Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S01-21. Successful Arts Programs at Airports

Engaging experiences are what airport travelers desire. Happy and engaged passengers spend more money while awaiting their flights. The arts are becoming a crucial component of airports around the world as a gateway to the city. As airports are often a reflection of a city’s cultural image, arts and culture are a vital presence and can provide a sense of place and tell a visual story about the region. Increasing specialized expertise through the use of art curators, arts administrators, and subject matter experts is needed to oversee the professionalism, success and operational risk management of arts programs at airports. As the global economy grows and security concerns multiply, traveling through and waiting at airports is now a common experience for more and more travelers. According to Airport Council International (ACI), passenger traffic at airports worldwide is expected to more than double to 14 billion by 2029. With US airports expanding, renovating and reconstructing to accommodate expected growth, airport operators have an opportunity to shape and enhance passengers’ experience by curating and introducing culturally rich and meaningful art experiences through visual and performing arts in public airport spaces. Cultural, educational, and aesthetic experiences are essential to the airport environment as a community hub. These experiences offer tangible and well-studied benefits, including, among others: (1) Improving the overall travel experience. As ACRP Report 109, Improving Terminal Design to Increase Revenue Generation Related to Customer Satisfaction, found, “travelers appear to value the relaxation afforded by cultural offerings, which may reduce stress.” (2) Exposing travelers to local cultural and environmental riches, which can increase visibility of the artists. (3) Expanding community goodwill and partnerships. (4) Fostering business, economic development, and tourism opportunities in the region by identifying the region as a center for creative economy. There are few resources for airport managers and program managers to learn about benefits and challenges of airport arts programs. The objective of this report is to understand why airports develop arts programs, describe the benefits and challenges, present existing successful models and partnerships, identify costs and funding sources, and offer practical tools and guidance for airports of all sizes. The audiences for this resource are airport executives, arts staffs, and stakeholders; government leaders; and community and arts stakeholders. This synthesis of practice will document the current state of the practice and provide an overview of resources and tools available to help airports of all sizes develop and implement successful arts programming.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S01-21

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

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

    Federal Aviation Administration

    490 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
    Washington, DC    20024
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Performing Organizations:

    Midwest Airport Consultants

    City,   United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Karaskiewicz, Timothy

  • Start Date: 20190615
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01687059
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S01-21
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 26 2018 3:04PM