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3 chapter one Introduction This report presents the findings of the ACRP Synthesis This synthesis aims to create a better understanding of S02-02: Airport Sustainability Practices project undertaken current sustainability practices in airports in the United on behalf of TRB. The research synthesis included a literature States and around the world, to understand the barriers to review and a web-based survey of U.S. and non-U.S. airports. and drivers behind these practices, and to identify areas for improvement. The report presents analysis and detailed findings from the survey data collected on governance and on environmen- tal, social, and economic practices currently being imple- TRB Panel mented in U.S. and non-U.S. airports. It includes details of the literature review, a discussion of findings in each topic A panel of experts was formed to oversee this synthesis. The area, and conclusions drawn from the survey data, as well as panel included academics, airport industry representatives, a section on topics for additional research. and airport environmental/sustainability managers. The panel provided input at various stages of the project, Audience and Dissemination including the following: This synthesis is specifically targeted to airport operators. Suggesting airports and contacts for the survey target Airlines, airport tenants, and other stakeholders associated list. with the aviation industry also may find the report useful. Providing feedback on the proposed scope of work The synthesis focuses specifically on capturing and docu- (work plan) submitted by the research team. menting airport sustainability practices. Although the sur- Providing feedback on the survey content and format. vey asked respondents to assess the performance of their Providing feedback on the draft versions of the report airports, the synthesis does not provide statistics on trends (by means of a workshop and teleconferences). or performance in airport sustainability practices. Rather, Suggesting sources for the literature review. it provides a snapshot of what U.S. and non-U.S. airports of varying sizes are currently doing with regard to triple- The panel's contribution has been invaluable, and its bottom-line sustainability issues. feedback has ensured that this report will benefit various airport industry stakeholders, improve sustainability per- The target audience is airport operators and members of formance, and raise awareness about the importance of this the public who are interested in airport sustainability. The issue. report offers suggestions for and examples of sustainability practices that can be adopted by airports. The survey could be repeated in the future for purposes of comparison. Definitions Airport sustainability practice is a broad term that encom- Background passes a wide variety of practices applicable to the manage- ment of airports. For the purposes of this study, the term TRB commissioned the synthesis in response to increasing refers to practices that ensure: interest in the aviation industry on the concept of sustain- ability and the need to establish management practices that Protection of the environment, including conservation address risks and opportunities associated with more than of natural resources. just environmental performance or economic success. In an Social progress that recognizes the needs of all effort to help the industry develop a management framework stakeholders. for sustainability, a number of information gaps were identi- Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic fied by TRB. growth and employment.