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The ACC Foundation supports activities that foster the growth, innovation, and diversity of the next generation of airport development professionals.


ACC/AAAE Airport planning, design & construction SYMPOSIUM


The Airport Consultants Council (ACC) Foundation was established to further the education, research, and other initiatives that advance innovations in airport development and foster the growth of airport development-related services.  Learn more about the ACC foundation here.

The Foundation is also dedicated to the growth and advancement of airport development professionals. In alignment with these objectives, each year the Foundation funds grants for aspiring airport development professionals to attend the annual ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium, a premier aviation event in which airport development professionals from around the country convene to discuss trends, lessons learned, and the future of the industry. The next grant will fund attendance to the 2024 Symposium held March 5-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

This is an excellent opportunity for current university students and recent graduates who are considering a career in the airport development field.

The symposium typically has an attendance of more than 1,500 and offers highly technical content for airport professionals of all disciplines and experience levels. Workshops include a balanced mix of presentations and interactive discussions between subject matter experts and participants on a broad range of topics. Technical tracks cover planning, terminal/landside, engineering/airside, and program management/construction management, as well as two mini-tracks featuring interactive workshops on the airport terminal of the future, and workshops on enhancing diversity at the workplace and in airport projects. Sustainability, IT, security, and the latest in airport research will be incorporated into the program and designated through icons to help inform your session selections. Plenary sessions and a keynote luncheon will cover new trends and innovations that will impact airport professionals today and into the future. The symposium also features a robust program for aviation young professionals, including technical training and opportunities for professional development.

Symposium Highlights

  • 25 Unique Technical Workshops With More Than 80 Technical Presentations
  • “Open Mic” Sessions With Officials From the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  • Networking Sessions for Thought-Provoking Discussions and Connections
  • Keynote Talks and Plenary Sessions With Industry Leaders
  • More Than 65 Exhibitors Demonstrating New Technology
  • Young Professionals Program

Grant Value:  Grant recipients will receive a $5,000 grant to cover the costs to attend the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Symposium (travel, lodging, meals, etc.).  Recipient will receive the grant during the conference.

Diversity/Inclusion Statement:  ACC will increase the awareness of opportunities for talented professionals to succeed in the vibrant aviation field. As a long-term byproduct, ACC will improve the diversity of aviation and ACC leaders by establishing strategic partnerships, leveraging the ACC Institute, and increasing membership diversity, participation and mindset within ACC events.

Mission: The ACC Foundation supports activities that foster the growth, innovation, and diversity of the next generation of airport professionals.

Individuals who meet the following criteria will be considered eligible for this grant:

  1. Pursuing, or have recently received, an undergraduate degree in a field applicable to airports. Because airport development includes a wide range of skills and careers, applicants will be considered with pursuits or degrees applicable to the following: planning, environmental, engineering, architecture, construction, education, business, marketing, communication, equipment, law, services, airports, suppliers, advertisers, and concessions.
  2.  Be less than two (2) years from receiving an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree or no more than two (2) years after receiving an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree.
  3. Agree to attend and participate in the full ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium. The chance to attend the Symposium is a cornerstone of this grant and it is expected that the awardee will make every effort to participate in the conference for the full duration, attending sessions and networking with other attendees. It is possible that specific expectations will be outlined for your efforts at the conference; for example, meeting and documenting discussions with the exhibitors who are present to share knowledge about the industry. These expectations could involve a follow-up after the conference concludes. ACC may provide a mentor, or mentors, to guide you through the conference and support your networking.
  4. Possess a vested interest in pursuing a career in airport development or airport development-related services and demonstrate this interest in the essay portion of the application (for example, an internship, study, work experience, or other practical ties to airports).
  5. Complete all components of the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Grant applications are no longer being accepted for the 2024 Symposium Grant.

The next application opening will begin Fall 2024.

Complete the application form, which can be found on this web page.  The application includes the following components:

  • Details of any academic honors and awards received by the applicant
  • GPA
  • Details of extracurricular activities
  • Details of any leadership roles held by the applicant
  • One personal reference/testimonial
  • Two academic references/testimonials

Eligible applications will be evaluated by the ACC Foundation Board, and the Board will make the final determination on awards.

