpoints with the ACRP project panel: (1) kickoff conference call, to be held within 1 month of contract execution, (2) conference call to discuss the draft primer, (3) interim meeting to review the results of the interim report, and (4) conference call to discuss comments on the draft guidebook sections.
Note: Following receipt of the interim report, there should be 2 month for ACRP review and comments and for the interim meeting.
The final deliverables shall include at a minimum: (1) state aviation system planning guidebook, (2) white paper describing future needs to be entered into IdeaHub, and (3) “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” memo.
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 interim meeting. Proposers should assume that the meeting will be held in Washington, DC.
A. Proposers should consider the results and information available from ACRP Synthesis 14: Airport System Planning Practices, other related ACRP and non-ACRP research, and the 10th National Aviation System Planning Symposium in their proposed research approach.
B. Proposals are evaluated by the ACRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency 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.
C. 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.
D. 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.
E. 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.
F. 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.
G. 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.
H. A strategic priority for ACRP is to assure quality improvement 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.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 12/19/2018.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for the ACRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated August 2016). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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