Airports have a desire to increase diversity among their concessionaires and other contractors, and U.S. DOT’s Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) regulations as described in 49 CFR Part 23 require many airports to set ACDBE participation goals. Interstate certification regulations as described in 49 CFR Part 26.85 are designed to reduce the challenges disadvantaged businesses face when seeking certification in multiple states. Yet the increase in disadvantaged business participation at airports has been limited, and there continue to be many challenges to achieving desired goals. For example, for airports, the effort to compile, report on, and review attainment is significant. For disadvantaged companies, wide differences in implementation among certifiers and the impact of complying with information requests from multiple states appear to be increasing the burden for these firms. Lastly, the impacts of shifts in consumer demand (e.g., greater use of transportation network companies and public transit vs. rental cars) also need to be considered. Research is needed to review current practice to ensure the integrity of the process and to enhance opportunities for greater DBE participation in airport contracts.
The objectives of this research are to identify ways airports can reduce resource requirements for managing their concessionaire and contractor diversity practices and to identify ways to streamline and simplify ACDBE certification requirements, thereby improving diversity among airport concessionaires and other contractors.