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Areas of Practice: Airports

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GRA advises airports and their governing authorities in a number of areas such as the airport’s impact on the regional economy, FAA and other benefit-cost standards for capacity investments, new air service initiatives, and the business case for major airports, including privatization or the development of entirely new airports.

We have also advised airports on the potential impacts of changes in the airline industry, in particular the effect of recent mergers and consolidations on the expected levels of service at specific airports. Virtually all airport planning studies conducted by GRA involve forecasting aviation activity and financial performance and, in many cases, market shares of particular carriers or carrier types.

As governments worldwide face increasing demands on transportation infrastructure and shortfalls in general government funds, innovative ways must be developed to finance new infrastructure investments while at the same time protecting the public interest.

  • Recently, the firm has advised the FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation on the privatization of commercial airports in the United States and supported the review of the San Juan airport privatization in 2013
  • GRA supports Philadelphia International Airport in business development and airline industry analysis
  • GRA advised the Houston Airport System on the economic and other impacts of international airline service at Hobby Airport
  • GRA assessed the forgone benefits to Hong Kong if airport capacity was not expanded; the results of GRA’s analysis were used as the economic justification for development of a new airport
  • GRA advised the FAA on a major airport investment project as part of the O’Hare Modernization Program

In addition to economic analysis, GRA can assist clients in addressing public policy issues critical to the success of major infrastructure investments. For example, GRA’s extensive experience in issues related to industrial organization and market structure allows the firm to analyze the regulatory environment and to recommend and support the negotiation of modifications that may be necessary to ensure the successful transition of a public entity to private ownership.