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34 IntroductIon This chapter details the general physical, business, security, and financial risks to airports, as well as the various types of climate change resilience and adaptation activities being undertaken, including ways for an individual airport to iden- tify and prioritize its own risks, financing mechanisms, and ways airport climate adaptation and resilience is incorpo- rated into planning and organizational decision making. A brief discussion of climate change science is presented first to aid understanding of the climate risks discussed in more depth later. clImate ScIence and uncertaIntIeS What airport decisions makers need to Know about climate change Science Currently, in planning, design, and other decisions about airport operations and infrastructure, airport executives and technical managers use information and analysis that is derived from an historical record of weather and climate. To consider potential changes to the climate that have no precedent in historical measurements, scientists have devel- oped other sources of information to support decision mak- ing, including past trends based on paleoclimate data (e.g., drought spells indicated by tree rings) and projections of future trends in climate. Projections from climate change models and paleocli- mate data suggest there may be a broad range of possible climate phenomena in the future. Such phenomena would involve changes in environmental conditions (e.g., sea level rise and more severe winter storms) and their impacts (IPCC 2007). Research efforts have identified climate effects that would be the most significant to the transportation sector and their likelihood of occurrence (Potential Impacts of Climate Change . . . 2008) as shown in Table 6. Including a level of uncertainty, as done in the TRB table reproduced in Table 6, is a convention adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and replicated by others because uncertainty is one of the most difficult aspects about defining and managing climate risk. As seen in an earlier chapter, for example, only 2 of 11 respondents to this reportâs survey were satisfied or fully satisfied with the climate information available to their airport. The survey respondentsâ comments, some of which are listed here, illus- trate the challenges in translating climate change science into actionable information. The following are sample concerns, identified by the respondents: â¢ A need for climate projections relevant to airports; for example, those regarding changes in visibility, precipi- tation mix, and wind direction. â¢ A need to understand with more specificity the impacts of the projections relevant to airports. â¢ Better consensus among sea level rise models to allow for corresponding action. â¢ The need for an annual report summarizing climate research in plain terms and the meaning of the findings. â¢ A need for coordination with airports with similar cli- mate change projections. There can be many reasons for the lack of certainty from the science community, in part because there are several types of uncertainty in climate science and Appendix F describes such uncertainties in greater detail. These forms of uncer- tainty can affect decision making in many ways. There may be uncertainty in, for example, modeling, measurements, and timescales. Scientists involved in climate change adaptation stress that it is important that uncertainty is acknowledged and understood, to the extent possible ( Willows and Connell 2003). Also, climate change adaptation and resilience is a rel- atively new area of study, and no one discipline can capture its scope. Understanding the sources of uncertainty in other disciplines, and the ways of managing them, are an important facet of adaptation. One example of an uncertainty of likely interest to airport managers relates to wind; some sources in the literature consider changes in prevailing wind to be a significant climate risk (Koetse and Rietveld 2009; McGuirk et al. 2009). To date, however, there has been less confidence in climate model projections for wind (Pejovic et al. 2009a) and there is limited analysis available of this risk in the con- text of climate change and transportation (see, for example, Peterson et al. 2008). Research can help synthesize climate projections so that planners and others can have a clearer view of their utility, as in the case of the NCHRPâs âSynthe- sis of Information on Projections of Change in Regional Cli- mates and Recommendations of Analysis Regionsâ (Meyer et al. 2011). In addition to the likelihood of the occurrence of a pro- jected climate change, how relevant the projection might be chapter four clImate rISKS and adaptatIon and reSIlIence actIvItIeS
35 to a given airport depends on the airportâs location. Broad, regional projections for climate variables, and a discussion of their relevance to transportation, are available for each region of the United States (âRegional Climate Effects . . .â 2010); however, actual changes can be expected to vary within the same region (NRC 2011). Another relevant factor is the time frame in which the climate variable is expected to occur. In Table 6, for example, sea level rise is âvirtually certainâ to occur in some places, whereas it is only âlikelyâ that there will be more intense hurricanes; however, sea level rise may cause permanent inundation only after several decades, pos- sibly much later than the occurrence of the more intense hur- ricanes that climate models project. The farthest-reaching time frame for airport planning is typically 20 to 30 years; airport infrastructure is expected to last 40 to 50 years and pavement approximately 10 years (Potential Impacts of Cli- mate Change . . . 