Airport Environment Research Roadmap

BACKGROUND

As an industry-driven research program, ACRP relies on a flow of quality research ideas. Traditionally, ACRP primarily has used a bottom-up approach for these ideas, expressed as formal problem statements. ACRP’s Oversight Committee has adopted a strategic plan for the program that includes as a priority ensuring “that problem statements are of the highest quality and greatest relevance to the airport industry.” As a key step to achieving this strategic priority, ACRP is developing a series of research roadmaps, one for each of its 10 topic areas. The goal of these research roadmaps is to identify gaps in knowledge and practice, uncover key opportunities and challenges, and outline and prioritize specific research ideas needed to address these gaps. The roadmaps will also produce research ideas to be entered into ACRP’s IdeaHub, its online collaboration platform for turning ideas into problem statements to be considered for funding.

Airports face unique, numerous, and ever-evolving environmental challenges and opportunities. Common environmental topics have focused on noise, water quality, and air quality. More recently, issues related to sustainability and resiliency have emerged. A research roadmap is needed to help airport industry practitioners identify and prioritize research needs related to environmental issues.

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this research is to develop an airport environmental research roadmap. The roadmap should recommend priorities and timing, set a strategy, and provide a rationale for the recommendations. In addition, the roadmap should:

  • Focus on airport environmental research needs to be undertaken within the next 5 years;
  • Consider existing relevant environmental roadmaps and research recommendations;
  • Consider the needs of airports of all sizes, geographies, levels and types of activity, and resource constraints;
  • Recognize airports are a component of communities and intermodal transportation systems;
  • Address potential positive environmental effects that airports can generate;
  • Reflect priorities of a broad group of stakeholders;
  • Prioritize research with consideration to ACRP’s strategic plan;
  • Create environmental research ideas to be entered into ACRP’s IdeaHub for further development into problem statements; and
  • Include a long-range (i.e., beyond 5 years) environmental research needs assessment that accounts for uncertainty, data limitations, emerging technologies, and evolving policies.

STATUS

Research is complete.  Results are provided in ACRP Web-Only Document 45, a Dataset, and an Interactive Roadmap.

Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 2: Climate Change, Extreme Weather Events, and the Highway System: Practitioner’s Guide and Research Report provides guidance on adaptation strategies to the likely impacts of climate change through 2050 in the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure assets in the United States (and through 2100 for sea-level rise).

In addition to the practitioner’s guide and research report, this project also developed the following items:
• A software tool that runs in common web browsers and provides specific, region-based information on incorporating climate change adaptation into the planning and design of bridges, culverts, stormwater infrastructure, slopes, walls, and pavements.
• Tables that provide the same information as the previously mentioned software tool, but in a spreadsheet format that can be printed.
• Two spreadsheets that illustrate examples of the benefit-cost analysis of adaptation strategies discussed in Appendix B of Part I of NCHRP Report 750, Volume 2.

These three items are available on a CD-ROM that is included with a print version of the report. The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

• Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image.
• Download the .ISO CD-ROM Image

(Warning: This is a large file and may take some time to download using a high-speed connection.)

NCHRP Report 750, Volume 2 is the second in a series of reports being produced by NCHRP Project 20-83: Long-Range Strategic Issues Facing the Transportation Industry. Major trends affecting the future of the United States and the world will dramatically reshape transportation priorities and needs. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) established the NCHRP Project 20-83 research series to examine global and domestic long-range strategic issues and their implications for state departments of transportation (DOTs); AASHTO’s aim for the research series is to help prepare the DOTs for the challenges and benefits created by these trends.

Other volumes in this series currently available include:
• NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 1: Scenario Planning for Freight Transportation Infrastructure Investment
• NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 3: Expediting Future Technologies for Enhancing Transportation System Performance
• NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 4: Sustainability as an Organizing Principle for Transportation Agencies
• NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 5: Preparing State Transportation Agencies for an Uncertain Energy Future
• NCHRP Report 750: Strategic Issues Facing Transportation, Volume 6: The Effects of Socio-Demographics on Future Travel Demand

Research Needs Statements for Climate Change and Transportation

Transportation Research Board (TRB) E-Circular 144:
he objective of this effort was to develop a series of specific research needs statements on climate change and transportation for distribution to universities, students, research organizations, government agencies, and other interested parties for consideration in conducting and funding research in this important area.

