Research Projects

Guidance for advancing social equity at airports

This project will develop comprehensive guidance for advancing social equity at airports, including example programs and initiatives, how to address equity in project management and staffing, and best practices for airport executives.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

In May of 2018, ACRP hosted an insight event on the topic of economic and social sustainability for airports. Part of the impetus for the event was the acknowledgement that while much progress has been made in airport environmental sustainability, progress in the "other two legs" of the three-legged sustainability stool has been more challenging. The social element of sustainability, in particular, continues to be a challenge for many airports to fully embrace, and one outcome of the insight event was a recognition that guidance in this area would be helpful for airports of all sizes, and is currently lacking.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The objective of this research is to develop comprehensive guidance to help airports advance social equity at their facilities and in their operations.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

The research team should take a comprehensive approach to researching current and best practice, developing guidance, and validating it with potential airport users.

Topics that should be considered include: (1) Employee (Fair pay; Other benefits/costs (e.g., carpool, parking, etc.); Employee transportation and access issues; Talent management and talent pipeline; Aging workforce issues); (2) Tenant/concessionaire (Concessionaire agreements requiring certain actions/metrics; Unsustainable actions by concessionaires and how they affect airport brand; Partnering efforts to provide resources and support, and generate scale); (3) Customers/passengers (ADA including user airport experience; Customer experience; Gender equity); (4) Surrounding community (Engaging local organizations; Working with local businesses; Creating local jobs); (5) Global social responsibility (Child labor; Human trafficking; Fair trade).

Additional considerations may include identifying differences between small and large airports; developing key metrics and indicators; researching international models; and advising on communication, messaging, and education.

Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

Potential budget would be approximately $500,000.

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

ACRP 11-08/16-02: Insight Event: Economic and Social Sustainability at Airports.

ACRP 06-05: Guidance for Diversity in Airport Businesses Contracting and Workforce Programs

ACRP 02-83: Measuring Quality of Life in Communities Surrounding Airports

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Idea No. 184