2008). Uncertainties over climate effect time horizons can complicate planning. How adaptation and resilience decisions can Be reached Given uncertainties in climate Science As noted, climate science can provide airports with informa- tion on possible climate effects as well as support transporta- tion experts as they define the attendant risks. However, until a climate effect appears, as with airstrip erosion at certain Alaskan airports, uncertainties about climate science can confound decision making. Ways to approach the consid- eration of climate change resilience and adaptation under uncertainty include the following categories (CCS 2011), as further illustrated by this reportâs research results: â¢ No regrets adaptation. No regret options are those jus- tifiable in the absence of climate change and even more justifiable under climate change. A downside of this approach is that it may promote incremental adaptation actions at the expense of more far reaching ones (CCS 2011). In the Jackson, Mississippi, case example, air- ports identified deficiencies in their preparedness when they assessed tornado damage stemming from Hurri- cane Katrina, and they are now shoring up and diversi- fying infrastructure related to fuel supply. â¢ Low regrets options. These options are taken to specifi- cally address vulnerabilities from climate change. These would not have been taken in the absence of climate change but they are low in cost or impact (CCS 2011). An example of a low regret option is the Toronto Pear- son International Airport decision to scope a study of de-icing fluid and water quality given a possible new precipitation mix. â¢ Adaptive management. This process requires explicit recognition of uncertainty and the planned revisiting of decisions when monitoring and/or research obtains information that reduces uncertainties (CCS 2011). At Oakland International Airport, the runway perim- eter dike re-design will allow for raising its height again in the future, which is an adaptive management approach. â¢ Risk management. Risk management is used to render decisions under uncertainty, by identifying and pri- oritizing risks based on their consequences and likeli- hoods (CCS 2011). As will be described in more detail later, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) took cues from a high-level risk analysis and methods developed by New York City and adapted it to the facility level. They developed a common method for inventorying assets, seeking to standardize how assets can be described (e.g., with respect to asset life) and thereby enabling comparisons across assets (âAntic- ipating Climate Changeâ 2011). TABLE 6 CLIMATE CHANGES OF RELEvANCE TO U.S. TRANSPORTATION ANd THEIR LIKELIHOOd OF OCCURRENCE, AS IdENTIFIEd IN TRB SPECIAL REPORT 290, TABLE 2-1
36 These are planned approaches to adaptation, which con- trast with the dallas/Fort Worth International Airport exam- ple of what can be termed âautonomousâ adaptation, wherein major investments in snow removal equipment were made without reference to the current climate modeling results that suggests more severe winter storms are likely. The NRC notes that planned climate change adaptation is essentially a risk management exercise (NRC 2010). Figure 9 depicts the NRCâs adaptation planning framework, which is similar to others in the adaptation literature. SamplInG of lIKely clImate rISKS to aIrportS Climate change effects, such as those listed in Table 1 in chap- ter three, are the starting point for defining climate risks to air- ports. The sampling of risks here illustrates how transportation and aviation experts have been viewing the projected effects of climate change on the assets and operations at airports. Whether a climate change effect in Table 1 or a sample risk constitutes a risk requiring attention depends on the individual airport. An individual airport also would determine whether to manage this as a physical, business, financial, security, or other type of risk. Present day risks similar to those anticipated under cli- mate change are likely to remain a consideration for airports because weather extremes cause 70% of airport delays (Koetse and Rietveld 2009). At some airports, a closure can cost more than $1 million an hour (Pejovic et al. 2009b). As pointed out by FHWA, âdecisionmakers may not wish to respond to every potential climate risk, but identifying those risks will allow them to anticipate potential disruptions and prioritize their responsesâ (âRegional Climate Effects . . .â 2010). After listing sample climate risksâthat is, several types of physical, business, financial, and security risksâthis chapter describes climate resilience and adaptation activities being undertaken, which includes a review of the risks actu- ally identified at individual airports. physical risks Physical risks to an airport are those that will physically damage its infrastructure and the property located within its environs; for example, airplanes and cargo. Sample physical risks from effects noted in Table 1 include the following: Damage from Water Increases in precipitation can result in excess loading in culverts and other stormwater infrastructure designed for lesser flows, increasing the risk of flooding. Increases in the severity of storms can cause flooding, along with and damage to signage and increased wave action that wears infrastructure. Damage Resulting from Temperature Changes Increases in hot days can cause heat buckling on runways and other infrastructure damage. With changes in seasons and thawing, colder regions can experience different freeze/ thaw cycles, which would be disruptive to buildings and other infrastructure designed for less dynamic changes. Business risks Business risks are those that affect the ability of the airport to meet its mission and responsibilities. Business risks may stem directly from physical risks, such as an airport closure resulting from hurricane damage. Business risks also may arise from the scarcity of a critical resource caused by cli- mate change impacts. Sample business risks from effects noted in Table 1 include the following. Flight Delays, Airport Closures, and Related Costs Increases in intense precipitation can decrease visibility, requiring greater distances between aircraft, which slows the system and can cause delay. FIGURE 9 National Research Council, Americaâs Climate Choices, Adaptation Planning Framework.