Strategic Plan for Environmental Research

Development of a world-class transportation system means achieving our Nation?s mobility goals while ensuring that transportation decisions protect and enhance the natural environment and our communities. The transportation system is vital to our economy and quality of life, provides worldwide access to products and markets, and supports our Nation?s productivity. It also provides valued mobility for people, including access to jobs, services and recreational opportunities.
Yet transportation also creates unintended consequences on the natural environment and communities. Construction, maintenance, and operation of the transportation system affect air, water, soil, and biological resources, as well as neighborhoods and communities. This reality has imposed tremendous responsibilities on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that go far beyond its traditional role of enhancing mobility. Transportation agencies must comply with various federal environmental statutes and regulations as they
carry out transportation planning and project development.
However, compliance with the law is only part of FHWA?s obligation to the environment. FHWA is committed to environmental stewardship, striving to ensure that all of its programs and activities preserve and enhance the natural environment, the built environment, and the social environment of our Nation?s communities. This commitment requires a vigorous program of research, technology transfer, and training. FHWA?s Environmental Research Program is designed to meet this need.

Environmental Research Needs in Transportation: Report of a Conference

ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH NEEDS IN TRANSPORTATION: REPORT OF A CONFERENCE, WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 21-23, 2002:
Every 5 years the Transportation Research Board conducts a Transportation Environmental Research Needs Conference to select and draft top-priority statements of environmental research needs. This report contains the proceedings of the most recent of these conferences which was held in March 2002, this time with a multimodal perspective. In the proceedings are top research needs identified at the conference, along with background papers. These are organized into chapters for each of the following 15 topic areas: Air Quality; Community Impacts, Environmental Justice, and Public Involvement; Context-Sensitive Design, Including Aesthetics and Visual Quality; Cultural Resources; Energy and Alternative Fuels; Environmental Information Management; Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship; Integrated Environmental Decision Making; Land Use and Transportation; Noise; Sustainability, Including Climate Change: Cause and Effects; Transportation, Human Health, and Physical Activity; Waste Management and Environmental Management: Recycling, Waste, Pollution Prevention, Brownfields; Water Quality and Hydrology; and Wetlands, Wildlife, and Ecosystems.

This report is published to assist those involved with government, university, and other research programs in selecting research projects that will have the greatest utility for the transportation environmental community. WETLANDS, WILDLIFE, AND ECOSYSTEMS: RESOURCE PAPER: This resource paper summarizes the continuing research needs in the area of wetlands, wildlife, and ecosystems in their relationship to transportation activities. Although there has been a great deal of progress, these needs continue to be similar to those expressed at the last Environmental Research Needs in Transportation Conference in 1996. Adequate impact evaluation tools still need development and testing on transportation projects. Techniques to measure the quality of ecosystems and associated biota need to be developed and tested. The effectiveness of mitigation or compensation for impacts should be evaluated. Furthermore, the effectiveness of programmatic approaches in accomplishing environmental and regulatory goals, while showing great promise, still requires thorough evaluation.

Identification of Research Needs related to Highway Runoff

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 521:
Identification of Research Needs Related to Highway Runoff Management summarizes significant stormwater management practices and research efforts, and it identifies the most pressing gaps and needs in the current state of knowledge in over more than 30 subject areas. The report includes full research project statements for the topics considered to be of highest priority.

Research Needs Statements for Climate Change and Transportation

Transportation Research Board (TRB) E-Circular 144:
he objective of this effort was to develop a series of specific research needs statements on climate change and transportation for distribution to universities, students, research organizations, government agencies, and other interested parties for consideration in conducting and funding research in this important area.