ACC News and Updates
New Congress Sworn In; Democrats Gain Control of Senate
January 8th, 2021
The new 117th Congress was sworn in on Sunday January 3, the start of what became a historic week for the U.S. On January 6, amid the Capitol being shut down after rioters stormed the building, the Congress validated Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris as the new President and Vice President-elect, capping off a contentious election season and executive transition.
Wednesday also saw two Georgia Senate seats swinging to Democrats, providing a 50-50 split with Vice President Harris serving as the swing vote. With Democrats appearing to control the Executive and Legislative branches, President Biden may have a smoother path to implement his policy agenda, which includes providing more relief in response to COVID and stimulating the economy through infrastructure investment. ACC's Advocacy Committee is currently finalizing the organization’s policy priorities and plans to engage the FAA, TSA and the new Congress.
ACC Companies Briefed on PPP Reforms
December 17, 2020
ACC hosted a session with Matt Reiffer and Katherine Mottley from ACEC on efforts underway to make key changes to the interpretation of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans provided under the CARES Act. There is bipartisan support to include language in a new COVID relief bill that would reverse a decision made by the IRS that expenses paid for by PPP funding are not tax deductible. ACC is also working with ACEC to correct another interpretation that firms working for federal agency clients and State DOTs may need to provide a credit to offset the proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan. This essentially forces the firm to repay the loan through a lower overhead rate or other credit and undermines the program benefit.
ACC Issues Action Alert as Congress Accelerates Discussions on COVID-19 Relief Bill
December 3rd, 2020
ACC issued an action alert to its members calling on companies to contact their Representatives and Senators in support of additional airport funding and a modification to Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans in a new COVD-19 relief bill. Momentum in Congress accelerated this week as pressure grew for passage of a COVID-19 relief measure before the end of the calendar year. In an attempt to get negotiations re-energized, a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled a $900 billion COVID relief bill, which Democratic leadership said they would accept. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was floating a new proposal as well. ACC's action alert calls on member companies to urge Congress to include additional funding for airports and also a reverse a decision by the IRS that expenses covered by PPP loans are not tax deductible
. View the full Action Alert here
ACC Committees Welcome New Leadership & Share Plans for 2021
November 25th, 2020
In conjunction with the 2021 Annual Conference, ACC's committees met from November 18th-20th to welcome new committee leadership and begin strategizing committee initiatives in accordance with ACC's strategic plan for the coming year. Along with their respective objectives, ACC's committees continued their discussions surrounding panel contributions to the 2021 ACC/AAAE Planning, Design, & Construction Symposium, highlighted the latest news surrounding developments on Capitol Hill following the 2020 general election, and shared new Training Hub webinar topic ideas for further development in 2021. ACC is grateful for the continued, committed leadership in all the committees, as well as the many new vice chairs that have signed on for 2021. ACC committees greatly help ACC leadership in key decision making and ensure that the council's efforts are in the best interest of the industry. Sign up to participate in meaningful opportunities with other members.
ACC Announces Larry Studdiford as the 2021 Board Chair
November 19th, 2020
The Airport Consultants Council (ACC) is pleased to announce the election of Larry Studdiford, President at Studdiford Technical Solutions, LLC, as the chair of the 2021 ACC Board of Directors. Studdiford assumed the position at the ACC membership meeting on Friday, November 13, 2020, during the 42nd ACC Annual Conference & Exposition. Larry’s 26 years in the aviation field have largely been focused on checked baggage system design, construction management, and related services, including technology integration, configuration management, specification development, and commissioning for airports worldwide. His experience has been and will continue to be an asset to ACC and its members. Read the full press release here
November 5th, 2020
ACC President TJ Schulz was interviewed by Connected Aviation Today to discuss the direction the aviation industry has taken in the last 10 months. "There are two tracks that we focused on," he told us. "The first was to help our members understand the impact. The second was that we were heavily engaged on Capitol Hill as it related to COVID relief bills and the potential funding for airports with the CARES Act, including the $10 billion provided to airports due to the impact of revenue from the halt in travel." Schulz also mentioned the opportunities airports have for development projects during this time. ACC had looked back at the Industry Report that had been published at the beginning of the year and identified over $31b, down from its original $138b, in rehabilitation and maintenance projects across 46 airports. Read the full article here
October 29th, 2020
ACC President T.J. Schulz joined industry experts in identifying key research projects under the National Safe Skies Alliance’s Program for Applied Research in Aviation Security (PARAS). Problem statements covered impacts on airport security operations from the COVID pandemic and other pressing security issues. Safe Skies will be announcing the 2021 applied security research projects in the coming weeks.