37 Increases in storms can close airports diverting flights, their passengers, and airline assets to other locations and carrying a substantial hourly cost, sometimes in the millions of dollars. Impact of Temperature Change on Airport Operations Increases in the number of hot days at an airport can neces- sitate additional ground cooling, requiring investment in upgrades to gate-based cooling systems. Risk to Contractual, Regulatory, and Other Legal Compliance Increases in storms and heavy precipitation can put construc- tion schedules at risk. Increases in the number of hot days will activate health and safety requirements under labor and employment laws for airport and construction personnel, and will degrade air quality, threatening compliance with environmental laws. Changes in Flora and Fauna Near Airports An increase in the number of hot days is expected to increase migration and propagation of invasive species, which in turn can damage landscaping and incur other maintenance costs. Security risks Security risks are those relating to human activities that threaten the life, safety, and interests of other human beings. A sample security risk from the effects noted in Table 1 would be increases in storms and, particularly, increases in lightning that escalate the potential for voltage spikes and interruptions in the power supply that can disrupt control systems, including security scanners. financial risks Financial risks are those that compromise the ability of an airport to meet revenue targets, pay expenses, or otherwise remain a going concern. Factors that can affect the financial profile of an airport include unplanned expenditures, impaired performance on a contract, and litigation. A sample financial risk from the effects noted in Table 1 is the risk to factors of interest to investors. Increases in the number of hot days and seasonal changes can affect tourism in regions that rely on a tourism-based economy, which will affect demand for airport services and infrastructure investments (Burbidge et al. 2011). General options for addressing climate risks There are some general approaches or options used to address these and other physical, business, security, financial, and other risks to transportation resulting from climate change. Four are summarized in a white paper produced by the Bipar- tisan Policy Center identified in Appendix C. One option is to âmanage/maintainâ infrastructure that is less significant to transportation goals, using maintenance cycles to absorb the costs of climate impacts. Another option is to âprotect/ hardenâ infrastructure through engineered solutions that enhance the resilience of infrastructure that must stay in operation. Another option is to ensure redundancy in a trans- portation system, such as alternative routes and services. âRelocate/abandonâ options reduce exposure of infrastruc- ture to climate risks, as with the case of Alaskan airstrip relo- cation (White Paper . . . 2009). An additional approach supporting these four options is to monitor and collect data and information that can sup- port decisions on a perceived climate risk (A Transportation Research Program . . . 2009). Respondents to the survey supporting this Synthesis report were asked whether their airport collected information on extraordinary maintenance caused by weather events; 23% said yes, 23% no, and 54% that they did not know. There may be new data needs asso- ciated with the new types of decisions airports may make under climate change. adaptatIon and reSIlIence actIvItIeS BeInG undertaKen In lIGHt of clImate rISK As suggested earlier in this chapter, the degree to which a phys- ical, business, security, and financial risk may concern a given airport depends in part on the likelihood that the relevant cli- mate change effect will occur and the magnitude of its impact. Other factors, such as stakeholder opinions and perceptions of asset values, for example, can be relevant considerations as well (Assessing Infrastructure for Criticality in Mobile . . . 2011). This section reports on climate change resilience and adaptation activities currently being undertaken. These activi- ties might be viewed broadly as attempts to choose among the general options listed in the previous section. activity: ad Hoc responses to climate risk at airports, in the absence of an explicit adaptation Strategy When no strategy is in place at an airport, this reportâs review of current activities suggests there are technically sound ways for internal champions and others to assess and poten- tially address perceived climate risks. The drivers of such activities can include awareness raised by outside adaptation planning efforts, the influence of professional society leader- ship, and experiences with greenhouse gas mitigation and sustainability initiatives. Several survey respondents noted that their own professional judgment triggered consideration of climate risks and adaptation measures. As seen in the case examples, at both Toronto Pearson and Oakland International Airports, managers in technical fields
38 such as planning, engineering, and environment manage- ment reviewed and modified design criteria based on their understanding of potential climate change effects. Although there was no definitive conclusion about future climate effects, the technical staff operated within their professional guidelines to address the risk. At Toronto Pearson Interna- tional Airport, for example, a routine, cyclical review of stormwater involved flood modeling. Although there was no risk indicated in the models, the airport environmental management service (EMS) head considered the possibility of increased microbursts in the area and increased a pipe size with that in mind. Consideration of climate change effects may be enabled by the identification and accessibility of technologies to manage climateâs effects on facilities and operations. Sensors embed- ded in pavement, for example, are in use, and they can monitor runway degradation from the sun or from standing water and thereby assist in monitoring climate change. These and other technologies can mitigate some impacts and assemble the data to manage others (Potential Impacts of Climate Change . . . 2008; A Transportation Research Program . . . 