ACRP Synthesis 66: Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans

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There are thousands of small, nonhub, reliever, and general aviation airports that might want to develop a program of sustainable practices to enhance their economic, operational, environmental, and social interests, but lack the expertise and resources, both financial and labor, to develop and implement sustainability programs. Some smaller commercial airports received Airport Improvement Program funding to hire external consultants and launch projects that would have been otherwise prohibitively expensive. Other smaller airports may already have adopted “sustainable” practices without having adequate funding to develop a comprehensive sustainability plan.

Although the ad hoc initiatives are noteworthy and are moving airports toward embracing sustainability as a core planning and operational concept: (1) there is a lack of information on how airports define sustainability and how they are managing programs long term; (2) there is little data on whether airports are successfully implementing commitments outlined in sustainability plans; (3) more information is needed on barriers and aids to implementation; and (4) it is not clear whether comprehensive airport sustainability plans are more beneficial than implementing projects on an ad hoc basis. The objective of this research is to provide information that addresses these problems to meet the needs of airport leadership and employees considering, developing, or implementing sustainability plans. Information used in this study was acquired through a review of the literature, a survey, and interviews with airport operators.


Transportation Research Board of the National Academies


Martin-Nagle, R., et al.


Federal Aviation Administration


Martin-Nagle, R. & Klauber, A. (2015.). ACRP Synthesis of Airport Practice 66: Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Washington, D.C.


LCCN 2015939843




ACRP Publication

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