The National Academies

ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S06-07 [Active (Synthesis)]

Impacts of COVID to Airport Work Models and Strategies
[ ACRP 11-03 (Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen
Research Agency: DPrather
Principal Investigator: Daniel Prather
Fiscal Year: 2021

Final Scope


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, airport operators had to develop strategies that maintained operations while ensuring employee safety and public health.  Some options included remote work and remote learning. Though not all airport-related tasks can be performed from remote worksites (e.g., real-time operations management), many airports identified tasks that could be performed remotely. An industry-wide resource that lists the tasks and missions airports have been able to accomplish remotely, and the options they devised, can help airports ensure continuity of operations, maintain or improve efficiency, and keep pace with societal trends towards hybrid and remote work models.



The objective of this research is to provide information on those airports who experimented in remote work, options for airports that did not participate in remote work, and identify emerging trends. The audience for this research are airport management, airport human resources staff, and IT staff that supports airports.



Information to be describe in a concise report:

·       Strategies and options airports implemented for employees to work from remote worksites.

·       Decision making processes for those airports who chose not to implement remote work options.

·       Identify the benefits, consequences, and lessons learned to airports that implemented remote work and those that did not.

·       Identify missions and tasks that airports experimented with as remote vs. non-remote functions.

·       Identify the types of training that can be completed remotely.

·       Describe the type of remote and hybrid work arrangements.

·       Describe how airports continue to manage, support, train and cross-train, retain and recruit employees, and sustain succession planning.

·       Further research needs to close gaps in knowledge.

Tasks will include the following:

1.    Literature review.

2.    Survey airports of diverse size and category.

a.    The intended audience of this research does not include tenants, such as airlines or concessionaires.

3.    Interview airport staff and provide at least three-five diverse case examples of creative remote work arrangements, and at least one case example of an airport that did not implement remote work.

Partial Information Sources

COVID-19 Pandemic: Observations on the Ongoing Recovery of the Aviation Industry.  U.S. Government Accountability Office, 2021, 93p https://trid.trb.org/view/1887146


Sun, Xiaoqian; Wandelt, Sebastian; Zhang, Anming. Technological and educational challenges towards pandemic-resilient aviation. Transport Policy, Volume 114, Issue 0, 2021, pp 104-115



Yilmaz, Oguzhan; Frost, Matthew; Timmis, Andrew; Ison, Stephen. Investigation of Employee Related Airport Ground Access Strategies from a Post-COVID Perspective. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2021 https://trid.trb.org/view/1759370


Topic Panel

Scott Ayers, City of Atlanta Department of Aviation

Bradley Brandt, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development

Chappelle Broome-Stevenson,  Elevation! –Services, LLC

Tara Stearman, Evans Consulting

Sharon Stone, Lambert, St. Louis International Airport

Amber Clark, Columbus Airport

Zarina Manapova, ACI-NA Liaison



Daniel Prather, Dprather


TRB Staff

Jordan Christensen





First Panel Meeting: Thursday, March 17, 2022


Workplan Delivered:  

Comments Due(Email):  

Draft Report Delivered: 

Second Panel Meeting:

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5272