Airports Council Welcomes Modernization of DOT Disadvantaged Business Program

WASHINGTON – Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA), the trade association representing commercial service airports in the United States and Canada, today welcomed the final rule publication of “Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program Implementation Modifications” by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The rule makes important updates to how U.S. airports engage and support historically marginalized business enterprises in local communities.

“Airports are powerful engines of economic growth for local communities, including the many minority and women owned businesses that provide essential services and products to U.S. airports,” said ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke.  “It is important to ensure these regulations address new and emerging challenges and seize new opportunities to support the disadvantaged business enterprises that employ so many people across the United States and provide for an enhanced passenger experience in air travel.  We appreciate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s diligent efforts throughout this rule making effort and look forward to our continued collaboration as the new rule takes effect and is implemented.”

For more than 40 years, the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Program has increased minority and women owned business opportunities within the U.S. airport industry.

In June 2021, ACI-NA petitioned DOT and the Federal Aviation Administration to make timely updates and modifications to the ACDBE program to better address current challenges.  Working through ACI-NA’s Business Diversity, Commercial Management, Finance and Legal Affairs Committees, ACI-NA filed comments with DOT in October 2021.  ACI-NA’s comments are available here.




About ACI-NA

Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) represents local, regional, and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. Approximately 380 aviation-related businesses are also members of ACI-NA, providing goods and services to airports. Collectively, U.S. airports support more than 11.5 million jobs and account for $1.4 trillion in economic activity – or more than seven percent of the total U.S. GDP. Canadian airports support 405,000 jobs and contribute C$35 billion to Canada’s GDP. Learn more at