Airports make significant investments that have positive impacts on the quality of life for their communities, including creating jobs, attracting and supporting businesses, and serving as hubs for transportation networks. The CDC defines quality of life as a broad and multidimensional concept that usually includes an individual’s perception of their position in life and encompasses both positive and negative aspects. It includes objective factors (e.g., health, work status, command of material resources, living conditions) and the subjective perception one has of those factors within the context of aspects like culture, values, and spirituality. These factors make measuring the quality of life for different populations in a comparable manner a complex task. While airports undertake economic impact studies and environment-related studies, to date, no research has been done to comprehensively measure the impact of airport-related activity on the quality of life. The development of airport quality of life indicators and tools would help airports assess their impacts on communities, establish a baseline from which airports could periodically measure changes, and compare quality of life in communities with other metrics that are of significance to airports. It would offer a holistic approach versus the consideration of a single parameter such as noise or air quality.
The objective of this research is to develop guidance for airport operators to identify and track a range of quality of life indicators that reflect the unique characteristics of the airport and community.