Q: What is the value of this grant?
A: $5,000.  The purpose of this grant is to cover travel, lodging and meals in order for the grant winners to attend the event.

Q: Does this conference grant program provide support for travel to the symposium?
A: The current program is designed to provide funding for individuals to travel to the symposium.  The funds are also intended to be used for lodging and meals.  Grant winners are expected to make their own travel arrangements.  However, if a grant winner is unable to make their own travel arrangements, the Foundation can provide logistical assistance and make some recommendations.

Q: Does the recipient of the grant need to pay a registration fee to attend the symposium?
A: No. Our intent for the grant is to allow you to attend the symposium at no cost.  The registration fee will be waived.

Q: I am a young professional currently working in the airport industry.  I really want to attend but my employer will not send me.  Am I eligible to apply for this grant?
A: This program is intended for students currently pursuing an undergraduate (bachelor’s) degree who are within two years of graduation and recent graduates who received their bachelor’s degrees within the past two years.  If either of these criteria apply to you, then you are eligible to apply.  If not, then please refer your employer to the symposium website so they can learn more about why they should send you to this event.

Q: If I am selected, when will I get the grant money?
A:  Winners will be presented with a check at the conclusion of symposium.  This means that winners will typically need to use their own funds to pay for all travel expenses up front.

Q: Will the Foundation consider funding attendance to a different industry event?
A:  The funding priority for this program is attendance to the ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design & Construction Symposium.  If applications are submitted that include requests to attended different events, they will not be competitive.

Q: I am looking for some funding for a local program.  Will the ACC Foundation consider providing grant funding?
A:  Feel free to send an e-mail to [email protected].

Q: I have some questions.  How can I contact the ACC Foundation?
A:  Feel free to send an e-mail to [email protected].

2023 Winners

“Being able to attend the ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium was a fascinating experience that really opened my eyes to understanding the wider aviation industry as a whole. Between networking with industry leaders and other engineers, attending the various informative sessions, and hearing about the successes and journeys of other young professionals, the symposium really held a valuable wealth of knowledge.”

Sydney Northrop
University of Arizona
2023 Grant Winner

2022 Winners

“The symposium is not just a social networking hub, but a great learning experience with all the technical sessions. As a civil engineering major, I wanted to attend all the engineering track sessions. I spent majority of my time in these sessions; however, I also branched out to two other breakout sessions to broaden my horizons. I really enjoyed these sessions as I got the chance to see how everything I have been learning for the past four years in class is directly applicable to the real world. As students, I believe we sometimes doubt how necessary some of the material we strain to learn can be. It was very fulfilling seeing these well-established engineers and business men and women talk about the application of the structural analysis material that made me want to rip my hair out.”

Alexandra Goslin
Northeastern University
2022 Grant Winner

“Attending the ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium was an eye-opening experience. I was able to immerse myself in a field of professionals I hope to join one day very soon. It was incredibly informative, and I was able to attend sessions that showed me how aviation professionals work together to complete projects and how they are working towards a future of diversity and inclusion. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet several influential people and foster connections with possible mentors. It’s also a ton of fun! You will have the ability to connect with young professionals that will help to make this industry feel a lot smaller and more connected.”

Catherine Cummings
Bridgewater State University
2022 Grant Winner


Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2024 ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design and Construction Symposium grant.  Please visit again in the fall for the 2025 application process.

2024 ACC Foundation Board of Directors:

  • Chair: Rhea Hanrahan, HMMH
  • Vice-Chair:
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Courtney Beamon, Delta Airport Consultants, Inc.
  • Immediate Past Board Chair: John J. Faucher, Mead & Hunt, Inc.
  • Don Bergin, Blast Deflectors, Inc.
  • Fin Bonset, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
  • Johnny Jackson, RS&H
  • Mary Kerstein, CHA
  • Peter Kirsch, Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell LLP
  • Sri Kumar, Connico, Inc.
  • Lorena de Rodriguez, SSI
  • Matt Wenham, C&S Companies