Press Release

Airports, Industry Leaders Release Comprehensive Guide for Managing Capital Improvement Programs

For Immediate Release
June 12, 2024

Alexandria, Va.— The American Association of Airport Executives’ (AAAE) Airport Consortium on Transformation (ACT), comprised of innovative airport leaders and aviation industry experts, has released a comprehensive guide for airport finance professionals dedicated to the effective management of Capital Improvement Programs (CIPs). 

The research included in the guide delves into essential strategies for navigating the complexities of CIPs, and the need for extensive coordination among various stakeholders. It offers a toolkit of technical approaches and strategic insights that are indispensable throughout the life cycle of capital projects.

“This paper is a valuable collection of the current capital planning and management practices at airports, which can be used as a guide by airport managers in their decision-making process as they evaluate their own capital investment needs,” said Los Angeles World Airports Chief Financial Officer Tatiana Starostina. “I am grateful to all the participants and the AAAE ACT program for this contribution to the airport industry and the airport finance community.” 

“With the North American airport industry facing a great need for investment and improvement, this is an opportune time to consider how airport finance professionals can plan, monitor, and execute transformational capital programs,” added Ian Sample, Associate with Steer. “This guide will be a valuable tool for emerging and established airport finance teams as they face the projects in front of them.”

The paper highlights essential practices for effective capital improvement programs, drawing on case studies from ACT-member airports. It reviews governance, management, and project scoping. It stresses the importance of aligning these programs with strategic plans to ensure success, emphasizes thorough initial planning and clear objectives, and discusses the role of debt affordability analysis in understanding financial constraints. The paper also recommends prudent reserve allocations and underscores the necessity of strong collaboration between external project managers and internal finance teams, along with robust communication and stakeholder engagement strategies for sustained success.

Contributors to the report include Loop Capital Markets, Ramirez & Co., RS&H, and Steer.

To view the research, visit


ABOUT ACT: AAAE, supported by CAG Holdings, LLC (CAG), a Carlyle-backed entity, established the ACT Program to evaluate and implement solutions addressing key challenges within the airport industry. This initiative champions collaboration, innovation, and thought leadership, enabling airports to test and refine impactful strategies for overcoming significant challenges. Comprising 35 airport members and 15 corporate members, ACT remains a leader in deploying innovative solutions throughout the aviation sector. The program provides numerous opportunities for airports to conduct research and pilot new technologies, ultimately reimagining the airport experience and enhancing operational efficiencies. 

ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) is the world's largest professional organization representing the individuals who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 10,000 members represent more than 850 airports as well as hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program. CONTACT:


Brian M. Kalish
Associate Vice President, Communications

Jeremy Valcich, C.M., ACE, IACE
Director, Innovation Programs