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A I R P O R T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 211 2020 Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Subscriber Categories Aviation â¢ Planning and Forecasting Guidance for Using the Interactive Tool for Understanding NEPA at General Aviation Airports William Willkie David Full Julie Barrow David Alberts Joseph Gale Nick Kozlik RS&H, Inc. San Francisco, CA John Jenkins Roger Wayson Clifton B. Wilmer Wyle laboRatoRIeS, Inc. Camarillo, CA Mary L. Vigilante SyneRgy conSultantS Seattle, WA
AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in trans- portation of people and goods and in regional, national, and interna- tional commerce. They are where the nationâs aviation system connects with other modes of transportation and where federal responsibility for managing and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agen- cies and not being adequately addressed by existing federal research programs. ACRP is modeled after the successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activi- ties in various airport subject areas, including design, construction, legal, maintenance, operations, safety, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. ACRP provides a forum where airport operators can cooperatively address common operational problems. ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100â Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary participants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the American Associa- tion of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airlines for America (A4A), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) as vital links to the airport community; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a contract with the National Academy of Sciences formally initiating the program. ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials, equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research organi- zations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibili- ties, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Research problem statements for ACRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport professionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing coop- erative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the intended users of the research: airport operating agencies, service pro- viders, and academic institutions. ACRP produces a series of research reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties; industry associations may arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, webinars, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by airport industry practitioners. ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 211 Project 02-73 ISSN 2572-3731 (Print) ISSN 2572-374X (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-48102-1 Library of Congress Control Number 2019956896 Â© 2020 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FRA, FTA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology, PHMSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Published research reports of the AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to http://www.national-academies.org and then searching for TRB Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.national-academies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 211 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Marci A. Greenberger, Manager, Airport Cooperative Research Program Brittany Summerlin-Azeez, Program Coordinator Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Associate Director of Publications Hilary Freer, Senior Editor ACRP PROJECT 02-73 PANEL Field of Environment David B. Lucas, Av Ports, North Kingstown, RI (Chair) Paul Hagerty, Hagerty Environmental, LLC, Kennett Square, PA Ellen Lindblad, Lee County Port Authority, Tallahassee, FL (Retired) Jennifer D. Martin, North Carolina DOT, Raleigh, NC Gary P. Mascaro, City of Scottsdale - Scottsdale Airport, Scottsdale, AZ K. Royce Bassarab, FAA Liaison Frank Smigelski, FAA Liaison Christine Gerencher, TRB Liaison
Most general aviation (GA) airports are minimally staffed and rarely employ environ- mental specialists. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can be overwhelming to work through for those not familiar with the requirements. ACRP Research Report 211, and the interactive tool that was also developed, will help airport staff from GA airports under- stand the NEPA process. The report provides an overview of NEPA, when it is applied, and the three levels of NEPA review. The tool will be helpful in better understanding the level of effort that may be required to comply with NEPA. The staff at general aviation (GA) airports typically conduct various tasks and do not have time to be expert in any one area. With respect to environmental compliance generally, and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) specifically, this situation can be challenging. Understanding NEPA is difficult and it is not always clear what steps are required. Some airport projects may be able to work through the process without the assistance of sub- ject matter experts if they know (1) the terminology, (2) when a NEPA review is required, (3) the process, and the (4) possible outcomes that will allow airport staff to plan their construc- tion projects properly. The RS&H team was selected to conduct research to educate GA airport staff about NEPA and to develop a tool to enable staff to evaluate the appropriate environmental analysis for a specific airport project. The report provides an overview of NEPA, the teamâs research approach, findings, case studies, and how to use the tool. Airport staff with any responsibility for planning, design, and construction at GA airports will find this research report and tool helpful. F O R E W O R D By Marci A. Greenberger Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
1 Summary 4 Chapter 1 NEPA Overview 4 1.1 The NEPA Process 6 1.2 Cost and Schedule Considerations 7 1.3 How to Improve Compliance with NEPA 10 Chapter 2 Research 10 2.1 FAA NEPA Practitioner Interviews 14 2.2 Literature Review 15 2.3 Case Studies 19 2.4 Interactive Tool Platform and Software Development 20 Chapter 3 Interactive Tool Logic 20 3.1 Evaluation Module 24 3.2 Cost and Schedule Module 28 Chapter 4 Conclusions and Suggested Research 29 References 30 Abbreviations A-1 Appendix A NEPA Process Options B-1 Appendix B Cost and Scheduling Assumptions C-1 Appendix C Case Study Narratives D-1 Appendix D Userâs Guide C O N T E N T S Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.