National Academies

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has long produced research—several resources are highlighted below—that helps airports, tourism and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, economic developers, metropolitan planners, business owners, and airline route planners better serve their communities.

The ability to increase the speed of individual processes, as well as offer a touch-free experience throughout an entire journey is a revolution that is decades in the making. Emerging and existing technology along with no-tech options offer ways for airports to eliminate many common touchpoints. ACRP’s Toward a Touchless Airport Journey presents solutions along with the current level of readiness, barriers to expect in implementation, and specific tips on getting started are detailed for each option presented. Find technology gaps and the need for medium- and long-term solutions with further development opportunities that could minimize touchpoints.

Biometrics are powerful, but highly misunderstood technologies used at airports today. ACRP’s Airport Biometrics: A Primer covers how biometrics work along with introducing legal, policy, and privacy considerations. Presenters at a TRB webinar recording examines recent trends in adoption and outlines some potential benefits of implementing biometric technology systems at airports. 

Another emerging technology with important implications for airport operations is that of blockchain. A  2020 ACRP Insight Event which brought together international experts to begin discussing the possibilities in a COVID-19 environment. Forthcoming research will develop more detailed guidance around implementing these technologies to provide business solutions, operational efficiencies, and improved transparency for airport decision-makers and stakeholders.

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