The National Academies

ACRP 01-49 [Active]

The Evolution of Knowledge Management at Airports

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
Research Agency: Spy Pond Partners
Principal Investigator: Frances Harrison
Effective Date: 3/12/2021
Completion Date: 11/11/2022

Knowledge Management is the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively putting knowledge into action to increase organizational performance.
Disruptive and continuous changes to the airport industry are occurring, including the rapid introduction of new technology, growing financial constraints, the ongoing retirement and replacement among seasoned experts, and increased workforce mobility. This year, the pandemic not only accelerated these factors, but also decreased in-person interactions. These changes affect the depth of expertise, leadership, and institutional knowledge; the availability of data to support decisions; how information is shared; and the collaboration within and between workgroups.
For various reasons, these changes challenge airports, regardless of size. Airports are having to focus on ways of managing and preserving institutional knowledge, yet little guidance is available for the unique issues airport organizations face.
The objective of this research is to provide guidance in the form of practical approaches and solutions that any airport can use to facilitate active and continuous knowledge management. This guidance shall be easily implementable, applicable to all levels of the organization and should address, at a minimum:
  • The Why: a business case for encouraging knowledge management; 
  • The Who: all stakeholders (contributors, curators, and consumers);
  • The What: the different types of airport institutional and practical knowledge;
  • The When: timing of the different phases and processes of knowledge management; and
  • The How: tools and resources to support airport implementation and sustainment.

The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are asked to develop and include a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project 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 appropriate deliverables, for ACRP approval, that include at minimum:

1.  A technical memorandum detailing the advantages and challenges encountered with knowledge management approaches to include case studies of successful and unsuccessful examples from airports as well as other industries;
2. An interim report that describes work done in early tasks, a sample of a draft chapter or excerpt of the planned deliverable, and an updated work plan for remaining tasks.  All of this should demonstrate to the panel, the thought process behind how the final deliverables will address the components outlined in the objective.
3. An updated summary listing any proposed tools/resources that will support airport implementation and sustainment.
The research plan should include other appropriate checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including at a minimum (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed and (2) one face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting, as well as web-enabled teleconferences tied to the panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables deemed appropriate. 
The final deliverables will include: (1) guidance in the form of practical approaches and solutions that will address the requirements of the objective; and (2) (a) a Summary of Key Findings; (b) a Further Recommended Research Memo; and (c) a technical memo titled  “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”.

Status: Spy Pond Partners has been selected; research underway. 

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