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52 A Handbook for Addressing Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Development Planning Airport master plans and other conceptual plans typically identify high-level airport improve- ment or expansion projects for a single airport, potentially with information from state or regional airport system plans as a basis. As described in the FAA AC 150/5070-6B, an airport master plan is a "comprehensive study of an airport and usually describes the short, medium, and long-term development plans to meet future aviation demand" (6). Airport master plans may vary significantly in scope and level of detail from one airport to the next, depending on the unique challenges and issues faced by individual airports. An airport master plan generally iden- tifies and considers several possible development alternatives to meet improvement or expansion goals, as well as the potential financial, socioeconomic, and environmental impacts associated with each alternative. A variety of other airport planning documents may be developed to describe conceptual planning efforts not associated with a master plan. Multiple stakeholders contribute to the conceptual planning process: representatives from air- ports and airport authorities, airlines, tenants, consultants, community entities, regulatory agen- cies, and other local entities that have an interest in the long-term development at the airport. The outcomes of the Conceptual Planning Phase include · Identification of capacity needs, · Concepts for means to achieve capacity needs and other airport development needs, · Intended project function, · Identification of potential sites, · Conceptual sizes and capacities for major project components, · Conceptual footprints and layouts of the major project components, and · Conceptual level opinion of probable cost. 3.3.2 Water Resource Issue Management in Conceptual Planning Phase The Conceptual Planning Phase is an ideal opportunity to identify and begin management of potential water resource issues since it is the time of maximum flexibility in project design and location. It is also the time when steps can best be taken to avoid significant issues later in proj- ect implementation. Important planning actions related to water resource issues in this phase include · Identifying the features for projects documented in conceptual planning efforts that might result in significant water resource impacts, · Using the Water Resource Inventory as a starting point and soliciting feedback from water resource experts on additional level of detail needed to characterize water resources for cru- cial development areas, · Performing, if necessary, risk-based cost analysis to justify additional data collection, · Revising project concepts and locations to avoid significant water resource impacts, · Revising project concepts and locations to minimize water resource impacts if they cannot be avoided, and · Identifying major control and mitigation features that might require significant infrastructure additions and land use such as detention basins or treatment facilities. The Conceptual Planning Phase is also the time to develop project-specific Water Resource Issue Management Plans based on the plan developed for base Water Resource Issue Manage- ment Program. The plan developed at this time can be adapted, expanded, and refined for indi- vidual development projects as the implementation proceeds. A significant question that airports face in this phase is the degree to which water resources and other environmental issues are considered. As discussed above, the upside to a more rigor-
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Strategies for Integrating Water Resource Issue Management with the Project Implementation Process 53 ous assessment of water resource issues at this stage is the opportunity to revise the development project plan during a time of maximum flexibility. Revisions to the development plans at this time can reduce the potentially costly project revisions later in the implementation process. The downside to providing significant consideration to water resource issues at this phase is that the project characteristics may be subject to further change during later project phases and may require that water resource issues be reassessed at a later date--which may entail additional costs and possible schedule delays. Several factors need to be managed to contain costs while still pro- viding useful information: · Prioritizing the sites and alternatives for which water resource issues will be evaluated (as nec- essary, beyond the Water Resource Inventory discussed in Section 2); · Deciding upon the appropriate extent and level of detail for water resource issue assessment to be performed at this phase through use of risk-analysis techniques; · Understanding the sensitivity of the conclusions on the effects of water resource issue man- agement on development project implementation to the level of detail of water resource infor- mation that is acquired; and · Facilitating coordination between those considering water resource issues and those planning other aspects of the development project implementation. Another important factor in the Conceptual Planning Phase is establishing the mechanisms of coordination amongst stakeholders, including airport staff, airlines, consultants, regulators, and community entities. These stakeholders can play a large role in facilitating or complicating the management of water resource issues affecting airport development projects. A lack of con- sistent coordination can result in missed opportunities to combine efforts and can ultimately lead to project impacts if the project design or compliance measures are unacceptable to one or more stakeholders. The following stakeholder involvement strategies are recommended for consideration in development of overall water resource management strategies: · Defining roles and responsibilities. · Coordinating activities among airport staff and their representatives--a lack of coordina- tion among airport staff or groups, as well as consultants representing them, on simultaneous or consecutive development projects may lead to missed opportunities to share resources and collaborate on comprehensive solutions. Regulators are currently placing a greater emphasis on site-wide, cumulative water resource issues; a lack of consideration for these may compli- cate regulatory approvals. Inconsistent or uncoordinated regulatory submittals among mul- tiple airport projects can also cause regulatory delays. · Coordinating development and mitigation efforts with airlines--airlines have a vested interested in development projects from both a financial and operations perspective. The level of airline involvement at different airports and airport projects can vary, but developing a means to inform and seek input from airlines early in the project implementation process can reduce impacts to schedules and budgets late in the project. · Understanding and addressing public receptiveness--underestimation of potential public involvement or resistance can lead to unforeseen delays and design rework to obtain regula- tory approvals. Airports sometimes present design alternatives that could have been foreseen as potentially infeasible or challenging if public resistance over potential water resource issues had been better understood. Table 4 summarizes planning items and planning actions for the Conceptual Planning Phase that are frequently associated with each of the four recurring steps in assessing water resource issues in development projects.
