The National Academies

ACRP 11-01/Topic 14-01 [Pending]

Legal Considerations for Airports Responding to Pandemics
[ ACRP 11-01 (Legal Aspects of Airport Programs) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $70,000
Contract Time: 12 months
Staff Responsibility: Theresia H. Schatz


Published in 2018, ACRP LRD 34: Airport Public Health Preparedness and Response: Legal Rights, Powers, and Duties addressed the legal issues concerning the measures to detect communicable diseases, regulations to control communicable diseases, methods for decontamination, emergency legal preparedness, privacy, and potential sources of liability. Legal analysis of airport authorities and strategies for navigating the system of public health governance would position airports to respond more effectively to pandemics in the future. The information in this digest should be updated based on the experiences and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The objective of this research is to provide an update based on lessons learned from COVID-19 to ACRP LRD 34 that airport attorneys and practitioners can use to help prepare, plan, and coordinate with their stakeholders in response to a threat of communicable disease. Stakeholders include federal government, state and local government, public health officials, airlines, and industry groups.

The lessons learned would include key practical legal considerations to navigate the public health governance and significant challenges, and would facilitate effective transitions by airports to the "new" normal. It would also position airport stakeholders to respond effectively to future pandemics. The digest should include recommended actions and strategies to effectively navigate the potential impacts of federalism on airports within the continued operation of the national air transportation system during pandemics.


This research will be conducted in two phases and four tasks in a firm fixed price agreement. At the conclusion of Phase I, ACRP will make a determination whether to proceed with Phase II. The tasks will be as follows:

Phase I

Task 1a.
Kick-off call.

Task 1b.
  Detailed Report Outline.  Conduct background research and collect relevant material.  Based on the initial but thorough review of the source materials, propose a detailed report outline.  The outline should contain sufficient detail to describe what a report of appropriate length will contain.  This outline should also contain the estimated pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection.  This material will be submitted for ACRP consideration and approval. Participate in a conference call with the ACRP project review panel 3 weeks after submission of the outline.

Phase II

Task 2.
  After ACRP approval of the detailed outline, conduct additional research, and case and statutory/regulatory analysis. Collect additional primary data to the extent necessary.

Task 3.
  Submit an initial draft report in accordance with the approved outline (including any modification required by ACRP).  Participate in a conference call with the ACRP project review panel 3 weeks after submission of the initial draft report.

Task 4.
  Revise the initial report as necessary and provide a red-line and clean version of the draft final report (DFR).  The ACRP will provide written comments to which each comment will need a point-by-point response and the report will be revised as appropriate, and submitted as the final report.

: $70,000

25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 1 Outline
50% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 3 Report
25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 4 Final Report

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

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