Cooperative Research Gets Funding

RENO - The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), originally authorized by Congress for FY2004, is finally obtaining funds to get the effort up and running. At the helm of the program is Christopher Jenks, manager with the Transportation Research Board.

Jenks unveiled the initial phase of the ACRP during the 2005 Airport Planning, Design, and Construction Symposium, hosted in February by the Airport Consultants Council and the American Association of Airport Executives.

The overriding goal of the research program, says Jenks, is to develop near-term practical solutions to problems faced by airports - "solving problems that practicioneers have in day to day operations."

The Vision 100 legislation actually authorizes $10 million/year for ACRP; however, no monies were appropriated. Now, the Federal Aviation Administration has provided $50,000 in start-up funds, according to Jenks. He says that $3 million has been appropriated for FY05, and the "full $10 million" is currently in President Bush's 2006 budget.

The Transportation Research Board has oversight and coordination responsibilities, explains Jenks, but does not actually do any of the research itself. That is all contracted out via an RFP (request for proposal) process. Jenks, who heads up a similar research program for transit, says the airport program will be industry-driven. It will have a 13-member board, seven from airports and five from the private sector; the other will be the FAA Administrator or designated representative.

All U.S. airport projects are elibigle, says Jenks. The first step is to submit a "problem statement" to the TRB offices in Washington, D.C. For information, contact