Emerging Issues for ACRP

Thought Leader Forum

As part of the FY2018 ACRP program, the Airport Oversight Committee (AOC) sponsored a Thought Leader Forum to bring together thought leaders to identify and define high-level emerging critical issues that are impacting, or will soon impact, the airport industry.

Seven emerging issues were selected by the participants. Each emerging issue has an associated background statement, list of research ideas, and a list of related ACRP publications.


Total Customer

A customer’s experience is influenced at many touch points, from visiting an airport’s website, traveling to the airport, being processed by security, visiting concessions, and boarding the flight.

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Challenges and Opportunities for the Airport Business Model

Airports are facing numerous challenges regarding technology, revenue, and governance that impact how airports are operated and maintained. Airports need to consider new business models to address these challenges.

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Impacts of Innovative and Emerging Technologies

The list of potential threats or problems from ignoring emerging technology is growing and will soon surpass the list of potential opportunities and solutions. Airports need to prepare for both eventualities.

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Airport sustainability has many multi-disciplinary definitions, including operational efficiency. In addition to environmental benefits, a sustainability report can encourage smart practices in the normal course of business.

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Enhancing Resiliency of Airports and Interrelated Systems

Several recent incidents have highlighted the serious consequences of disruptive events in the airport community. It is imperative for airports to have resources and measures to ensure continuity, contain the damage, and maintain or resume operations as quickly as possible.

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Airport Workforce

Workforce development from the sector perspective focuses on what skills the airport industry needs and then embraces strategies that help to: ATTRACT, ENGAGE, EQUIP, and SUSTAIN a talent pipeline that will meet airports’ capacity needs now and in the future.

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Enhancing the Aviation Ecosystem

The airport community comprises many different stakeholders and their “systems” that frequently interact with each other. The opportunities for the airport ecosystem to thrive are abundant due to changing technologies, proliferation of big data, and evolving customer expectations.

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