The Airport Technology Research and Development Branch supports the FAA's continuing mission to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world by conducting the necessary research and development required to enhance the safety of operations at our nation’s airports and to ensure the adequacy of engineering specifications and standards in all areas of the airport systems and, where necessary, develop data to support new standards.
With the implementation of new procedures from NextGen research, the role of airports will be to accommodate the increased traffic safely. This is especially critical during aircraft operations in inclement weather. The increased traffic will necessitate efficient inspection and maintenance of our runways and taxiways. This will require development of technologies to heat airport pavements, reliable methods to assess the braking performance of aircraft, development of lighting and marking materials providing higher visibility, development of new lighting technologies, such as, holograms, developing methods to mitigate wildlife at or near the airport, and developing new and efficient techniques for aircraft rescue and fire fighting.