The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S01-24 [Active (Synthesis)]

Examples of Airports Providing Facility Space for Community Use
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Authorization to Begin Work: 10/23/2019 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Gail R. Staba
Research Agency: Midwest Airport Consultants
Principal Investigator: Tim Karaskiewicz
Effective Date: 10/1/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020

Final Scope

As land stewards, airports understand and are actively working towards solutions focused on the environmental sphere of sustainability.  Developing programs to understand and overcome community challenges related to the economic and social sides of sustainability are less apparent.  Airports have historically used disadvantaged/minority/women-owned or local business policies for purchasing supplies, equipment and services toward economic and social sustainability.  There are many examples of community uses at their airports and innovative ways that airports are connecting to their communities.  Airport leaders have posited that opening airports facilities to community use or providing space at facilities for community groups or individuals to use would be another avenue to improve local economic and social sustainability.  A compilation of airport experiences in supporting local community economic and social sustainability goals by providing airport facility meeting space would enhance understand as to the benefits, challenges and processes used to further their economic and social sustainability of local communities.


The objective of this synthesis is to compile programs that airports have instituted to provide space in their interior and exterior facilities for community groups or individuals to use such as conference rooms, meeting areas, hangar access, grounds, etc.  The audience for this synthesis is airport leadership, including community partnerships. 

The following tasks and resulting information will be described in a concise report: 

·     Survey literature on airport and community partnerships to describe prevalence and stories of airports providing interior and exterior spaces for community use.

·    Collect information from a diverse range of airport staff (NPIAS category, geography/FAA Region, etc.) to determine how they have provided community use space to further local economic and social sustainability.  Information desired includes:  type of space, community use, benefits, pricing for use (Grant Assurance requirement), contractual and non-contractual requirement for use (e.g., insurance, security, FAA compliance), unintended consequences, and any other pertinent factors.

·    Develop case examples from interviews, describing experiences, social and economic benefits, community relationship goals, challenges and lessons learned for a broad range of  experiences (e.g., diverse airport sizes, geographies, types of community uses).

·     Provide appendix materials that display any helpful documents/checklists found during data collection.

·     Describe any further research needs to facilitate airport use as a community resource and understanding of successful components of use.


Partial Information Sources

Shuchi, Sarah; Drogemuller, Robin; Buys, Laurie. Flexibility in airport terminals: Identification of design factors. Journal of Airport Management, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2018, pp 90-108  https://trid.trb.org/view/1497458

Ferrulli, Paolina. Green Airport Design Evaluation (GrADE) – Methods and Tools Improving Infrastructure Planning. Transportation Research Procedia, Volume 14, 2016, pp 3781-3790 https://trid.trb.org/view/1414250

Osterbauer, Sarah. Concourse transformation: STL creates thriving events space in once-shuttered concourse. Airport revenue news, 2015, pages 42-44 https://trid.trb.org/view/1386344

Halpern, Nigel; Graham, Anne; Davidson, Rob. Meetings facilities at airports. Journal of Air Transport Management, Volume 18, Issue 1, 2012, pp 54-58 https://trid.trb.org/view/1125606

Parsons, J. (2017). Chicago aviation dept. keeps moving forward. ENR (Engineering News-Record), 278(9), MW12-MW15.  https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85018973422&partnerID=40&md5=dafd8c4d828f6f2b0f57d0cbf85da5fe

Topic Panel

Shanetta Griffin, former Columbus (OH) Regional Airport Authority

Pedro Rael, NMDOT, Division of Aeronautics

Steve Nakana, Port of Portland, PDX

Rachel Mosier, Oklahoma State University

Richard Lanman, Auburn-Lewiston (ME) Airport KLEW

Luis Loarte, FAA

Scott Elmore, ACI-NA



Tim Karaskiewicz, Midwest Airport Consultants



 TRB Staff
Gail R. Staba

Demisha Williams





First Panel Meeting: 9/15/2020, via Zoom
Teleconference: 10/19/2020, 1p EDT
Workplan Delivered: 11/2/2020
Comments Due (Email): 11/9/2020
Draft Report Delivered: 3/1/2021 
Second Panel Meeting: 3/19/2021



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