The National Academies

ACRP 11-02/Task 43 [RFP]

Successful Community Inclusion in Advanced Air Mobility

Posted Date: 11/16/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Contract Time: 10 months
(includes 1 month for ACRP review and approval of the interim report and 2 months for ACRP review and for contractor revision of the final deliverable)
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/1/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz
   Phone: (202) 334-2981
   Email: tschatz@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/4/2022
Fiscal Year: 2022

Advanced air mobility (AAM) includes the use of new aircraft types to transport passengers and cargo at lower altitudes. Activities will likely include commercial regional and urban air mobility (UAM) travel, cargo delivery, public services, and private/recreational use. The initial ecosystem will utilize new and existing facilities (airports or heliports and existing applicable routes). In the future, new, dedicated facilities and routes will likely be developed. ACRP and other entities are conducting research to help airports and communities understand the potential benefits, challenges, facility needs, and impacts of AAM-related activity. ACRP Project 03-50, "An Airport-Centric Study of the Urban Air Mobility Market"  will assess potential impacts of UAM at airports and help them understand potential opportunities and planning considerations. ACRP will also be hosting an Insight Event in early 2022 that will cover on-demand aviation services for passengers and goods. Yet the very nature of AAM and the high degree of uncertainty relative to its adoption require robust coordination and planning among airports, agencies, and communities. It is recognized that community inclusion will be critical in the successful implementation and integration of AAM.
The objective of this research is to develop a primer for coordination of community, airport, and applicable agencies relative to AAM activity and to recommend steps to successfully integrate AAM activity in their communities.
The research should include a workplan in achieving the objective that addresses, at a minimum, these considerations:
  • Definition of the scope of AAM and identification of aircraft types and operating characteristics that fall under the AAM umbrella and those that do not (i.e., small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS));
  • Definition of the current state of the practice and research with regard to AAM coordination and community awareness;
  • The evolution of AAM and how its development impacts airports and community perception, communication strategies, and planning processes;
  • An understanding of successful strategies for developing and sequencing of communication plans;
  • The primary benefits and concerns regarding AAM operations, related activities, ground infrastructure, and flight routes; and
  • Identification of the key stakeholders dependent for an on-airport or off-airport audience of this research and those that would have influence over the integration of AAM activity.   
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 review and approval that include, at a minimum:
The development of an issue brief that includes:
1. (a) A listing of talking points to be used to address the community; (b) a sequencing of outreach steps; (c) best practices for stakeholder engagement for AAM; and (d) use cases that most benefit communities; and  
2.  An interim report that describes work done in early tasks with an outline of the primer, including a sample draft chapter of the primer, and an updated work plan for remaining tasks.
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) a primer that meets the objective; and (2) (a) a Summary of Key Findings (see Special Note G); (b) a Further Recommended Research Memo (see Special Note H); and (c) a technical memo titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note I).

Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, there should be 2 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.

This schedule suggests key activities and deliverables for this project (not to exceed 10 months):
Months from
Contract Start                        Activity/Deliverable
0.0                                          TRB Notice to Proceed
1.0                                          Kick-off conference call w/ panel to discuss Research Plan
1.5                                          Submit an Updated Research Plan
5.0                                          Submit the Interim Report
6.5                                          Hold the Interim Meeting
8.0                                          Submit Draft Final Deliverables
10.0                                        Submit the Final Deliverables
A.   To maximize the benefit and urgency of this research, the project schedule must be strictly adhered to. Requests for no-cost extensions will not be reviewed favorably by ACRP unless there are extenuating circumstances.
B.   Several research projects, reports and reference materials have been issued and should be consulted when conducting this research. Proposers should search TRB’s website (http://www.trb.org/Projects/Projects2.aspx. Specifically, refer to the research of ACRP Project 03-50, “An Airport-Centric Study of the Urban Air Mobility Market.”
C. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.
D. The proposer’s approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11, Diversity and Inclusion Plan, of the proposal.  To facilitate the development of diverse and inclusive teams, ACRP provides a Project Teaming Opportunities Campaign on its IdeaHub platform:  https://ideahub.trb.org/a/campaign-home/30088  (registration required).  It can be used to find potential team members that include the needed areas of expertise and perspectives relevant to airports and the topic of interest, as well as to reflect the diversity of the airport community. 
Item 11 of the proposal should document how any team member engaged with the ACRP Project Teaming Opportunities Campaign, including visiting and posting in the Campaign.  Proposers should also list contacts made with posters and list team members who were identified as a result of using the Campaign.
E. 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) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
F. 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" (https://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.
G. The Summary of Key Findings will be a stand-alone document. It should: (a) convey the most pertinent and applicable results of the project’s research; (b) be geared toward the airport industry practitioner while minimizing technical language; (c) present results using text and graphics as appropriate; and (d) encourage readers to explore the primary project deliverables. The Summary of Key Findings should be limited to no more than 4 pages.
H. The Further Recommended Research Memo will be a stand-alone document. It should: (a) identify logical follow-on research that would benefit the industry yet was beyond the original scope and budget of the project; (b) describe how the proposed follow-on research relates to ACRP’s research roadmaps, if applicable; and (c) for the highest priority research needs, include research ideas and/or problem statements to be added to ACRP’s IdeaHub, the program’s online repository of research needs.
I. The technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should provide: (a) recommended tactics to facilitate implementation; (b) possible institutions/partners and their potential implementation role; (c) potential impediments to successful implementation; (d) metrics to measure extent of product use and benefit; (e) related FAA guidance; and (f) appendices as needed. An annotated template for the memorandum is found here:
J. 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.
K. 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.

Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/AkOES8NGYhS1h8OrQSLJ
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 1/4/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, 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.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB 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 fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://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". 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.

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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