2009). In Alaska, drivers of ad hoc action on climate change were the actual climate change-induced impacts. Erosion of airstrips caused disruption to villages wholly reliant on avia- tion for year-round supplies and travel. Early on communities sought assistance from multiple federal agencies such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NRCS, FAA, and FEMA to reinforce or adapt airstrips or study their relocation in part because there was no overall strategy. A state-level task force and strategic planning effort later brought more attention and cohesion to the response. These are instances where there was no climate change adaptation strategy for an airport in place but where climate change effects, for example, sea level rise exacerbated by storms, remained a distinct possibility. Most often, the deci- sion making was conducted in reaction to a well-defined risk, with climate as one likely element. In other instances, climate risk may not be well-defined to airport staff, and as a result it is not monitored as such; it simply may manifest itself as a bad weather event or environmental condition. In these cases, airports have standard operating procedures to achieve their mission, keeping operations and assets safe. Irregular operations (IROPS) are a type of procedure employed by the aviation community to manage unusual events. IROPS address operational demands that are out- side the normal range for a given airport. Such demands on aviation can result from a major sporting event in a city served by an airport, unusual weather, or many other issues. Severe weather alone does not trigger IROPS, because many airports and their vendors are accustomed to and expect severe weather, such as heavy snow in Minneapolis. Efforts are underway to assist airports in their handling of IROPS, including a guidebook on developing and implementing an IROPS plan sponsored by TRB (Nash and Ward 2012). This TRB guidebook does not address climate change; its focus is on planning for the immediacy and demands of IROPS events, only a portion of which, as noted, relate to unusual weather (Nash and Ward 2012). The Jackson, Mississippi, case example in chapter two illustrates an airportâs inter- dependencies with airlines and others during severe weather events, and that efforts are made to proactively interact when there is a risk of service disruption. It is noteworthy that a small majority of airport managers responding to this synthe- sis reportâs survey (7 of 11 respondents) reported that IROPS is not a satisfactory way for addressing future climate change risks. In contrast, there is interest among aviation experts in having climate change included in IROPS plans because cli- mate change is expected to cause increased delays or other disruptions to aviation (Stewart et al. 2011). What planning process is most appropriate for climate resilience and adaptation action can depend on many factors, including the type of climate risk expected at a given airport. For example, in the San diego case example, so far only sea level rise has been identified and formally reviewed as a cli- mate risk. A high-level strategic planning process, such as that recommended by the NRC in Figure 9 and described in more detail in the following section, can provide an ini- tial forum for discussion, as well as trigger moves toward a more coordinated approach to tracking and managing climate effects at airports. activity: coordinated review of climate change Impacts and development of a High-level adaptation Strategy One possible activity is to address concerns over potential climate change through a high-level, collaborative review of the issue and development of potential next steps, often in the form of a strategy document. However, few airports in the United States have initiated such activity. Importantly, how- ever, several airports have participated in a broader effort spurred by local, regional, or state stakeholders. These efforts often become both awareness-raising and planning exercises, involving fact finding and workshops. Nonprofit organizations such as ICLEIâLocal Governments for Sustainability are often critical agents in these efforts, using their expertise in climate change science, resilience, adaptation, and other disciplines to provide relevant and location-specific guidance to communi- ties. ICLEI was a key partner in the King County, Washington, adaptation initiative, which is widely viewed as a pioneering effort (NRC 2010) and that resulted in a useful handbook. The following are a sampling of similar initiatives that have cata- lyzed airport activities in climate resilience and adaptation. Airport-Level Initiatives The Jacksonville Aviation Authority case example is an instance of an airport-initiated effort at addressing climate
39 risk. The CEO there supports local and regional economic development through direct action by the airports under his purview, and views sustainability as a key facet of economic development. He therefore commissioned a white paper to review the likely effects of climate change on the airport and its operations. Although a white paper does not direct action, in this case it raised awareness and articulated potential next steps for discussion. State, Regional, Sub-Regional, and Local-Level Initiatives New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg provided high-level leadership in directing an initiative to develop a risk-based response to the impacts of climate change. At the mayorâs request, the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) commissioned regional climate change projections, created sector workgroups to conduct an in-depth regional study, and developed a report, released in 2009 (âBuilding a Risk Management Response . . .â 2010). Land use, energy, water, communications, and transportation were examined in detail. For these areas, the NPCC developed planning tools and tactical next steps, analyzed the regulatory environment relevant to options, and described best practices for an adap- tation program for the New York City area, including a set of workbooks to guide on-the-ground planning. A risk to airports from climate change effects that was identified, for example, was the risk of brownouts or blackouts at a certain terminal that was likely to disrupt baggage and security oper- ations. Also, in addition to articulating the type of high-level themes that can promote understanding across stakeholder groups, the NPCCâs 2009 report was detailed enough to sug- gest a data collection role for airports in support of climate change indicators and metrics (âBuilding a Risk Manage- ment Response . . .â 2010). In California, the governor initiated a climate change task force by executive order, and state government staff devel- oped an action plan. The transportation component had a set of next steps for the relevant state offices. The state depart- ment of transportation was already engaged and able to take up its next steps, and did so using a detailed schematic aligned with the transportation planning process (Climate Change Adaptation . . . 2008). With both a high-level strat- egy and tactical actions identified in the schematic, govern- ment staff could determine how to proceed. For example, for a set of major planning phases, the state directed a climate change analysis and related economic study, and the sche- matic directed each program to the precise instrument in the planning process in which to address climate change impacts (Climate Change Adaptation . . . 2008). To ensure that pri- orities could be identified early, the strategy called for âhot spotâ maps that showed where climate change effects were most likely to be a problem (California Climate Adaptation Strategy . . . 2009). Instruction at this level of detail is helpful, but it is impor- tant to note that in the absence of direct management control a state sometimes can only directly drive action in agencies under its immediate jurisdiction. For example, the Califor- nia initiative was not as detailed with respect to airports as it was for state highways. Airports are typically under the control of a local government or an independent authority (Potential Impacts of Climate Change . . . 