Airport Cooperative Research Program Addresses Many Needs but Could Enhance Transparency and Clarify Scope of Research Role : Report to the Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives
Airports are a vital part of the nation's air transportation system and face many similar challenges. In 2003, the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) was authorized to conduct applied research to help airport operators solve shared challenges that are not addressed by other federal research. As requested, this report addresses (1) the extent to which ACRP's processes reflect criteria for conducting a high-quality research program and (2) ACRP's results to date and their usefulness for the aviation community. GAO reviewed ACRP documentation and compared ACRP processes to criteria previously developed by GAO that can be applied to research programs. These criteria identify three phases of the applied research process and steps to help produce high-quality results. GAO also reviewed ACRP projects and publications and interviewed ACRP stakeholders and airport officials. GAO recommends that the Secretary of Transportation (1) ensure ACRP documentation reflects all participants and governance practices and (2) clarify ACRP's role in conducting security research.