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46 This synthesis report contains information and examples that successfully demonstrate the value and benefits of building sustainability concepts into capacity-enhancing projects. The research was conducted by (a) holding interviews with personnel from seven commercial service airports that have successfully integrated sustainability measures within capacity- enhancing initiatives and (b) supplementing the interview responses with information from existing literature. Highlighted throughout this report is the importance of communicating sustainability to stakeholders and using sustainability to solicit support for and engagement in the project and to build better community relations. Airports initiate capacity-enhancing projects for a variety of reasons. These projects provide valuable opportunities to capture the benefits associated with a sustainability approach that balances concerns for economic vitality, operational efficiency, natural resources, and social responsibility. Benefits across these four areas include job creation, streamlined operations, reduced environmental impacts, and collaboration with community initiatives. Staff members within environmental departments are often the initiators of early sustainability efforts, and over time these efforts can evolve into comprehensive sustainability initiatives that embrace the benefits of the non-environmental components of sustainability. The evolution of sustainability efforts reflects a progressive learning process among airport staff, who draw on lessons learned from earlier initiatives to improve and enhance subsequent initiatives. Personnel from seven airports that have integrated sustainability measures within their capacity-enhancing projects were interviewed for this synthesis, and their collective experiences, in addition to findings from existing literature, reveal takeaways that can be applied to other airports. For instance, establishing an internal culture of sustainability or having foundational sustainability policies lays the groundwork for pursuing sustainability early in the planning stages within a capacity-enhancing project. This is improved when both aspects are present. Furthermore, having drive and ownership from leadership and an organizational structure that encourages participation from those with multiple perspectives lends itself well to the devel- opment of sustainability practices that are implemented at multiple levels within an airport. Adopting a sustainability-based approach can also lead to innovative solutions to operational challenges or cost savings from the reduction of resource use. Tracking metrics related to sus- tainability can also help airport staff quantify benefits and, in turn, convey these to their com- munities and other stakeholders. Ultimately airports enhance capacity, incorporate sustainability measures, and engage stake- holders in unique ways tailored to their context. By adopting strategies successfully used by airports and avoiding the pitfalls associated with inadequately accommodating community or environmental concerns in their capacity-enhancing projects, airports can develop approaches that best allow them to thrive while serving as a âgood neighborâ in their communities. This C H A P T E R 5 Conclusions and Future Research
Conclusions and Future Research 47 research effort showcased examples of airports successfully leveraging a sustainability approach through capacity-enhancing projects; however, airport staff can benefit from additional infor- mation and guidance. Based on the findings resulting from this research effort, opportunities for further research include the following: â¢ Revisiting existing research on a prototype airport sustainability rating system developed as part of ACRP Report 119: Prototype Airport Sustainability Rating SystemâCharacteristics, Viability, and Implementation Options. â¢ Developing a user-friendly, comprehensive sustainability checklist, based on refinement of the preliminary checklist included in Appendix A. â¢ Developing a benefit-cost analysis framework to help guide decisions on sustainability. â¢ Surveying and interviewing active community stakeholders or airline representatives to iden- tify how their perceptions of airports facing capacity constraints have evolved as the airports have embraced sustainability. â¢ Guidance on how to identify, quantify, and convey the economic, social, and operational efficiency value streams resulting from capacity-enhancing projects. â¢ Analyzing airport sustainability initiatives to compare the impacts of a âbusiness as usualâ scenario with the net impacts of the initiatives. â¢ Conducting interviews with current or former airport CEOs to hear their perspectives on the value of sustainability and how they successfully used a sustainability approach to lead their airports.