The National Academies

ACRP 07-27 [Pending]

Seismic Resiliency Guidelines for Horizontal Airside Infrastructure

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Contract Time: 20 months
Staff Responsibility: KRISHNA MURTHY


Airports provide critical functions in their communities by providing connections to the national airspace system, serving as staging areas for emergency services, and providing critical access to remote communities. Airports have significant investments in horizontal infrastructure (e.g., pavements, utility runs, and drainage), which are at risk from a seismic event. 

Although the concept of addressing vertical structures to withstand seismic activity is now established practice, minimal research has been done to incorporate seismic resiliency in horizontal structures in airport settings, particularly within the air operations area (AOA). 

As airports seek to make their facilities more resilient, practitioners need to understand what is known about the issues and consider the benefits and challenges of incorporating seismic resiliency into the design and management of horizontal infrastructure.

Research is needed to review available evidence-based principles and practices and develop guidelines to help critical and vulnerable airports incorporate seismic resiliency into their horizontal infrastructure.


The objective of this research is to develop a primer and framework for airports to include seismic resiliency in their critical horizontal infrastructure planning within the AOA.  

 The primer shall include:

  • Executive summary to help decision-makers and stakeholders understand the importance of considering seismic resiliency in their critical horizontal airport infrastructure planning within the AOA
  • A general description of potential impacts of seismic events on horizontal infrastructures within the AOA
  • Tips for communicating recommended seismic resiliency plan to stakeholders
  • Case studies examples
  • Links to existing seismic resiliency plans
  • References to key industry resources

The seismic resilience framework should include, at a minimum, guidelines for:

  • Establishing airport sponsor objectives
  • Defining data requirements for assessing vulnerabilities
  • Assessing vulnerability
  • Conducting seismic impact risk evaluation
  • Developing short- and long-term adaptation measures for the following conditions:
    • New construction
    • Pre- and post- earthquake impacts on existing construction
  • Establishing the business case for incorporating seismic resiliency within the AOA
  • Suggestions for monitoring performance of implemented adaptation measures



The research plan shall include the following interim deliverables for ACRP review and approval at a minimum:

  • Literature review
  • Data collection plan describing the methods, questions, and target population
  • Interim report to include research results and analysis to date, annotated outline for primer, detailed framework outline, proposed case studies and rationale, next steps, and identification of follow-on research ideas to be developed into ACRP problem statements

The research plan shall also include the following checkpoints with the ACRP panel at a minimum:

  • Kick-off web meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed
  • Web meeting to discuss results of literature review and approve the data collection plan
  • In-person interim report meeting
  • Web meeting to discuss panel comments on the draft final deliverables

 The final deliverables shall include: 

  • Primer
  • Framework
  • Contractor’s Final Report documenting all research steps, results, and analysis
  • Summary of Key Findings 
  • Further Recommended Research Memo 
  • Technical memo titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products”.

 A response has been received for this RFP. The project panel will meet to determine next steps.


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