The program can be viewed here.
October 22, 2020
The Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC) and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that commits the organizations to formally collaborate in advancing diversity and promoting opportunities for companies within the aviation industry by leveraging their collective membership and training resources. Both organizations seek to promote best practices and opportunities for their member companies to succeed in airport development pursuits. The MOU states that the organizations "recognize that increased diversity within the airport development industry will foster benefits and help fill the pipeline of future development experts."
ACC Committees Developing Best Practices for Airports in Pandemic Recovery
October 15, 200
ACC technical committees and experts on the Planning and Environmental Committee are working on developing best practices and considerations for airports as the industry continues to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic and looks to long-term recovery. Working groups have been established on forecasting and planning in a time of uncertainty; evolution in airport sustainability; and new directions in resiliency in terms of pandemic and other conditions facing airports. ACC looks forward to working with airport sponsors and the FAA in these initiatives.
ACC Identifies $31B in Renovation & Rehabilitation Projects at 46 Airports
October 10, 2020
This past February, ACC released its Capital Development Report providing an overview of upcoming capital development spending needs through the year 2024 at over 100 surveyed airports of varying sizes within the U.S. The report estimated over $138 billion in planned projects at these airports prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a majority of the projects focused on terminal redevelopment and expansion, climate change mitigation, infrastructure resiliency development, and more.
In lieu of the dramatic impact to the aviation system in these past months, ACC recently re-examined the report and identified over $31 billion in rehabilitation and maintenance projects at 46 airports. These projects may be more viable for moving forward as uncertainty continues regarding the length and extent of recovery. You can read more about this finding here
. For anyone interested in reading more or accessing the Capital Development at Airports project spreadsheets, please visit the ACC Training Hub
2020 Virtual Annual Conference & Exposition — New Dates Announced!
September 24, 2020
The ACC Annual Conference will take place virtually this November. To accommodate attendees and presenters, the conference will take place over three non-consecutive days — November 10th, 12th, and 17th. Check out the ACC Annual Conference events page for more details as they become available.
September 17, 2020
The Security Manufacturers Coalition (SMC) presented Congressman John Katko (R-NY-24) the inaugural Aviation Security Guardian Award . The award recognizes outstanding leadership in countering terrorism and advancing aviation security. SMC Chair Kevin Schmidt with Smiths Detection and SMC Director T.J. Schulz presented Katko the award on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, discussed his many contributions to improving aviation security and TSA reforms.
September 10, 2020
The ACC Engineering Committee has submitted comments to the FAA on its draft Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5335-5D, Standardized Method of Reporting Pavement Strength — PCR. This updated AC provides guidance on the reporting of runway, taxiway and apron pavement strength in accordance with standardized International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) methods. Changes include the incorporation of ICAO Annex 14 changes to pavement strength reporting, and a provision of background and examples on the revised reporting methodologies. All documents related to the FAA AC draft can be found here. If you are interested in a copy of the ACC comments submitted to FAA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACC Committee Review of Two FAA Draft Advisory Circulars
September 3, 2020
ACC Engineering and Planning & Environmental Committee members are currently reviewing two FAA draft Advisory Circulars. AC 150/5335-5D: Standardized Method of Reporting Pavement Strength – PCR, released August 12, provides guidance on the reporting of runway, taxiway and apron pavement strength in accordance with standardized International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) methods. All documents related to this AC draft can be found here, and Engineering Committee member comments to this draft are due to ACC on September 4th.
Also out for industry comment is FAA's long awaited Advisory Circular 150/5300-13B: Airport Design. ACC is soliciting comments on this draft from Engineering and Planning & Environmental Committee members, with a September 5th deadline for submission. Comments should be sent to Sylvia Palmer at email@example.com, Doug DiCarlo at firstname.lastname@example.org and Gen Long at Glong@appliedpavement.com.
ACC Participates in Virginia Aviation Conference
August 27, 2020
ACC President T.J. Schulz provided opening remarks at the Virginia Aviation Conference, held in Hot Springs, Virginia last week. Schulz presented an update on activities taking place in Washington, including progress on Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding and the status of deliberations on the next COVID-19 relief bill and potential funding for airports. Schulz also reviewed the current state of the aviation system and impacts to airlines from the COVID-19 pandemic, and provided thoughts on recovery scenarios. Schulz will be providing a similar update to ACC members on Friday, August 28 at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Participants can sign up for the briefing on the ACC Training Hub.
