Airport Communications Centers, Redefined: ACRP 10-20

Airport Communications Centers, Redefined

Communication Centers are an essential piece of the connected and responsive digital airport. Often called the “nerve center” of airports, communication centers are undergoing radical transformation, driven by nascent information and applied intelligence technologies. More than ever, airport operators rely on these communications centers for everyday operations, public safety/security, and emergency response, and use them as a tool to support a unique guest experience for passengers.

An Airport Communication Center (ACC) is a central physical location where multiple organizations work together to develop a comprehensive picture of all aspects of airport operations. The ACC gathers data from a variety of sources, and compiles information airport management uses to get an accurate picture of airport conditions, and make important decisions. ACCs are an integral focal point for airport operations through normal conditions, irregular operations, and emergency situations.

Based on research from more than 30 airports of all sizes across the United States, the newly released Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) report, “Guidance for Planning, Design and Operations of Airport Communications Centers”, offers owners and industry professionals a comprehensive set of considerations for the development of a technologically-advanced and high-functioning ACC. Burns worked closely with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to develop ACRP 10-20 – which focuses on best practices and approaches for the design, development and implementation of ACC at large, medium and small airports.

ACRP 10-20 includes: the steps needed to scope and tailor the most effective ACC; the project management approach for implementing an ACC project, and; the process for developing a concept of operations (CONOPS), which determines what functions should be included in an ACC and how they can effectively be implemented. ACRP 10-20 also provides recommendations on the construction of the ACC facility, and includes best practices for technology implementation and operation once the ACC has been established. Burns’ expertise in airport technology systems and operations was an important source of knowledge used in developing this critical airport guidebook.

For more information on airport communications centers or ACRP 10-20, contact Dave Kipp.

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