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FAA Design Competition for Universities

University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs

The FAA Design Competition for Universities has moved to a new home starting with the 2014 – 2015 academic year. The program is now being sponsored by the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) of the National Academies' Transportation Research Board. The Competition will now be called University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs. The general format and process remain the same. New challenges have been added. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium will continue to manage the Competition on behalf of the ACRP.

The Competition challenges both individuals and teams of undergraduate and graduate students working under the guidance of a faculty advisor to address issues currently facing airports and the National Airspace System. The Competition offers open-ended, real- world issues in four broad challenge areas: Airport Operations and Maintenance; Runway Safety, Runway Incursions and Runway Excursions; Airport Environmental Interactions; and Airport Management and Planning.

The Competition Guidelines for the 2015 – 2016 Academic Year are available at the Competition website at which also provides detailed information and a wealth of resources for students. Winning proposals for the 2014 – 2015 FAA Design Competition for Universities and archives for previous years are available at:

Feedback from faculty and student evaluations on the educational value of the Competition has been extremely positive. They consistently cite the value of the open-ended challenges, real-world problems and access to airport operators and industry experts.

The Competition is often used in capstone design courses, but has also been used by student chapters of professional societies and as an independent study topic. Airport issues cross a wide range of disciplines relating to the management, safety, capacity and efficiency of the nation's airports. Questions should be addressed to

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