2008). The avia- tion community has noted that this circumstance can influ- ence the governance of climate adaptation and resilience (Stewart et al. 2011). The following examples, also from California, suggest airports can become involved through more local coordination. In San diego, the airport became engaged in a community effort to assess the impact of sea level rise when ICLEI joined with local nonprofits to conduct a review of this risk within the San diego Bay area. A stake- holder working group, technical advisory committee, and a steering committee were formed. The steering committee included two representatives from the San diego Regional Airport Authority. Working from the ICLEI climate adapta- tion tool kit and framework, a vulnerability Assessment of 13 sectors was conducted, including a review of the main airportâs vulnerability to sea level rise. One recommenda- tion to the steering committee was to review sea level rise through the Regional Aviation Strategic Plan process. As a result of the awareness raised through participation on the steering committee, airport authority staff can better com- municate the short-term risk to the airport, which is low, and consider ways to incorporate sea rise considerations into long-term planning. In the San Francisco Bay area, Oakland International Airport participated in a sub-regional effort to review the impacts of sea level rise, which as noted earlier was called Adapting to Rising Tides. The airport staff cred- its this initiative with making known sea level rise model outputs, which they used in determining decision criteria for airport infrastructure improvements specifically modifica- tion of the runway perimeter dike. Some general observations can be made from these strate- gic and often collaborative adaptation planning efforts. High- level strategies by local or state governments are typically initiated by legislation or an administrative driver such as an executive order. Often, there is a high-level champion such as a mayor or governor who articulates a vision and purpose and rallies participants to review the climate change impacts projected for the area, assess their significance, and address them. Academic and nonprofit experts, such as ICLEI, can support the effort, which is typically time-limited. It either explicitly or implicitly involves an education and awareness- raising component. It also establishes governance structures (e.g., task force or sector working groups) that may have a legacy effect even when the initial effort is completed. The outcome is a high-level climate change adaptation strategy or plan with next steps that can be adapted at the program level within the government, as in the case of California and New York City. Although local and state governments typi- cally do not have direct management control over airports,
40 climate change adaptation and resilience strategies and plans can encourage airports to define for themselves how they can participate and contribute. As suggested by the California example, strategies developed at state, regional, and local levels typically do not require binding commitments from participants. national-level Initiatives In the United States, the National Climate Assessment (NCA) is the primary means at the national level for link- ing interdependent sectors in climate change resilience and adaptation. The NCA provides a forum for coordination and is supported by the scientific and technical efforts of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. The NCA role is to facilitate and provide leadership rather than direct the responses to climate change by the private, nonprofit, and state, local, and tribal government sectors (NRC 2010). Also at the national level there are federal agencies that view their mission as preparing the public for climate change, includ- ing development of science and technical information. These agencies include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, department of the Interior (including the U.S. Geological Survey, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Manage- ment, and Bureau of Reclamation), and the U.S. department of Agriculture (e.g., Forest Service). The Army Corps of Engi- neers is piloting a risk method that includes climate change considerations (USACE 2011). Through Executive Order (EO) 13514 and related guid- ance the federal government requires each of its agencies to have a climate adaptation plan that address risks to not only federal facilities and businesses but also federal pro- grams (EO 13514 2009). Such programs can affect state, local, and tribal government, the private sector, and the general public, through regulation, technical assistance, or financial assistance. As part of its EO 13514 implementa- tion process, FAA is implementing its own sustainability and adaptation policies through EMS (Multi Year EMS Plan 2011). Additionally, the FAA Airport Office makes AIP funding available for EMS planning (JdPO 2010). The U.S.dOT has a climate change adaptation policy (dOT 2011b) and it supports the use of asset management as one means of enabling decision making on climate risks, as seen in the FTA adaptation plan (Hodges 2011). Although neither approach is required of airports, the experience of these important airport partners can inform future thinking. Also potentially relevant to federal projects and programs (Klin et al. 2011) is the Council on Environmental Qual- ityâs draft memorandum on addressing climate change impacts under the rubric of the National Environmental Policy Act (CEQ 2010). As of 2011, the work of the NCA, federal agencies, and others at the national level has yet to take the form of hard drivers or directives applicable to airport activities. climate risk Identification and prioritization Several tools are used for collecting and assessing informa- tion to support development of high-level adaptation strat- egies and action plans. These help stakeholders focus on issues of most concern and can lay the foundation for risk analysis. This section describes these tools, many of which have been used by respondents to the survey conducted for this report. Scenario Planning Change adaptation strategies and plans use climate scenarios to indicate the changes to climate that will occur, determine likely impacts, and help identify vulnerabilities and opportu- nities in a community or organization. Climate scenarios are also used in a directed discussion of potential futures under climate change, called scenario planning. The process relies on qualitative information from stakeholders and is typi- cally a one-time exercise that orients management toward new thinking. Two of 11 survey respondents participated in climate change scenario planning. Scenario planning reviews the range of variables, climate and nonclimate, that will affect a community or organization. Each variable is rated for its range of variations and for its significance (good or bad). Participants in the scenario planning process are encouraged to manipulate these ratings and, thereby, the total product or aggregate rating of the two. After an assessment of the most significant or highest