As air travel evolves, many airports are faced with the need to enhance capacity; but planning for increased capacity often brings with it a challenge of balancing business concerns and environmental protection. Enhanced capacity can provide environmental benefits by helping to eliminate congestion in the air and on the ground. Implementing those capacity improvements, however, must be coupled with the need to address environmental issues, including potential water resource impacts. Failure to address possible water resource issues effectively and obtain necessary permits and approvals can result in project delays.
There is a need to better understand the water resource issues that airports face and how these issues affect the timeliness of project approvals, real project costs, and implementation of proposed projects or programs. Simultaneous consideration of potential water resource constraints along with planning airport capacity enhancement projects will benefit the entire aviation system. Therefore, airport operators and planners need guidance in recognizing potential impacts that capacity enhancement activities may have on water resources. Although directed at water resource issues in particular, this guidance could also be useful in addressing other environmental concerns.
The objective of this research is to prepare a handbook for airport operators and planners to (1) identify issues and requirements relating to water resources (including quality and quantity, wetlands, and groundwater) that may affect the environmental review process linked to airport capacity improvements; (2) describe potential effects of not adequately addressing these issues and requirements; and (3) develop strategies airports can employ to implement improvements in a timely and cost-effective manner while protecting water resources.
Status: The Final Report has been published as ACRP Report 53.