As part of its mission to develop near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators, the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) selected Gresham Smith as part of a Unison-led team to identify and quantify the effects of regulatory compliance requirements at small and non-hub airports.

In recent years, federal, state and local governments have increased regulatory requirements on airports in the United States. The costs associated with meeting those regulations have increased the overall cost of operating an airport. Limited by lower passenger enplanement, small airports lack the ability to raise revenue or make significant cost cuts to address the financial burden of increased regulation. Government agencies have provided some subsidies to fund new regulatory initiatives but many costs attributed to regulatory compliance remain unfunded.

We worked with Unison to analyze and estimate the cost associated with each regulatory requirement from implementation through ongoing maintenance. Unison worked primarily on FAA regulatory and compliance issues and developed integrated estimates of compliance costs while Gresham Smith focused on environmental requirements and costs.

View/purchase ACRP Report 90: Impact of Regulatory Compliance Costs on Small Airports on the Transportation Research Board’s website.


Airport Cooperative Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board


Washington, D.C.

Project Type

Aviation, Stormwater