rated variables, âplausible futuresâ are developed by estimating the results of various interactions among the most important variables, usually the top two identified by stakeholders, by means of a matrix. When scenario planning is used in climate change decision support, a particular adaptation response such as investing in new infrastructure, can be reviewed across several plausible futures to examine its viability in different contexts. A use- ful complement to the scenario planning approach is the use of system mapping to show relationships between climate and other drivers and outcomes of concern to an organiza- tion; such as an airport (and its partners). A scenario planning exercise often is chosen when there are too many uncertain- ties to proceed to a risk-based prioritization stage. Economic Analysis An economic analysis is another tool for preparing an air- port to address the effects of climate change. A European case study, for example, studied possible shifts in tourism (and therefore airline destinations) at a Greek island vacation destination under climate change (Burbidge et al. 2011). Investigators reviewed local government strategies and con- ducted an economic analysis that would help explain how and when climate change would impact the demand-side vari- ables supporting tourism development. They also ran a fore- cast study of passenger traffic estimations (demand) for the years 2020, 2030, 2050, and 2080. Using thermal discomfort
41 in northern European tourism as a measure of demand, they examined likely changes in this measure over time. The study found that in 30 to 50 years, thermal discomfort could drive tourists to cooler locations or shift their visits to cooler months. Tourism shifts such as this would have implications for airport and air traffic management planning, making this form of analysis useful in assessing the significance of a cli- mate risk. Economic analysis can describe climate effects that will reduce or increase demand for an airportâs services. There are some methodological challenges in assessing shifts in tourism (Gossling and Hall 2006), but effects on demand could be seen at airports reliant on climate-dependent tour- ism, including ski and beach resorts (Klin et al. 2011). Climate Impacts Profile Another tool is a climate impacts assessment. It reviews past extreme weather events for a period of years and analyzes areas where responses were not optimal. The method involves identifying an extreme weather day and, through interviews, desktop research (news articles, etc.) of localized weather- related disruptions, and reviews of relevant weather data, the systemic response to the extreme weather event is depicted. This approach helps identify systemic and site-specific prob- lems. However, its results do not use or rely on projections of future climate. Local and state transportation agencies some- times conduct âstorm reportsâ that can serve a similar purpose after a high profile weather event; one example is New York Cityâs Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA 2007). Vulnerability Assessments vulnerability assessments review the current profile of a community and its capacity to handle future stressors stem- ming from climate change; for example, by recording the performance of an asset or activity under historical weather conditions. Evidence of vulnerability may be the amount of repair costs resulting from past weather events or the role of the asset in emergency response. Then, using projections of climate impacts, the effects of a climate stressor on that asset or activity is determined, and the vulnerability to cli- mate change is described. With more than half of survey respondents reporting the use of vulnerability assessments, this tool was the most common one used by survey respondents. Its popularity is illustrated by Figure 1, showing the influential ICLEI adaptation milestone chart, which begins with a vulnerability study. It can be part of a risk assessment or a stand-alone tool. As part of a risk analy sis approach, this assessment of vulnerability helps deter- mine the assets for priority review under the risk assessment. Risk Management Risk management is used to render decisions under uncer- tainty. This tool can be used to determine which resource allocation questions progress to decision making. Under the traditional formula, risk equals the probability of occurrence of an event multiplied by the magnitude of the eventâs out- come; this typically applies where a numerical value can be ascribed to each factor. With respect to climate change, the âeventâ of interest would be a climate change impact such as sea level rise combined with storm surge. Numerical val- ues based on environmental or other quantitative data, how- ever, are often not available. An emerging best practice is to provide a numerical rating for qualitative levels of risk for easier rating and comparison across projects and sec- tors (CCS 2011). Matrices developed in high-level risk assessments, those conducted in both broad, stakeholder- supported regional planning efforts and within organizations, often involve rough degrees of risk; for example, âlow,â âmedium,â and âhigh.â This approach is not exclusive to cli- mate change; its use is also seen in engineering for extreme events (Thompson et al. 2007). The NPCCâs high-level risk assessment approach is highly regarded. The NRC showcased the NPCC risk matrix in its series, Americaâs Climate Choices (NRC 2010). Using the traditional formula of risk, NPCC stakeholders qualita- tively described the likelihood of impact; that is, if a given climate hazard were to occur, and the magnitude of the con- sequence of the impact, using low, medium, and high to rate each factor. If a climate change adaptation measure were already underway or planned and fully funded, the stake- holders were instructed to take into account the benefits already gained. Similarly, the approach factored in actions already underway within an organization or agency but not specifically conducted for addressing climate change. Com- bining the two factors (likelihood of impact, magnitude of harm), a two-dimensional risk matrix could be generated, as reproduced in Figure 10. An asset would be in the most darkly shaded box, in the upper-right-hand corner if, for example, it had a âvery Highâ likelihood of experiencing an impact from a climate change-driven event during its lifetime and would experience a âHighâ magnitude conse- quence from that impact. Among the entities that participated in the NPCC pro- cess was PANYNJ, and its effort to carry forward the NPCC risk assessment process into its own facilities may provide an example of how individual facilities can tailor high-level adaptation planning exercises for their own use. PANYNJ owns and maintains some of the largest and most valuable transportation infrastructure in the United States, includ- ing the New YorkâNew Jersey rail system, six tunnels and bridges, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the World Trade Center, and five airports: JFK International Airport, LaGuar- dia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, Stewart International Airport, and Teterboro Airport. In response to the NPCC initiative, PANYNJ evaluated the vulnerability of its system to a range of climate effects based on NPCC- commissioned projections in three time horizons (2020, 2050s, and 2080s). A sample climate effect to PANYNJ
