Approved by the Transportation Policy Committee on February 12, 2021
Approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee on May 5, 2021
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 16, 2021


The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the continued and increased funding of the Airport Cooperative Research Program for research necessary to improve civil aviation infrastructure systems. ASCE urges that Congress permit Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds to be used for research and development. ASCE supports spending an amount equal to at least one percent of the Airport Improvement Program, plus at least $10 million per year for the Airport Cooperative Research Program, for aviation infrastructure research. 


Aviation in the United States accounts for $1.4 trillion in economic activity, which supports 11.5 million jobs around the country and contributes more the 7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). America’s airports also require more than $128 billion in airport upgrades from 2019 to 2023. Future project investment will allow airports to handle passenger and cargo activity growth, rehabilitate existing facilities, and support aircraft innovation. This investment will be at risk without sound scientific knowledge on new technologies and other civil infrastructure systems at U.S. airports.  

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must prioritize the Airport Safety Technology Research Program to support the Advisory Circular system in maintaining standards applicable to airport design, construction, maintenance, and operational safety. Additionally, the FAA must support other research opportunities and programs that can improve airport infrastructure design, construction, and management technology. 


Millions of dollars in development costs can be saved by research that considers new technology and research findings available from other transportation and infrastructure sectors and applies it to airport and supporting infrastructure design, construction specifications, testing procedures, and construction techniques. U. S. airports are independently owned and operated by a diverse collection of government entities including city, municipal, state, regional or special authorities, and rely on the FAA for continuing research and development. 

ASCE Policy Statement 471  
First Approved in 1999  

The other ASCE policies that relate to aviation infrastructure research:
PS 313 - Infrastructure Research and Innovations
PS 445 - Aviation Transportation Program
PS 493 - Infrastructure Resilience Research