The National Academies

ACRP 11-01/Topic 15-01 [Active]

Accommodating Federal Agencies at Airports and Related Contractual Concerns

  Project Data
Funds: $100,000
Staff Responsibility: Jordan Christensen
Research Agency: Del Ray Solutions
Principal Investigator: Sean Cusson
Effective Date: 5/9/2023


Airports are host to multiple federal agencies (e.g., Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Defense (DOD), and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)) that play key roles in the operations, safety, and security of the facility. In many instances, these federal agencies are represented by the General Services Administration (GSA). The legal authority defining airports’ rights and obligations to these agencies is varied and at times unclear. In addition, airport sponsors are finding it necessary to improve processes and minimize costs through cooperative arrangements and other agreements with federal authorities conducting operations at airports. It is important to understand what is mandatory, discretionary, or prohibited for airports to provide to these agencies as it relates to facilities, equipment, and services. Understanding of airports’ rights and obligations will assist with long-term planning and help establish a cooperative relationship between airports and these agencies.


The objective is to provide a single source of information concerning airports’ rights and obligations to accommodate federal agencies and to enter into cooperative agreements and other agreements. The research should include a review of federal laws, grant assurances, relevant federal agency orders, policies, and guidance, and any case law on the rights and obligations of host airports to provide facilities and services to federal agencies, and consider the following: What are the statutory authorities that may require or demand accommodations or services from airports? What are airports required to provide to federal agencies and what are the associated costs? What are federal agencies obligated to provide to airports? What accommodations may an airport provide? What are airports prohibited from providing? How must airports ensure that these accommodations and agreements are consistent with state and local requirements and grant assurances, including procurement and property? 


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. Participate in a call with the panel to discuss the scope of work.

Task 1b. Conduct background research and collect relevant material. Based on the initial but complete review of the source materials, submit 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 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 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, each of which will need a point-by-point response. The report will be revised as appropriate and submitted as the final report.

FUNDING: $100,000

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

Contract executed. Project in Phase I.

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5427