42 assets was that JFK International Airport, which lies near sea level, would be under more than 15 ft of water given certain extreme storm conditions (Jacob et al. 2001). As part of the risk assessment process, PANYNJ created an inventory of infrastructure likely at risk and developed adaptation strategies. Specifically, six tasks were performed: defining climate change variables and projections, develop- ing asset inventories (with a view to interagency coordina- tion), assessing vulnerabilities, analyzing risks, prioritizing the assets, and developing adaptation strategies. Ultimately, PANYNJ divided adaptation strategies into three categories as defined by New York City: (1) maintenance and opera- tions (e.g., using portable pumps and conducting detailed studies), (2) capital investments (e.g., permanent improve- ments), and (3) regulatory (e.g., design standards). With this work as a starting point, PANYNJ has since developed interim design criteria for use in new construction or major rehabilitation projects. These criteria will be reviewed every two years to remain responsive to new climate science and other relevant information. PANYNJ is also more aware of how system redundancies engineered for other purposes, for example, pavement for heavy traffic, also help increase adaptive capacity and system resilience and how other capi- tal improvement investments, such as security barriers, can protect against high water possible from storm surge and sea level rise (Anticipating Climate Change 2011). Climate risk work in the transportation sector also pro- vides examples of current practice (Literature Review . . . 2009). FHWA is piloting a conceptual climate risk assess- ment model, depicted in Figure 11, to help organiza- tions evaluate the risks from climate change (Assessing Vulnerability . . . n.d.) The five pilot areas are the Metro- politan Transportation CommissionâSan Francisco Bay, California; New Jersey department of Transportation/North Jersey Transportation Planning AuthorityâCoastal and Cen- tral New Jersey; virginia department of Transportationâ Hampton Roads, virginia; Washington State department of TransportationâState of Washington; and Oahu Metropoli- tan Planning OrganizationâIsland of Oahu, Hawaii. Also, the U.S.dOT is sponsoring a risk assessment of the Mobile, Alabama, transportation infrastructure, including airports, which uses an approach similar the FHWA conceptual risk assessment model (dOT 2011a). The FHWA conceptual climate risk assessment model involves several steps (Assessing Vulnerability . . . n.d.): 1. Compile a list of assets by categories that correspond to planning priorities. It recommends gathering infor- mation that can later inform evaluation of the assetsâ resiliency to climate change and how costly any dam- age to the asset would be. 2. Screen out assets based on their âcriticalityâ or impor- tance, which may be gauged by existing evaluation tools and criteria used by a state or other authority. 3. Collect local- or regional-level climate data, both his- torical and projected. 4. Review uncertainties. Effects that are small in magni- tude and relatively uncertain would be screened out, but reviewed at a later time. 5. Review an assetâs vulnerability. vulnerability is deter- mined by examining the assetsâ performance under historical weather conditions. If a climate stressor does not have a significant impact on an asset, that climate stressor and asset combination is to be screened from review and revisited at a later date. Importantly, the conceptual model encourages the identification of cli- mate stressors already taken into account in the design, operation, and maintenance of the asset. 6. Assess whether future climate stressors will affect the asset and consider the cumulative impacts of more frequent climate stressors. To assess the likelihood of impacts, the conceptual model would have the user divide impacts into high and low climate stressors, based on their severity. The determination of high or low severity of impact is a qualitative judgment that FIGURE 10 New York City Panel on Climate Change risk matrix (NRC 2010).
43 relies on the expertise of the intended user of this draft model. Next, the model would have the user consider the consequences to society of the impact, in part through use of the earlier criticality assessments. 7. To integrate the two factors, with their low and high likelihood of impact and low and high consequences, arrange them in a matrix based on the combined effects of their likelihood: low, medium, and high. This approach provides a visual depiction of the assets most at risk from climate change. 8. Identify adaptation options based the criticality and at- risk status of the assets. It notes adaptation measures can take advantage of existing or scheduled planning cycles (âopportunisticâ adaptation) or be pro-active in that the measure would be implemented before sched- uled or necessary planning or maintenance. As noted, the U.S.dOT uses an approach similar to the FHWA risk assessment model in a study focusing on the Mobile, Alabama, metropolitan area. The study cov- ers multiple organizations, including airports. Information on the detailed scale of the study (and the level of effort involved) is useful when reviewing and assessing current practices. The Mobile study focused on the airport facil- ity level through (1) an initial âscanâ of airports and their many services, (2) an assessment of certain airport-specific metrics developed for the study, and (3) a âcriticalityâ rating. The criticality review focused on assets for the most part, although the size of the airport, for example, runway length and other measures of capacity, have been proxies or metrics for the âimportanceâ of the airport. This review was a factor in determining vulnerability. To date, Mobileâs 17 airports have been reviewed for their criticality and 2 of these airports are likely to proceed to a risk assessment (dOT 2011a). With respect to prioritization, costing of adaptation options is one key step. Investment decision tools commonly used by airports include financial analysis, economic impact analy- sis, and benefitâcost analysis. Prior TRB research by Landau and Weisbrod, âEffective Practices for Preparing Airport Improvement Program Benefit-Cost Analysis,â provides useful background on this point. Financial analysis focuses on the estimation and comparison of revenue streams and cost streams generated or affected by a project. Economic impact analysis focuses on the estimation of changes in jobs and income in a region that are a consequence of airport operations or changes in airport activities that result from a project. Benefitâcost analysis weighs the quantified benefits and costs of a project and is used for project selection and prioritization (Landau and Weisbrod 2009). Climate change risks are just one risk in the benefitâcost analysis equation. FIGURE 11 FHWA conceptual climate risk assessment model (FHWA n.d.).
