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3 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION PURPOSE OF THE SYNTHESIS will often take time to resolve ownership and financial obli- gations for a property. Properties can stay vacant for years. Each year, TRB sponsors a series of synthesis reports on Airports may pursue a strategy to find replacement tenants, current knowledge and practice in the airport industry. The renovate a facility for an alternative use, or demolish a facil- intention of the synthesis is to develop a compendium of ity for redevelopment. best available knowledge on addressing or resolving spe- cific airport problems. Often, if the topic warrants further investigation, a full-scale research effort follows a synthe- STUDY METHODOLOGY sis project. Case studies are a valid methodology when a holistic, in- This synthesis was initiated because the recent economic depth investigation is needed to further understand a partic- downturn reduced demand for air service, general aviation, ular topic and when there has been little previous organized and cargo at U.S. airports and led many air carriers and reporting (Yin 1994). Information used in this synthesis service providers to postpone capital projects, consolidate was collected primarily through interviews with airport operations, and in some cases, abandon airport facilities or operators and property managers. Examples of reuse were lease less airport space than in previous years. selected using the following criteria: The challenges associated with vacant aeronautical prop- Geographic distribution; erties can be vexing. When an airline or other service pro- A sample of different types of aeronautical facilities; and vider vacates a property, particularly during a bankruptcy, Range of reuse outcomes including nothing done, an airport may unexpectedly become responsible for closing replacement tenant, new use through rehabilitation, the facility, remediating hazardous conditions left by the ten- historic preservation, and complete redevelopment. ant, providing additional security resources to the property, and implementing a reuse strategy. Usually these tasks are The synthesis team developed background information unbudgeted expenses for the airport. The loss of revenue on each case study by reviewing primary planning docu- from the property can also have a significant impact. ments, airport statistics, websites, and articles. A case study questionnaire was developed to explore various aspects of The incidence of aeronautical vacancy is not widely the situation, including (1) a description of the property and reported beyond individual airports. The purpose of this its current status, (2) a history of the property and circum- report is to compile and examine case studies of how air- stances leading up to a vacancy, (3) how reuse options were ports have addressed the reuse of vacant or underutilized developed and prioritized, (4) what steps were taken to pre- airport facilities given the costs of physical conversion as pare the property for reuse, (5) tenant recruitment, and (6) well as regulatory requirements on airport operators. Aero- how the airport viewed the reuse experience. Appendix A nautical facilities under consideration were shows the case study questionnaire. Terminals, Maintenance buildings, REPORT STRUCTURE Cargo and United States Postal Service buildings, Military base reuse, This synthesis is organized into four parts (see Figure 1). Training facilities, Chapters one and two provide an overview of how an evolv- Hangars, ing aviation industry has transformed the ways that airport Control towers, and facilities are used. Also discussed is the concept of adaptive Pavement. reuse and the complex factors that impact a reuse decision. Chapters three through thirteen present case studies that Reuse strategies for these types of facilities elicit a broad delve into how airports have addressed reuse of specialized spectrum of airport responses. If bankruptcy is involved, it facilities and the following issues of concern: