Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) this week welcomed the issuance of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to amend 49 C.F.R. Part 23, Participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Airport Concessions (“Part 23”) and 49 C.F.R Part 26, Participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in Department of Transportation Financial Assistance Programs (“Part 26”).
The changes are aimed at boosting diversity, equity and inclusion in the transportation sector and follow a June 2021 request by the ACI-NA that the DOT initiate a Part 23 rulemaking to address numerous unresolved regulatory issues and modernize the ACDBE program.
“ACI-NA and its members have long advocated for equity, diversity, and inclusion through the various programs and activities in which airport operators are involved,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin Burke. “This includes promoting successful Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) programs. We are pleased that DOT issued the NPRM on Part 23 as ACI-NA requested, and look forward to working with our members to submit comments on both programs.”
ACI-NA strongly supports airport DBE and ACDBE programs, noting that both programs have shown to be important tools help disadvantaged members of local communities have fair and equitable access to participate in airport business opportunities.