44 There are models that can assist in estimating the cost of potential adaptation options. Researchers at the University of Alaska were able to estimate that climate change could add $3.6 to $6.1 billion (more than 10% to 20% above nor- mal wear and tear) to future costs for public infrastructure from 2008 to 2030, and $5.6 billion to $7.6 billion from 2008 to 2080. They estimated that replacing the 250 Alaska air- ports would cost $5.6 billion. To develop this estimate and ones for other infrastructure, investigators acquired climate projections for Alaska, created a database of public infra- structure, and estimated the infrastructure replacement. The model assumed that climate change will reduce the useful life of infrastructure requiring that it be replaced sooner. The replacement costs estimate was calculated with and without climate change and assumed that planners will adapt struc- tures strategically. developing the database involved defin- ing what was critical infrastructure and determining whether records were kept on both the infrastructure and its replace- ment costs; some datasets were not available. Infrastructure was assigned a location and each location given a set of val- ues associated with the projected climate effects; for exam- ple, proximity to the coast and susceptibility to flooding (e.g., âexposed,â âprotected,â âinterior,â and âprone to floodingâ), as well as local permafrost conditions (âfrost-susceptibleâ and ânon-frost-susceptibleâ). Investigators also estimated the useful life of the infrastructure, and these calculations often required estimates because datasets were not readily available (Larsen et al. 2008). Other cost calculation tools have been developed, such as the Coastal Adaptation to Sea Level Rise Tool (COAST). The city of Groton, Connecticut, used COAST to model the economic impact (in terms of lost real estate and building contents) from various sea level rise and storm surge sce- narios at three specific locations. The state of Maineâs dOT is using a variation of COAST to review cost and risk issues in support of developing design standards for large, tidally influenced transportation structures (FHWA 2011). As of 2011, outside of pilot studies, U.S. airports were not engaged in formal climate risk prioritization processes. Evidence from the Oakland case example suggests an oppor- tunistic approach, wherein staff considers climate change in design when reviewing a technical issue that responds to another priority; for example, seismic activity, which is not defined as a climate change problem. financing mechanisms to address climate risks The possible sources of funding for addressing climate risks at airports are diverse. With respect to how airports per- ceive climate risk financially, all but one survey respondent (10 of 11) agreed that climate change adaptation required investment in both capital expenditures and operations and maintenance. Only one respondent said capital expenditures alone were the appropriate means for investing in adaptation. Regarding actual funding sources, it is helpful to review sur- vey responses about the funding sources airports currently use to address threats from weather. The eight U.S. survey respondents produced a diverse list of the resources that are used to prevent, reduce, or otherwise address threats from weather: three of the eight used local funds and a line item in the budget was also used by three airports. Passenger facil- ity charge revenue, general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, and/or FAA AIP grants were used by two of the eight. The following sources were used by one respondent: federal grants-in-aid, state grants-in-aid, customer facility charge, FAA special grants, FAA voluntary Low Emissions Pro- gram, and state dOT. One respondent used no such resource and did not indicate any others it might use to address threats from weather. Based on these responses, the category of funds for climate change resilience and adaptation, when considered in the future, may vary by airport. In the dallas/Fort Worth International Airport case example, the source of funding for both the $10 million snow removal equipment and the new reclaimed water pipe- line to address future water scarcity was the Capital Improve- ment Program. There will be more than $500,000 in yearly operations and maintenance costs as well for the snow equipment. In Alaska, airport improvements in communi- ties at risk from erosion and flooding partially induced by climate change have been funded by FAA AIP and FEMA resources. Incorporation of climate risk considerations into airport planning Although airports have participated in region-wide cli- mate change planning efforts, and some airports have made technical decisions with a view to future climate risks, the formal incorporation of climate change resilience and adap- tation into planning and organizational decision making has occurred at few airports. Incorporation of climate risk con- siderations into planning and organizational decision making can better define the problem from a corporate or enterprise perspective, but it does not ensure that an airport will render decisions on climate risks, as seen in the result of the first round of climate risk reporting by U.K. airports (Evaluating the Risk Assessment . . . 2011). Some notable work follows: â¢ Several U.K. airports have incorporated climate change into their organizational decision processes, as required by government oversight bodies; however, routine implementation is not underway. â¢ According to its survey response, the San Francisco International Airport is considering climate change in its master plan currently under development. â¢ Jacksonville Aviation Authority has taken a first step at climate change adaptation and resilience planning by developing a white paper on climate change adaptation. â¢ At the San diego Regional Airport Authority, a sea level rise strategy confirmed that the areaâs major air-
45 port is not under immediate threat; however, its staff is now considering integrating the relevant components of the strategy into the San diego Regional Airport Authorityâs sustainability policy. â¢ In the case of Atlantaâs major airport, an FAA grant to develop a sustainability plan has resulted in a plan that will require an annual review of goals. The head of asset management and sustainability believes this planâs dynamic and iterative approach will allow for and facilitate consideration of new issues such as cli- mate change adaptation. HIGHlIGHtS from a revIeW of clImate cHanGe adaptatIon and reSIlIence actIvItIeS The following are highlights from this chapterâs review of relevant activities, as informed by the case examples, litera- ture review, and the survey. â¢ Airports have interdependencies with tenants, other airports, and other partners that may be locally, region- ally, and nationally based. As shown in the Jackson, Mississippi, case example, a weather event may trigger a dialog with airports in Texas. Also, there is a rou- tine scan of national events that could lead to delays. A Toronto Pearson International Airport manager real- ized changes in temperature elsewhere could require a change to his airportâs de-icing measures. Interde- pendencies such as these arise with respect to weather events and are addressed through certain existing pro- cedures that draw on these relationships to help mini- mize disruptions. â¢ Adaptation planning efforts occurring in an airportâs geographic region can raise awareness at the airport. Such efforts also may define airport issues even before an airport has reviewed climate impacts in a formal way. â¢ Risk management, especially as informed by vulner- ability assessments, is a commonly suggested approach to adaptation. Related tools of interest include asset management and EMS. â¢ There are various types of information useful to deter- mining baseline conditions and helpful to planning and other activities related to climate risks. The identification of needed datasets such as asset inventories and informa- tion on the useful life of assets, is an important exercise.