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Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans (2015)

Chapter: Appendix C - Historical Context of Synthesis S14-02-11

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Historical Context of Synthesis S14-02-11 ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22111.
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Page 73
Page 74
Suggested Citation:"Appendix C - Historical Context of Synthesis S14-02-11 ." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2015. Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22111.
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Page 74

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73 APPENDIX C Historical Context of Synthesis S14-02-11 The path leading to the funding for this synthesis began a number of years ago with a synergy of sustainability-focused activities. ACRP Synthesis 10: Airport Sustainability Practices, which was published in 2008, explored and explained sustainability initiatives and practices at a wide variety of airports based on 25 survey responses from large, medium, small, and non-hub U.S. airports, and from airports in the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and Canada. Respondents from non-U.S. airports and large U.S. airports self-rated their airports’ own performance at a higher level compared with medium and small U.S. airports. At that time, regula- tion and airport policy were identified as key drivers for implementation of sustainability practices. Out of the 25 airports responding to the Synthesis 10 survey, only one was non-hub and two were small hub airports. Therefore, the Synthesis 10 results, while illustrative and comprehensive, are less relevant for the medium and small airports covered in this Synthesis. ACRP Report 80: Guidebook for Incorporating Sustainability into Traditional Airport Projects followed in 2012 and presented a guidebook and an evaluation tool, the Airport Sustainability Assess- ment Tool (ASAT), to assist airport personnel in selecting which practices would be most applicable and useful for their individual situations and environments. With ever-increasing public and private sector concern about the environmental impacts from airport operations, ACRP commissioned two publications that highlighted environmental protection practices. ACRP Report 43: Guidebook of Practices for Improving Environmental Performance at Small Airports, published in 2011, served as a detailed and comprehensive resource on compliance with federal environmental laws for small hub, non-hub, reliever, and general aviation airports. The report guides airports on how to set and achieve environmental goals. Turning from smaller to larger airports, ACRP commissioned a study of environmental practices at large U.S. airports, and in 2014, ACRP Synthesis 53: Outcomes of Green Initiatives: Large Airport Experience was published. That document presented a summary of drivers, barriers, outcomes and lessons learned from green initia- tives at fifteen large airports in the U.S. and Canada and offered examples of successful projects in the form of case studies derived from twelve of the airports. The focus of the report covered conventional environmental initiatives. Other components of sustainability programs, such as economic, social and operations were not specifically addressed. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) decided to make sustainability a core objective in airport planning by supplying federal funding through its Airport Improvement Program (“AIP”). In December 2009, the Airport Planning and Environmental Division (APP-400) asked all regions to nominate airports that would be interested in participating in a pilot program focused on sustainability, and in May 2010 FAA published “Sustainable Airport Master Plans, Pilot Program Guidance” (“2010 FAA Interim Guidance”). The 2010 FAA Interim Guidance listed the elements that must be included or addressed in FAA AIP-funded plans: All plans must begin with a sustainability mission statement, and must then identify sustainability categories at the specific airport, such as socioeconomics, airport facilities and procedures and environmental resources. Air- ports must perform a baseline inventory or assessment of each defined sustainability category and establish measurable goals for each category. Next, airports identify and describe various sustain- ability initiatives for each goal. Public participation and outreach tailored to the needs of the airport and the community were encouraged. Designed to support sustainability as part of master plans as well as stand-alone sustainability management plans, FAA launched the program in 2010 by funding the first Sustainable Master Plan at Ithaca-Tompkins Regional Airport in Ithaca, New York, and the first Sustainable Management Plan at Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine, Florida. The success of those two precursor programs led to funding for an additional ten pilot programs in that same year, and another 33 airports subsequently received funding through AIP for their sustain- ability programs. At the end of 2012, FAA published its “Report on the Sustainable Master Plan Pilot

74 Program and Lessons Learned” (“2012 FAA Lessons Learned”) to summarize the progress of the programs. The 2012 FAA Lessons Learned divides those lessons learned into five categories: 1. Plan Preparation: Document Types, Development Process, and Timelines 2. Sustainability Categories 3. Baseline Assessments 4. Sustainability Goals and Objectives 5. Outreach and Stakeholder Engagement Contemporaneously with ACRP and FAA efforts, a group of volunteers formed the Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance (“SAGA”) in 2008 to advise airports on sustainability actions that work for their sector. SAGA offers a database of sustainability initiatives, and the survey results of this Synthesis mirror SAGA’s recommendations. For example, SAGA suggests each airport adopt its own definition of sustainability, and the surveyed airports each had a different working definition of sus- tainable activity. SAGA recommends a consensus-based approach, and a number of the airports sur- veyed for this synthesis involved key stakeholders in developing the sustainability program. SAGA also recommends selecting a champion, an advisory council, a steering committee and implementa- tion teams, all of which were part of sustainability programs at airports interviewed for this Synthesis. SAGA’s database currently lists 972 sustainability practices. Contributing to the synergy of sustainability focus within the airport community, Airports Council International-North America (“ACI-NA”) proposed in February 2008 to add sustainable operations to the conventional triple bottom line framework of financial, environmental and social sustainability. ACI-NA adopted a sustainability policy based on what it called the EONS approach. Airports accept the standard and use it to structure sustainability programs. EONS is defined as follows: • Economic Viability • Operational Excellence • Natural Resource Conservation and Preservation • Social Responsibility

Next: Appendix D - Airport Sustainability Tracking Tools »
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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 66: Lessons Learned from Airport Sustainability Plans explores sustainability initiatives at smaller U.S. airports. The synthesis presents an analysis of survey responses and provides information gained from the telephone interviews to help inform airport leadership and employees who are considering, developing, or implementing sustainability plans.

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