Wrapping up its 2011 Fall Webinar Series, the Aircraft Cooperative Research Program, (ACRP) presented "Small Airports: Practical Guidance for Survival, moderated by Mike Salamone, Senior Program Officer and Manger of the ACRP.
Thomas P. Thatcher, Senior Research and Planning Manager for L.R. Kimball, and Laurie Cullen, and independent consultant led webinar participants through the findings in ACRP Report 44, A Guidebook for the Preservation of Public-Use Airports. "It was a pleasure for us to do this Webinar," said Thatcher. "We feel that there is a real story and message regarding the continuing decline in the number of American Public-Use Airports, even as the US population continues to grow."
In 1969, according to Thatcher, there were about 30,000 persons in the US per public-use airport; now the number is about 60,000 per public-use airport. "A telling statistic regarding the decline in airports sites and infrastructure relative to population," said Thatcher. "Lets work so that what happened to the nation railroad network does not happen to our national airport network." (Re-printed from the Nov/Dec Issue of the State Aviation Journal)
ACRP Report 44 provides a Guidebook that describes why public-use airports close and
identifies measures and strategies that can be undertaken to help preserve and prevent their
closure. The guidebook also presents step-by-step procedures on how to identify risk factors
that can increase the potential of a future airport closure and how to formulate an effective
airport preservation program.
Thatcher, a former New Jersey state aviation director and principal investigator for this study, said the research was FAA funded and supported by AOPA and NASAO. "These organizations made this work possible."
Cullen, an Accredited Airport Executive, is a former program manager for the Massachusetts Port Authority, former executive vice president of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation and a former vice president of HNTB Corporation.
Also included in the webinar was a presentation by Lois Kramer of KRAMER aerotek Inc., of an overview of ACRP Report 28, Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports.