Sponsored by the ACC Members Foundation, the purpose of this competition is to encourage innovative thinking among young professionals who are involved in the development and operations of airports.

To enter the 2021 ACC Young Professionals Innovation Competition, teams will submit an initial abstract by [insert date here]. They will then have until [insert date here], to complete and submit their presentations to the Airport Consultants Council (ACC). The two top teams, as selected by our panel of five industry experts, will have the opportunity to present their innovations at the 2020 ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design & Construction Symposium, taking place March 1-3, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. Final judging by the panel will take place following the presentations, and the winner announced during the Awards Luncheon.


Think about the many factors of change that are affecting the modern aviation industry. Creative thinking from new leaders will be vital as the industry continues to adapt to these factors. ACC is seeking new, innovative ideas from young professionals in aviation. These innovations can be technical or operational in nature and can fall within any discipline of airport development, but should be an original concept or a unique improvement to an existing model or practice that furthers development and addresses growing challenges at airports.


All participants must be 35 years old and under.

  • Teams can be made up of a maximum of four members, with a minimum of two members.
  • Teams cannot have more than 2 members of the same organization.
  • Team members from different organizations – including airport staff – are highly encouraged.
  • At least half the team must be from ACC member firms. Not sure if you company is an ACC member? Check the ACC Member Search.

Interested in joining a team? Please fill out this form and connect with other young professionals looking for a team!


  • Initial Abstract (one-page description of project and list of team members and firms)
  • Final Proposal (acceptable submission formats* include PDF white papers, slideshow presentations, or videos (please limit videos to 12 minutes or less)).
  • All projects and documentation must be submitted digitally.

*additional formats acceptable upon request


Should your team be selected to compete and present at the 2020 ACC/AAAE Planning, Design & Construction Symposium, presentations will be accepted as followed:

  • Presentations will be a maximum of 15 minutes, including a 5-minute Q&A.
  • Acceptable presentation formats* include slideshow presentations, videos (please limit videos to 12 minutes or less), or interactive presentations.
  • All teams should confirm the endorsement by their organization to support their attendance at the 2020 Symposium. The top two teams will be provided free registration; however, they will be responsible for the travel expenses.

*additional formats acceptable upon request


Submissions will be judged by a panel of industry experts that will be made public before the first round of submissions.

Scoring by this panel will be based upon the following criteria:

  • 33% Originality – Ideas presented are unique, creative concepts of the team members.
  • 33% Potential – Significance or value of the improvements that this innovation could bring to the airport development industry.
  • 33% Feasibility – Ideas presented are actionable within the current aviation system and address any concerns of cost or stakeholder buy-in.

*A bonus will be provided to any team that has members from multiple organizations.

Scoring by this panel for the final presentations will be based upon the following criteria:

  • 50% Presentation Quality – Team worked within one of the acceptable formats to engage their audience, clearly and directly present their ideas, and make a strong case for the impact their innovations could have.
  • 50% Q&A – All team members were knowledgeable in every aspect of their innovation. Answers to the panel’s questions were concise.


The winning team will be announced during the ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design & Construction Symposium Awards Luncheon, following their presentations and care deliberation by the judges. Both teams will be recognized during the Awards Luncheon.

1st Place Winners

  • $200 awarded to each team member
  • Free registration and the opportunity to present at the 2019 Symposium
  • Opportunity to present and/or display your presentation at the 2019 Symposium
  • Awarded with plaques at the 2019 Symposium during the Awards Luncheon
  • Feature content in ACC Weekly news feed
  • Presentation description, links on ACC website www.ACConline.org

2nd Place Winners

  • $150 awarded to each team member
  • Free registration and the opportunity to present at the 2019 Symposium
  • Opportunity to display your presentation at the 2019 Symposium
  • Presentation description, links on ACC website www.ACConline.org

Questions and contest submissions should be directed to:   

Grace Helaey
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
1420 King Street, Suite 401, VA 22314

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