The National Academies

ACRP 02-75 [Final]

Benefit-Cost Analyses Guidebook for Airport Stormwater

  Project Data
Funds: $325,000
Research Agency: Cadmus
Principal Investigator: Richard Krop
Effective Date: 9/21/2016
Completion Date: 10/31/2018


Many airports have an extensive stormwater infrastructure system. Airports frequently need to undertake stormwater projects to accommodate facility expansion, address obsolescence, and respond to evolving regulatory requirements. Often, stormwater infrastructure is installed or upgraded on a project-by-project and piecemeal basis, resulting in mismatches of sizes, material types, ages, and conditions. When airports are considering expanding or improving their stormwater facilities, the immediate need for stormwater infrastructure modification may not be clear, and a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) is needed. Recently, BCAs have begun incorporating risk assessment and the triple bottom line consisting of financial, environmental, and social considerations. Yet there is limited guidance for addressing these factors in a BCA for stormwater infrastructure projects. Research is needed to provide guidance for identifying and calculating benefits and costs of airport stormwater infrastructure projects.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook to help airport practitioners identify and quantify benefits and costs of airport stormwater infrastructure projects. The guidebook should include at a minimum:
  • Guidance for:
    • selecting a BCA method and tools (e.g., software, spreadsheet) based on available resources and project complexity,
    • determining data requirements,
    • defining and calculating benefits from a triple bottom line perspective (financial, social, and environmental),
    • defining and calculating costs (e.g., capital, operation and maintenance, replacement, financing),
    • assigning weights to benefits and costs,
    • calculating a benefit-cost ratio relative to airport stormwater infrastructure projects in a manner consistent with applicable FAA BCA guidance,
    • Incorporating sensitivity analysis to address the probability of various risks (e.g., the probability that the full airport development program will be completed during the life of the stormwater project, the probability of the occurrence of an extreme weather event that the project could not handle, or risk of not implementing a stormwater project),
    • incorporating analysis results in the decision-making process for stormwater infrastructure projects;
  • Checklists, flowcharts, and decision-trees to help users establish and track the benefit-cost evaluation process;
  • Potential sources of data;
  • Stormwater infrastructure project BCA case studies representing various project sizes, airport categories (e.g., commercial, GA), and tools; and
  • List of references, resources, and tools.

Research is complete.  Results are available in ACRP Research Report 208.

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