The National Academies

ACRP 10-33 [Pending]

Incorporating Emerging Transportation and Ground Access Technologies at Airports

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Contract Time: 18 months
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz

Emerging transportation and ground access technologies will increase the complexity of landside activity at airports. Technologies such as autonomous, automated, connected, and electric vehicles will affect all components of an airport’s landside facilities, including roadways, curbs, parking, and ground transportation centers.
Airports must consider these trends and current modes in their facility planning and the potential impacts to operations and business models. Little is known about the degree to which these new technologies will advance and the pace at which adoption will occur. The facility impacts of these emerging technologies are yet to be defined.
Research is needed to answer the following questions: Will the technologies require more or less curb space? Will dwell times be higher or lower? Should these technologies and modes be segregated from existing landside activity? Will airports see significant shifts in mode shares that result in overused and/or underused facilities? Are there adoption barriers to these emerging technologies and potential mitigation efforts that can be identified? What revenue impacts and opportunities might be anticipated?
The objective of this research is to provide guidance to help airports of all types and sizes plan for the near and long-term integration of emerging, multimodal, ground access technologies to enhance landside operations and the customer experience of passenger terminal facilities.  
The guidance should address the following elements, including but not limited to: 
  • Capacity (e.g., throughput, space constraints) and operational efficiency (e.g., congestion management and enforcement);
  • The balance of capital versus operational costs;
  • Revenue potential;
  • Legal and regulatory implications;
  • Safety and security concerns; 
  • Risks related to implementation;
  • Infrastructure requirements (e.g., utilities, charging capabilities, buildings);
  • Flexibility and reliability (i.e., adaptability to operational and technology changes);
  • Accessibility (e.g., modes, connecting routes, and loading zones);
  • Sustainability and resiliency (e.g., renewables, carbon emissions, energy efficiency);
  • Constructability;
  • Operational communications systems (e.g., wired and wireless networks);
  • Wayfinding and traveler information systems;
  • Equity (e.g., socioeconomic, environmental justice); and
  • Economic impacts. 
The research plan should include deliverables, for ACRP and panel review and approval that include at a minimum, but are not limited to:   
  1. A comparative matrix of the emerging ground access technologies;
  2. A whitepaper that estimates the speed (high, medium, and low) of implementation and consumer technology adoption for each emerging technology;  
  3. A review and report of other industry examples applicable to airports (e.g., international locations, resorts, campuses); and
  4. An interim report that describes work done in early tasks and an outline of the draft guidance document with an updated work plan for remaining tasks. 
The research plan should also include checkpoints with the ACRP project 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 project panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables deemed appropriate.
The final deliverables will include: (1) a guidance document that meets the objectives including an executive summary illustrating the different emerging ground access technologies; (2) a contractor’s final report that documents the entire research effort; and (3) (a) a Summary of Key Findings; (b) a Further Recommended Research Memo; and (c) a technical memo titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”.

Proposals have been received in response to the RFP. The project panel will meet to select a contractor to perform the work.

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