Legal Considerations for Airports Responding to Pandemics

BACKGROUND Published in 2018, ACRP LRD 34: Airport Public Health Preparedness and Response: Legal Rights, Powers, and Duties addressed the legal issues concerning the measures to detect communicable diseases, regulations to control communicable diseases, methods for decontamination, emergency legal preparedness, privacy, and potential sources of liability. Legal analysis of airport authorities and strategies for navigating the system of public health governance would position airports to respond more effectively to pandemics in the future. The information in this digest should be updated based on the experiences and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE The objective of this research is to provide an update based on lessons learned from COVID-19 to ACRP LRD 34 that airport attorneys and practitioners can use to help prepare, plan, and coordinate with their stakeholders in response to a threat of communicable disease. Stakeholders include federal government, state and local government, public health officials, airlines, and industry groups. The lessons learned would include key practical legal considerations to navigate the public health governance and significant challenges, and would facilitate effective transitions by airports to the "new" normal. It would also position airport stakeholders to respond effectively to future pandemics. The digest should include recommended actions and strategies to effectively navigate the potential impacts of federalism on airports within the continued operation of the national air transportation system during pandemics. RESEARCH IMPLEMENTATION This research will be conducted in two phases and four tasks in a firm fixed price agreement. At the conclusion of Phase I, ACRP will make a determination whether to proceed with Phase II. The tasks will be as follows: Phase I Task 1a. Kick-off call. Task 1b.  Detailed Report Outline.  Conduct background research and collect relevant material.  Based on the initial but thorough review of the source materials, propose a detailed report outline.  The outline should contain sufficient detail to describe what a report of appropriate length will contain.  This outline should also contain the estimated pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection.  This material will be submitted for ACRP consideration and approval. Participate in a conference call with the ACRP project review panel 3 weeks after submission of the outline. Phase II Task 2.  After ACRP approval of the detailed outline, conduct additional research, and case and statutory/regulatory analysis. Collect additional primary data to the extent necessary. Task 3.  Submit an initial draft report in accordance with the approved outline (including any modification required by ACRP).  Participate in a conference call with the ACRP project review panel 3 weeks after submission of the initial draft report. Task 4.  Revise the initial report as necessary and provide a red-line and clean version of the draft final report (DFR).  The ACRP will provide written comments to which each comment will need a point-by-point response and the report will be revised as appropriate, and submitted as the final report. FUNDING: $70,000 25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 1 Outline 50% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 3 Report 25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 4 Final Report SPECIAL NOTES A. To be selected, proposers must include a multi-disciplinary team of attorneys and other airport professionals (active or retired), including airport staff and/or consultants with relevant experience. B. Proposers will be evaluated by individuals collectively knowledgeable in this problem area. Evaluations are based upon the proposers’: (1) knowledge, experience, and accomplishments in the subject area (demonstrated by the research plan, statement of resources, qualifications, and resumes; (2) understanding of the work (demonstrated by the team’s proposed approach to conducting the research and preparing the report); (3) prior relevant publications (including briefs); and (4) schedule for completing the work. C. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB’s Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB’s policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, “Use of Copyrighted Material,” in the Procedural Manual for Contractors. HOW TO PROPOSE:   Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF, not to exceed 50 pages, with this information in the following order: - Summary sheet. Here is the summary sheet;       -  A research plan that describes each task in sufficient detail to allow the review panel to make an informed assessment of the likelihood of the proposer’s success. The plan must include: -  An introduction that provides a concise overview of the proposer’s understanding of the topic and the issues presented, the proposed team’s experience and qualifications relevant to the topic, and the team’s proposed approach to conducting the research and preparing the report; -  A brief outline of the proposed contents of the report; -  Detailed information on the proposed research methodology for each task in sufficient detail to permit evaluation of achieving the objective(s); -  Statement of resources (e.g., hours per person per task) allocated to this project, and timelines for each task; -  Resumes of key team members along with a description of responsibilities; -  Any additions, deletions, or changes you may wish to suggest to the scope of work for undertaking the work; and -  A list of relevant prior publications (one or two samples may be enclosed).  Proposers should read Guidance for Working on ACRP Legal Studies Projects for more information.       


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $70000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    11-01/Topic 14-01

  • 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:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Start Date: 20211012
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01784523
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: 11-01/Topic 14-01
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 11 2021 3:16PM