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54 A Handbook for Addressing Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Development Planning Table 4. Planning items and actions for Conceptual Planning Phase. Step 1: Characterize Water Resource and Water Resource Impact Planning Item Planning Actions Water Resource Data Acquisition · Obtain recommendations from water resources expert based on sensitivity analysis considerations · Assess cost and risk if sufficient information cannot be obtained from properties not owned by the airport · Update Water Resource Inventory Development Project Siting · Create prioritization plan for data acquisition if needed for multiple sites, based on likelihood of use · Develop mapping to superimpose development project layouts on water resources boundaries · Plan for acquiring water resources information on sites not yet owned by airport Timing for Data Acquisition and Analysis · Allow at least 6 months prior to the time the information is needed for use in the Conceptual Planning Phase · Coordinate master plan and water resource assessment timing Costs for Data Acquisition and Analysis · Consolidate data collection needs from various water resource categories to identify common data · Obtain quotations from qualified entities Stakeholder Coordination · Identify stakeholders, their areas of interest, and their desired level of engagement Step 2: Assess Compliance Requirements Planning Item Planning Actions Applicable Regulations and Regulating · Refer to Core Regulatory Requirements Agencies for Identified Issues Worksheet Compliance Requirements Determination · Solicit key compliance requirements from assessment by water resource experts Timing for Actions · Initiate after initial siting of projects and after Water Resource Inventory has been updated · Complete prior to final siting on master plan Regulatory Coordination · Coordinate with regulators to clarify interpretations of regulations for permitting · Coordinate with the FAA to develop the NEPA processing strategy Stakeholder Coordination · Solicit feedback from stakeholders, including the NEPA team, to identify key water resource issues and potential compliance requirements
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Strategies for Integrating Water Resource Issue Management with the Project Implementation Process 55 Table 4. (Continued). Step 3: Assess Effects on Development Project from Individual Water Resource Issues Planning Item Planning Actions Issue Avoidance · Assess whether any water resource issues can be avoided by changes to the project Potential Controls Outside of Project · Assess possible types and scope of compliance measures that wouldn't directly affect project · Assess need for additional sites and property acquisition Potential Modifications to Project · Assess if project changes may be necessary to achieve compliance or reduce overall costs Potential Effects on Other Airport Operations · Qualitatively assess interactions with airport operations and among multiple development projects Timing of Actions · Initiate after significant water resource impacts are identified and compliance assessment is completed · Complete prior to finalization of master plan layout Regulatory Coordination · Coordinate with regulators for questions on viability of controls/mitigation Stakeholder Coordination · Present options for controls/mitigation measures Step 4: Consolidate Effects of Water Resource Issues on Development Project Planning Item Planning Actions Issue Consolidation · Consolidate information on avoidance, controls, and modifications to achieve compliance from individual issues Issue Avoidance · Assess whether consolidated information presents a greater driver for avoidance than drivers from individual issues Potential Controls Outside of Project · Assess whether controls for multiple issues can be integrated Potential Modifications to Project · Identify project modifications that would benefit compliance for multiple issues · Compare benefits to reductions in project functionality Potential Effects on Other Airport Operations · Identify any combined effects of water resource impacts and mitigation on airport operations Timing of Actions · Initiate after compliance options for individual issues have been assessed · Complete before master plan finalization Regulatory Coordination · Coordinate with regulators and the FAA as appropriate on viability of mitigation Stakeholder Coordination · Present options for controls/mitigation