The National Academies

ACRP 09-20 [Active]

Quantifying the Impacts of Delayed Maintenance of Airport Assets

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: Matt J. Griffin
Research Agency: University of Nevada Las Vegas
Principal Investigator: Pramen P. Shrestha, Ph.D.
Effective Date: 1/15/2021
Completion Date: 7/15/2022


Airport owners are becoming more sophisticated in developing detailed asset management programs to help improve and extend the lifecycle of their facilities. A key step in asset management is a detailed life cycle and preventative maintenance plan to ensure the full life of the asset is reached.  At many airports, however, asset maintenance needs can exceed the budgetary resources available and preventative maintenance may not be pursued as a cost-saving measure. 

Each airport is unique but typical assets can be categorized as vertical, horizontal, or airport-specific assets.  Vertical assets may include structures and systems, baggage handling systems, and fuel infrastructure.  Horizontal assets may include runways, taxiways, ramps areas, airfield lighting, navaids, service and access roadways, and environmental works. A third category includes airport-specific assets that may include snow removal equipment, ground and aircraft support equipment, Airport Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) equipment, fleet vehicles, transportation equipment, and passenger loading bridges.

Consequences of delayed maintenance of airport assets can generally be placed in one of the three following categories: financial impacts, operational impacts, and public impacts.  Furthermore, airports have a variety of factors including location, size, airport interested parties, utilization of assets, and passenger type that could affect the lifecycle of an asset. 

Safety, security, and regulatory requirements will always be a top priority of asset maintenance; however, with unanticipated asset failure due to delayed maintenance it can make the exercise of prioritization complex.  Additionally, financial impacts of delayed maintenance can be easy to ascertain but quantifying the operational impacts as well as impacts on all airport interested parties can be more difficult.  Airport interested parties, based on the ISO 14001 definition, are persons or organizations that can affect, be affected by, or perceive themselves to be affected by a decision or activity.  This takes into consideration not only the owner of the airport and aviation users but the general public surrounding the airport and throughout the community.  A process is needed that can be aligned with a variety of organizational missions and policies in reference to specific airport facilities capital investment plans and maintenance plans. 


The objective of this research is to develop a process, applicable to all sizes of airports, to quantify the consequences of delayed maintenance of airport assets.   

The process should be based on (1) an analyses of different scenarios to estimate the consequences of delayed maintenance in terms of cost, operational impacts, and users, (2) relationships among performance trends and maintenance expenditures, and (3) quantification of the consequences of delayed maintenance recognizing the relationships between availability, reliability, and impact.  Furthermore, the process should (4) include and identify a method for quantifying these impacts, and (5) include recommended tools, a framework, and technologies to analyze, prioritize, communicate, and track the impact of delayed maintenance and repair.

STATUS: Research in Progress

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