The National Academies

ACRP 01-54 [Pending]

Update to ACRP Report 49: Collaborative Airport Capital Planning Handbook

  Project Data
Funds: $450,000
Contract Time: 18 months
Staff Responsibility: Marci Greenberger


Since the 2011 publication of ACRP Report 49: Collaborative Airport Capital Planning Handbook, the airport industry experienced numerous changes. Airport capital planning, programs, and projects are dynamic and involve many elements, including phasing, financing, planning, design, and construction.  Since the 2011 publication of ACRP Report 49, capital planning modernizations have addressed the unpredictability of inflation; supply chain linkages; diversified financing challenges; appropriate delivery methods; new regulatory requirements; advanced technology changes; growing capital demands; and the evolving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) implications. 

Additional challenges to airport capital planning include varying perspectives and competing agendas across internal airport departments involved in the airport planning process (e.g., planning, engineering, and finance) and managing competing agendas of other stakeholders (e.g., consultants, airlines, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)). 

The continual changes to technology since 2011 have inundated the industry with software solutions to enhance airport capital planning management whereby information can be tracked more efficiently. Potential implications of artificial intelligence (AI) may improve the capital planning processes. These technological advancements may have a defined process to best capture and communicate information used to administer the capital planning programs at airports, an important aspect of successfully maintaining the capital plan. 

Additional research is needed within airport capital planning.


The objective of this research is to update ACRP Report 49, outlining and describing a modernized collaborative capital improvement planning (CIP) process and implementation, and includes practices for the industry (e.g., tools and methodologies). 

This updated handbook will be developed for individuals at an airport who have a responsibility in the development, financing, management, or oversight of the airport CIP, or who have information required to maintain and ensure the CIP is current and up to date.


The research plan shall include these appropriate interim deliverables for ACRP review and approval at a minimum:

  • Gap analysis that identifies the proposer’s approach to enhance ACRP Report 49 and the areas to address the new industry growth and changes. Include a list of published ACRP-related reports.
  • Literature review of recent literature containing practical (rather than theoretical) methods of developing and executing a collaborative airport capital plan.
  • Data collection plan, which includes:
    • Research methodology,
    • Input from various sized airports representing a cross-section of the industry and various sponsor airports (e.g., municipal, state, county), airlines, FAA, state agencies, and other external stakeholders, 
    • Performance metrics available and how success is being measured, and
    • Management practices addressing collaboration and considerations of the CIP process approach (e.g., alternative delivery methods, ESG, cost escalations, supply chain challenges, new financing options, and governmental influences).
  • Interim report to include research results to date, analysis of results, next steps, and identification of follow-on research ideas to be developed into problem statements.
  • Case studies from various sizes of U.S. and international airports. Provide examples of airport CIP tools being utilized in the industry derived from case studies and data collection. 

The research plan should include checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including at a minimum:

  • A kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed, and 
  • 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 as deemed appropriate.

The final deliverables will include: 

  • An update to ACRP Report 49 outlining and describing a modernized collaborative CIP process and implementation, which includes practices for the industry (e.g., tools and methodologies); 
  • Contractor’s Final Report documenting all research steps, results, and analysis;
  • A Summary of Key Findings; (b) a Further Recommended Research Memo; and (c) a technical memo titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”; and
  • An Executive Summary.


STATUS: 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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