ACI, AAAE Sign Joint Letter with SMC in Support of TSA Funding
August 20, 2020
The Security Manufacturers Coalition (SMC) coordinated a joint letter with AAAE and ACI to congressional leadership, supporting the $208 million in funding for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which is included in the Senate HEROES Act. "New technological investments and increased cleaning efforts will provide TSA with the capability to reduce passenger 'touch points' and increase social distancing at security checkpoints," the organizations state in the letter. "Further, investing in and deploying advanced security technologies will make passenger screening operations more effective and efficient by lowering false alarm rates and increasing passenger throughput."
ACC Review of Draft Airport Design Advisory Circular 150/5300-13B
August 14, 2020
FAA has released its long awaited updated AC draft of airport design Advisory Circular 150/5300-13B, Airport Design
. The letter to industry announcing its release, as well as various documents relevant to the draft, are available on the FAA website. ACC is soliciting comments on the draft from Engineering and Planning and Environmental Committee members, with a September 5th deadline for submission. A joint committee call will be held on Monday August 17 to discuss an approach for tackling the draft in a coordinated manner which would include assigning individual chapters and appendices of the draft AC to those willing to volunteer their assistance. If you are interested in participating in this venture, please contact Sylvia Palmer at email@example.com
or Doug DiCarlo at firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 ACC Virtual Airports Technical Workshop — A Rousing Success!
August 6, 2020
The first ACC Virtual Airports Technical Workshop (ATW) has ended. This year's workshop was a grand success, with over 200 participants and a wide range of topics covered including Impacts from the COVID-19 Pandemic on Airport Funding/Planning and Development, CARES ACT funding and FAA's apportioning of funds as well as the impacts on industry. We are very happy to have heard from Kirk Shaffer, the Associate Administrator for Airports, several members of FAA's Engineering and Planning staff, as well as industry subject matter experts from the consultant community, on many topics critical to the aviation industry. While the industry's response to COVID-19 and its impact was a core focus, other sessions discussed airport design, environmental topics, upcoming FAA research and much more. Thank you to all the panelists, session moderators and attendees for making this a very successful workshop! Please continue to visit the ATW microsite on the ACC training hub to receive updated information on accreditation as well as speaker presentations that will be provided in the resource page to all conference attendees. We look forward to seeing you all next year.
ACC 2020 Annual Conference Goes Virtual
July 23, 2020
After much deliberation with the ACC Executive Committee and Board of Directors, ACC has decided to not hold an in-person meeting in Florida this November, and instead hold a virtual program. While ACC is disappointed that the meeting will not be held in person, the Annual Conference committee is planning an incredibly informative virtual program. Topics will include the future outlook for airports and airlines; a review of the November election results and impacts on airport development; how COVID-19 will change the way development companies conduct business; and how to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce. ACC will also identify unique opportunities for networking and fun. Stay tuned for more information.
ACC Embarks on Draft Airport Design Advisory Circular Review
July 23, 2020
- An overview of the draft,
- Key changes from 13A,
- Expected timeline for the issuance of a final AC
- Applying changes (current vs future projects)
ACC is soliciting comments on the draft from Engineering and Planning and Environmental Committee members, with a September 5th deadline for submission to email@example.com
SMC Calls on Congress to Provide TSA Funding in Response to COVID
July 17, 2020
The Security Manufacturers Coalition (SMC) this week released a new report that details the need for investments in next generation technologies as a key part of efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Titled "Enhancing Security Effectiveness in a COVID-19 Contactless Environment," the report includes recommendations for enhancing security operations and instituting measures to protect TSA officers and the travelling public from COVID-19 exposure. "Security equipment plays a critical role in keeping our airports and the traveling public safe and secure. As we counter terrorist threats with cutting edge technology, now those same innovations can be used to protect the health and safety of TSA professionals and passengers." said Kevin Schmidt, Chairman of the SMC.
ACC Urges Funding for Airports in Letter to Congressional Leadership
July 9, 2020
ACC sent a letter to the top four House and Senate transportation appropriations leaders last week urging Congress to provide additional funding to airports in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Aviation and airports will play a critical role in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and we ask for your continued leadership in providing funding…as part of the FY 2021 DOT, FAA spending bill or future relief and recovery legislation," said T.J. Schulz, ACC President. In the letter, Schulz stated ACC's support for fully funding AIP and providing supplemental appropriations in the FY 2021 spending bill; providing 100 percent federal funding share for projects; fixing the anticipated negative balance in the Airport and Airways Trust Fund; and providing additional funding to shore up airport operations and continue capital improvement programs.
