Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) defines airport sustainability as a set of activities that improve an airport’s Economic Viability, Operational Efficiency, Natural Resource Conservation, and Social Responsibility-the EONS framework. While ACI-NA has provided the “what” of airport sustainability, the “why” is not articulated fully enough within the industry. In setting the definition for sustainability, ACI-NA has provided a valuable tool for airports to pursue sustainability programs that align with their business objectives. This synthesis compiles information to answer the question “why,” and provide information and case examples and other resources to guide engagement of the airport and community.
These answers and tools will assist airports in effectively engaging with all stakeholders, including regulatory agencies and communities the airports serve.
As US airports become capacity constrained and work to accommodate growth in air travel, host communities feel many impacts to resources from this growth-both positive and negative. Sustainability can be used as a means to identify a feasible and balanced plan for effectively addressing airport capacity needs and solutions. The communication of project benefits when coupled with sustainability metrics can make a difference between the stakeholders’ acceptance or rejection of the project.
Information exists on airside and/or landside capacity enhancement cases where sustainability metrics have (formally or informally) been an integral part of communicating the need for, outcomes of, and attributes of the project. While many examples exist in the SAGA database, the “why” presented through this synthesis should carry forward the value of airport leaders and their teams capturing sustainability into decision-making from project inception throughout all phases of the project.
The objective of this research is to  compile information and examples that successful demonstrate the value of building sustainability into project; and  describe further resources and tools that detail guidance on how to select, apply and communicate sustainability metrics. The intended audience is airport leaders and their teams working on capacity enhancing projects.
The researcher will develop a concise report using the following methodology:
• Identify 5-10 airport airside and landside capacity projects which identified effects holistically (formally or informally) based upon EONS or the triple bottom line.
• Identify stakeholder outreach methods, tools and messages.
• Identify organization leadership positions, roles, and team activities used throughout the project.
• Interview airport personnel to understand why and how sustainability was used in their approach to the project and how it was successful in gaining stakeholder acceptance.
• Describe further resources and tools that detail guidance on how to select, apply and communicate sustainability metrics.
• Deliverables shall include a concise report and checklist of sustainability questions that one would use throughout a capacity enhancing project, and an executive level presentation that focuses on answering “why.”
Partial Information Sources
• Chicago’s O’Hare Modernization Program and Sustainable Airport Manual (SAM)
• RTCA PBN Blueprint Task Group reports (2)
• FAA FACT: Airport Capacity Needs in the NAS reports
• FAA’s Sustainable Master Plan Pilot Program
• Several ACRP projects that have defined sustainability best practices and provided tools. However, as noted above, none of these have researched how the best practices are perceived in communities or help drive capacity enhancement or capital projects at airports.
Ted Anasis, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
Matthew DiScenna, Port Authority of NY & NJ
Carol Lurie, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
Narcrisha Norman, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide
Jim Crites, James M. Crites LLC; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (ret.)
Thomas Cuddy, Federal Aviation Administration
Melinda Z. Pagliarello, Airports Council International -- North America
First meeting: May 9, 2017
Teleconference: June 6, 2017, 1:30 p.m., EDT
Second meeting: December 14, 2017, Washington, DC