The National Academies

ACRP 03-37 [Final]

Using GIS for Collaborative Land Use Compatibility Planning Near Airports

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Research Agency: Grafton Technologies, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Randy Murphy
Effective Date: 8/26/2015
Completion Date: 8/31/2018

Compatible land uses in the vicinity of airports are important for safe and efficient aircraft operations and for the safety and well-being of people on the ground. Aircraft noise and hazards such as obstructions, navaid/communication interference, and wildlife are common issues that can be mitigated through sound land use compatibility practices. However, there are often challenges to compatibility planning efforts. First, effective land use compatibility planning can require significant amounts of data and complex technical analysis. Second, there are many stakeholders with interests in land use surrounding airports, including the airport, local governments, FAA, property owners, developers, and the general public; each of these stakeholders can have different and sometimes conflicting goals and missions. GIS is well-documented as a suitable and powerful tool for addressing not only the technical and analytical aspects of land use planning, but also for enhancing the opportunity for collaborative planning among stakeholders. Yet these benefits have not been fully realized with airport land use compatibility to date. Research is needed to assist airports, local governments, and other stakeholders in using GIS to help protect safety, health, quality of life, and public investments related to airports in or near their jurisdictions. This guidance will help foster greater collaboration among stakeholders.

The objectives of this research are to develop guidance and resources for using GIS for land use compatibility planning in the vicinity of airports, including, but not be limited to:
  • A guidebook of evidence-based best practices featuring, at a minimum:
    • Summary of the missions of airports and planning organizations, common land use compatibility issues around airports, and the challenges and benefits of using GIS to address these issues (e.g., information accessibility, analytical capabilities, communication effectiveness),
    • Steps for identifying and obtaining GIS data for airport-related land use planning (e.g., stakeholder identification, determining data requirements, identifying single authoritative source),
    • GIS data considerations (e.g., cost, standards, structure, sources, accuracy, currency, integrity, maintenance),
    • Recommended practices for using GIS data in support of land use compatibility around airports, including specific guidance addressing (at a minimum) noise, obstructions, navaid/communication interference, and wildlife,
    • Range of methods of using GIS for stakeholder collaboration and dissemination (e.g., paper maps, crowdsourcing applications, web portals),
    • Case studies highlighting the successful use of GIS for collaborative land use planning among various airport and jurisdiction governance types, scales, sizes, levels of sophistication, and complexity,
    • Annotated glossary of airport, land use planning, and GIS-related terms,
    • List of resources, and
    • Tools (e.g., decision tree, matrix, evaluation checklist, sample data sharing agreements) for conducting GIS-based land use compatibility analysis around airports;
  • Training materials (e.g., webcast, brochures) summarizing the best practices provided in the guidebook; and
  • Sample outreach materials to foster ongoing stakeholder collaboration through the use of GIS to enhance land use compatibility around airports.

Research is complete. Results are available in ACRP Research Report 200.

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