ACC Alerts Members on Details of House Infrastructure Bill
July 2, 2020
On June 23, the FAA released Draft AC 150/5320-6G
and is requesting the of industry. This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance on the design and evaluation of pavements used by aircraft at civil airports
. FAA’s comment submission Deadline is Saturday, August 1, 2020
for inclusion in the finalized AC. In response, the ACC Engineering Committee is soliciting comments from committee members for submission to the FAA. An Engineering committee meeting to discuss the committee’s overall review and submission of comments has been scheduled for Tuesday, July 7, 2020.
ACC Alerts Members on Details of House Infrastructure Bill
June 26, 2020
Kirk Shaffer, the FAA Associate Administrator for Airports will deliver the opening remarks for ACC's 2020 Virtual Airport Technical Workshop (ATW) to be held August 4-6. Shaffer will discuss FAA’s implementation of the CARES Act and the various ways in which the agency has adapted operations in response to COVID-19. Various FAA officials and other subject matter experts from the consultant community will also be on hand at the workshop, to advise on guidelines, regulations and legislation, and collectively help shape future airport planning and development directives. Registration will soon be open. Please check the program website
for additional details including a preliminary agenda and sponsorship opportunities.
ACC and AAAE Issue a Call for Topics for 2021 Symposium
June 19, 2020
The ACC/AAAE 2020 Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium
Committee is soliciting input from airport professionals on Plenary Sessions and Workshop topics in addition to suggestions for potential moderators and panelists. To participate, please complete the Potential Topics and Moderators survey
. The Symposium will feature Plenary Sessions for all participants and concurrent workshops including the following technical tracks: Planning; Terminal/Landside; Engineering/Airside; Project Management/Construction Management; and mini-tracks on both Airline and International Issues. The submission deadline for potential topics is Friday July 17.
Board of Directors and Committee Leadership Advance ACC Strategic Plan
June 11, 2020
The House of Representatives is readying its comprehensive $1.5 trillion dollar infrastructure package for floor consideration next week. The bill, H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act
, incorporates the comprehensive surface transportation bill that was recently passed by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, and a number of additional provisions for other infrastructure. The bill includes a total of $37 billion in authorized funding for airports, which ACC detailed in a legislative update sent to members this week.
June 1, 2020
The ACC Board of Directors has revisited the Council’s strategic plan to prioritize the Future of Airports theme in the post-COVID world. ACC as a result, has proposed a process for ACC committees to take leadership and engage in educating and informing ACC members and industry stakeholders on the post-COVID airport, as passengers begin to return to airports. The Terminal and Facilities committee, under the leadership of Scott Tumolo (C&S Companies) and Amy Sonbuchner (Alliiance), have recently formed three subcommittees: Arrival, Departure and Post-Security, to take on this initiative and identify and prioritize topics for virtual panels discussions, and possible written summaries.
ACC COVID-19 Discussion Forums are Open for Your Participation!
May 21, 2020
ACC has created discussion forums
on the ACC Training Hub to encourage members to exchange ideas, discuss COVID-19 challenges, share business and operational strategies, and learn about COVID-19 impacts on the aviation industry. The forums are divided by company size – Large, Medium, Small and Sole Proprietor to encourage participation and discussions that are unique to each size category.
A big thank you to the forum facilitators: Large Firms – Geoffrey Ax
(Populous), Medium Firms – Greg Heaton
(Crawford, Murphy and Tilly), Small Firms – Belinda Hargrove
(TransSolutions) and Sole Proprietor Firms – Susan Winslow
(Tela Vuota) who hosted very successful forum meetings this week! Please join the discussions and give us your insights on the Future of Airports and what air travel will be like after we return to normalcy. We look forward to your insights.
ACC Rolls out Post COVID Airport Strategic Plan Direction
May 7, 2020
In 2019, ACC launched the implementation of its updated strategic plan taking into account an aviation industry that was experiencing significant growth and severe congestion in airport facilities. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, ACC has shifted its focus on the short and long-term implications of the pandemic to the aviation industry and airport design. The ACC Board of Directors has revisited the strategic plan to now prioritize the Future of Airports
theme in the post-COVID world. ACC committee leaders held a call on May 5 to discuss the 'COVID-19 pivot' and a proposed process for ACC committees to lead in educating and informing ACC members and industry stakeholders. The focus will be on the post-COVID airport as the economy begins to open up again; how the travel experience will change; and implications on the future design and operations at airports.
April 1, 2020
As the impacts and ramifications of the coronavirus event continue to unfold, the aviation industry is seeking aid from Congress and the Trump Administration to offset unprecedented losses incurred by the massive COVID-19 related travel disruptions. ACC will be covering industry proposals for inclusion in government’s plans to stimulate the economy and provide aid to affected industries. Members will have the opportunity to review recent and past updates here
. For assistance in setting up member login credentials, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org