Updates from 2015 ACC Board of Directors Chair Carol Lurie. Carol can be reached at or on Twitter @Carol_Lurie.


ACC is on the move

September 9, 2015

My first ACC conference was way back in the early 1990s where many of the FAA’s key decision makers and regional representatives gathered with the consultant community in Washington D.C.  It was a convergence of airport industry professionals who together were focused on airport development issues. I was struck by how open and candid everyone was talking about new regulations and innovations, along with recent challenges and possible solutions. It seemed fitting to have the meeting in our nation’s capital, and it was made all the more powerful with FAA representatives around the country actively participating in the conversation.

I soon learned that ACC hosted its annual conference in wonderful locations alternatively on the east and west coasts. This continental shift provided plenty of chances for ACC members to hear different perspectives while enjoying the outdoors golfing, fishing or doing community service.  The networking opportunities directly lead to two job wins for my firm!

The flagship technical conference – the Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium – was held somewhere in the middle of the country. ACC collaborates with AAAE to host this premier airport conference on airport development. It is the place to go to learn about cutting edge issues and solutions.

And then there are the ACC courses taught around the country – pavement design and construction in Seattle, Memphis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston, Fort Worth, Atlanta and Washington DC. Or the Project Delivery Workshop in Arlington, VA, Indianapolis, San Diego and Ft. Lauderdale. Not to mention the Airport Planning and NEPA Workshops in San Antonio, Seattle, Kansas City and Long Beach. ACC’s reach is long and important.

ACC is on the move – this time to our counterparts across the pond. I am pleased to be participating in ACC’s joint conference in London with the British Aviation Group (BAG). To be held December 2 and 3 in a fabulous location overlooking Tower Bridge, this conference solidifies ACC as a global player. Thanks in great part to our globalization initiative plus joint networking with BAG at Passenger Terminal World events, we are looking forward to this new international chapter in ACC’s playbook.

Come one, come all - join me in Newport Beach for the ACC Annual Conference or in London for the Global Business Summit. You won’t be sorry.


Carol Lurie, ACC Chair
Principal and Senior Planner at VHB-a full-service consultancy including engineers, planners, scientists, and designers -Making Airports Work.

Carol can be reached at
Follow Carol on twitter @Carol_Lurie



What I did this Summer (and Fall)

May 28, 2015

As I sit on my deck watching the flowers that have bloomed after a very long winter and enjoying a sun set over the horizon, I eagerly await a jam-packed Summer and Fall. I expect that the conferences and events hosted by ACC will round out a busy work schedule in the coming months. ACC has a robust set of training sessions and professional development opportunities that will boost one's PDUs and enhance our service offerings to our clients.​

  •  There are two timely webinars in the pipeline: Changes to Runway and Taxiway Painting Procedures (June 5/12:30 EDT) - an easy way to make sure to be up to speed on the latest standards and practices. Then a webinar on How Cost Estimating and Scheduling Can Be A "Critical Link" (June 22/1:00 EDT). Another example of how ACC helps with the business of consulting and provides skills training to our members.
  • I am particularly excited about the ACC/TSA Security Capabilities Workshop (June 16 - 18 in Arlington VA). Held as a standalone event, with face-to-face roundtables with representatives from the TSA and other DHS agencies, there will be great discussions and dialogue with the over 200 people that are expected to attend.
  • The ACC Airports Technical Workshop (ATW) (July 16-17) will be held in a new DC location near Union Station. This refreshed conference, planned in collaboration with the FAA, features briefings on critical updated ACs and requirements that will affect airport planning, engineering and permitting. Other federal agencies have also been invited to weigh in.
  • Finally a timely and relevant event - the ACC/AAAE Airport Technology Workshop (August 26 in Salt Lake City) will provide insights to airport decision makers and managers into the myriad ways IT is changing the way airports function and serve the traveling public.

Here's to raising a glass with my airport colleagues at the November Annual Conference in Newport Beach, CA (November 9-11) and looking back at all the opportunities for learning and networking from the Summer and Fall.

Carol Lurie, ACC Chair
Principal and Senior Planner at VHB-a full-service consultancy including engineers, planners, scientists, and designers -Making Airports Work.

