Enhancing Airport Workforce Efficiency through Automation

Personnel shortage is one of the primary concerns expressed by airport leadership. Shortages may be due to retirements or retention and recruitment challenges; notably, there appears to be a shrinking pool of skilled and knowledgeable airport employees to meet demands and stabilize the airport workforce. Automation—using technology, programs, or processes to automatically control the operation of an apparatus, process, or system—can help airport employees perform their job duties and achieve more efficient outcomes, especially during staffing shortages. The objectives of this research are (1) to create a method for U.S. airport policymakers to assess and rate current and emerging software- and hardware-based automation technologies, programs, or processes in their organization and facilities (terminal, airside, and landside); (2) to develop a roadmap for optimizing existing automation and/or adopting new automation; and (3) to develop an executive summary of the findings. The roadmap should include a decision support tool to help U.S. airports select current and emerging automation. The automation should be focused on optimizing business processes to help improve the efficiency of airport employees and enhance the end user experience. Although opportunities for adopting automation could be found throughout the airport ecosystem, this project should focus on applications in the broad categories of airport business processes, human resource management, and facility and equipment management and operation in the terminal, airside, and landside environments (see Special Note A). The roadmap should contain, at a minimum, two practical case studies of representative technologies, programs, or processes in each category, including a business case; technology identification and selection; procurement; implementation; training; and key metrics and measurable improvements, if any. In accomplishing the objectives, please address at a minimum: (1) Identifying what should be automated;  (2) Leveraging automation to supplement existing workforce capacity;  (3) Human-machine interface and teaming; (4) Stakeholder engagement throughout the life cycle of the automation, i.e., selection and procurement to end of life; (5) Implementation efforts for new automation; (6) Training programs; (7) Fostering a technology skillset in the existing workforce; and (8) Change management.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $450000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 06-10

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Griffin, Matthew

  • Start Date: 20240205
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01889824
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 06-10
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 10 2023 10:14AM