Small-airport management is a job with a wide variety of responsibilities, a role that requires diverse skills and knowledge of the aviation industry and general facility management. Small-airport managers are responsible for activities such as financial management, safety and security, compliance with regulations, facility maintenance and capital improvements.
Recognizing the challenging nature of the airport manager role, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) developed the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 16: Guidebook for Managing Small Airports in 2009 to benefit the hardworking leaders of the nation’s small airports, defined for the project as general aviation, nonhub commercial service and facilities with limited staff, volunteer staff or both.
When the time came to update the guide’s content, the TRB tasked Hanson with researching the necessary changes, including editing the document for currency, relevance and ease of use; adding information and subject areas (drones, geographic information systems, digital notice to airmen, social media and federal and state obligation) and creating an online repository to serve as a reference for small-airport managers.
In the research process, the project team reached out to small airports across the country to identify key issues to address or expand in the guidebook. An industry panel served as a focus group during the project.