Carol can be reached at
Follow Carol on twitter @Carol_Lurie



I am getting ready for the big day

​January 29, 2015

No, not the countdown to the Super Bowl, but rather the countdown to the 2015 Airport Planning, Design & Construction Symposium, to be held from February 18-20, in Denver, Colorado. Co-hosted by ACC and AAAE, the 2015 Symposium is shaping up to be one of the best-attended airport industry conferences of the year. I’ll tell you why the Symposium is at the top of my list: well-planned sessions that are technically outstanding; opportunities for networking with colleagues, airports and regulators; a painless way to earn my continuing education credits; and a chance to kick back at evening events and the ever-popular ski trip.

Session topics will cover the gamut of issues of interest to the airport industry. From the two plenary sessions -- Game Changer: How Industry Giants are Providing a Better Customer Experience with Less and Climate Impacts on the Business of Aviation to five tracks covering Planning; Terminal/Landside; Airside/Engineering; Construction/Project Management and Global/Finance/IT, choosing which sessions to attend will be a welcome challenge. In between sessions, I plan to visit the exhibit hall filled with booths displaying everything from expert consulting services, engineered materials arresting systems and high tech buses to airport publications.

I am looking forward to recognizing our industry’s outstanding professionals at the Awards Luncheon, where the Jay Hollingsworth Speas Award will be presented to a person who is improving environmental relationships between the airports and the communities they serve. I can’t wait to acknowledge the creative winners of the ACC Young Professionals Innovation Competition and the airport selected for the ACC Excellence in Procurement Award. We will have a chance to hear how the recipients are improving the airport environment and learn from their examples.

The open mic with the TSA and updates on FAA Advisory Circulars are valuable opportunities to interact with our agency colleagues. We appreciate their attendance and commitment to productive dialogue and idea exchange.

So pack up your ski gear, download the conference app (The Airport Symposium - coming soon!) and get ready for a terrific 2015 Symposium in Denver.

See you there!

Carol Lurie, 2015 ACC Board of Directors Chair
Senior Planner/Principal



Planes, Trains and Automobiles - TRB 2015

January 22, 2015

My brain is full. So many interesting sessions, presentations and people to meet at TRB 2015 – held for the first time at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. I do miss the chance meetings of aviation colleagues in the corridors of the Omni Shoreham, but I was able to meet former workmates from other industries I had not seen in decades and my colleagues from WTS. I was pleased with the TRB App, an environmentally-friendly solution that made it possible to narrow down the list of must-see presentations and all but replaced the need for the printed conference guide.

ACC member firms were well represented, speaking on topics as diverse as:

  • “Your Neighborhood Spaceport”
  • “The Envision Sustainability Rating System  for infrastructure”
  • “Tools for Calculating Airport Contributions to State’s Implementation Plans”
  • “Unmanned Aerial Systems”
  • “Transportation Asset Management”
  • “Non-Traditional Relationships and Non-Aeronautical Land Use: Leveraging the Airport for Economic Development”
  • “The Latest In General Aviation Systems Planning”
  • “Funding Shortfalls and New Mechanisms to Address Changing Aviation Financial Dynamics”

A key element of the conference was presentations on outstanding research efforts sponsored by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACPR). ACC staff and member firms participate in an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators. From suggesting problems statements to conducting ground breaking research, actively engaging in this research allows one to “write the book” on an area of your personal expertise. I was delighted to hear that in future years, ACRP will be soliciting innovative ways to disseminate the research findings – from TED talks to training programs to tactile Apps. Put the reports in the library and get ready for creative information transfer!

Kudos to the national Academy of Sciences in pulling off another successful Annual TRB Meeting. See you in DC in January 2016.

Carol Lurie, LEED AP, ENV SP, AICP
2015 ACC Board of Directors Chair
VHB Senior Planner/Principal


Sea Shells, Speed Dating, and Strategies

November 27, 2014

It must be the Airport Consultants Council's Annual Conference, this year in Sanibel, FL. A collegial gathering of airport development experts who network, team, share experiences, and together promote and support the airport industry. As I start my tenure as 2015 ACC Chair I am struck by the uniqueness of ACC — an association wholly made up of airport consultants and suppliers who bring their special talents in planning and environmental, engineering, security, IT, project delivery, globalization, and finance to enhance airports across the US and internationally. Just like at VHB — We Make Airports Work — ACC member firms also solve challenges for airports of all types. In 2015, I will strive to make connections — among firms, among airports, among different disciplines, among airport industry groups, and among the regulators/agencies. I will also focus on NextGen, not the air traffic control system, but rather the next generation of professionals who will lead the industry in the future. Stay tuned for regular posts from me and let me know how ACC can serve you in the next year.

Carol Lurie, 2015 ACC Board of Directors Chair
Senior Planner/Principal