Research Projects

General Aviation Airports and Resilience: Complete Toolkits for Self-Directed Planning In Reserve

The 2,455 General Aviation Airports in the U.S. provide essential services that are uniquely available through this type of airport. A Resilience Management Plan, although expensive to contract and complicated to create, may be critical to protecting the continuity of these services. This research project provides operators with the tools necessary to effectively and efficiently develop their own Resilience Management Plan.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

General aviation airports are uniquely positioned to provide services critical to safety and security. These include aeromedical flights, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, and disaster relief. Thus it is imperative for these airports to understand, predict, and address shocks* and stressors** before they happen. Resilient management planning is proactive in its approach to unusual events.

Two primary challenges to resilient management planning are cost and scope. A complete, easy-to-use toolkit with checklist assessments, easily calculated risk metrics, recommendations for minimizing risks, and guides to local resource collaboration, will motivate and equip operators to conduct their own resilience planning. This means that operators will be able to develop cost-effective resilience plans with priorities that address the unique services, conditions, and environmental elements of their airports.

General aviation airports are not only important to the communities in which they operate; they also are key contributors to the successful network of the nation's airports. Complete toolkits for self-directed resilient management planning will focus needed attention and cost-saving benefits to the numerous and varied general aviation airports.

  • Shocks include airplane accidents, severe weather, utility outages, fuel disruptions, and natural disasters.
    **Stressors include employment challenges, aging infrastructure, climate change impacts, political and economic changes, and resource limitations.
Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

To provide general aviation airport operators with the tools necessary to conduct resilience planning using in-house and locally available resources.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)

A diverse team of experienced airport professionals and general aviation operators will develop a self-directed toolkit for each of the four types of general aviation airports—national, regional, local, and basic. The components of each plan will be carefully reviewed by and implemented at four representative airports. At the conclusion of the research, the four airport experiences will be presented as case studies within the toolkits.

Cost Estimate and Backup (Provide a cost estimate and support for how you arrived at the estimate.)

Task 1 Administration/Reporting $ 20,000 Monthly progress reports, administration
Task 2: Kick-Off Teleconference $ 5,000 Assume web-based
Task 3: Review of Existing Literature/Research $ 10,000
Task 4: Prepare Initial Deliverables $ 20,000 Development of draft toolkits
Task 5: Panel Meeting $ 5,000 Assume web-based
Task 6: Jury of Experts $ 50,000 Refinement of draft toolkits
Task 7: Field Tests $200,000 Field test toolkits and develop RMPs with 4 representative airports
Task 8: Case Study $ 10,000 Incorporate experience at the 4 airports as case studies in the final report
Task 9: Prepare Updates Deliverables $ 20,000 Final draft toolkits
Task 10: Interim Meeting $ 5,000 Assume web-based
Task 11 Draft and Final Report $ 35,000
Total $380,000

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

Existing research will be used extensively in the development of the toolkits. This research includes but is not limited to the following.

ACRP Synthesis 11-03: Effective Cooperation among Airports and Local and Regional Emergency Management Agencies for Disaster Preparedness and Response

ACRP Problem Statement: 57 - Safety Risk Assessment Case Studies

ACRP Problem Statement: 74 - Enhancing the Management of Adverse Conditions, IROPS, and Crises with Airport Collaborative Decision Making

ACRP Report 160: - Addressing Significant Weather Impacts on Airports: Quick Start Guide and Toolkit

ACRP Synthesis Topic S02-06: Airport Climate Adaptation and Resilience

The FAA is currently developing an updated lessons learned report from those airports that have completed a Sustainable Management Plan or a Sustainable Master Plan

Idea No. 224