ACRP Releases Web-Only Document 45, Airport Environmental Research Roadmap

03.05.2020 | Katherine B. Preston, ENV SP |

The airport industry has always faced a variety of challenges, problems, and opportunities in the field of environmental and sustainability management. Current trends in the development of renewable energy resources, sustainable aviation biofuels, and zero emissions and waste initiatives, as well as new technologies, provide new opportunities for airports to improve their environmental performance beyond what was possible in the past. Some challenges, like noise annoyance and air pollutant emissions, have persisted over time while others are more recent challenges, such as accommodating electric vehicles.

In order to maintain a steady supply of high-quality research ideas to address these opportunities and challenges, ACRP has undertaken the development of strategic research roadmaps in its identified topic areas. This project – ACRP Project 11-02/Task 32, “Airport Environmental Research Roadmap” – is part of ACRP’s strategic effort to improve the development of research problem statements. The Narrative Research Roadmap and associated products are now published as part of ACRP Web-only Document 45. HMMH was selected to develop the Environmental Research Roadmap, in addition to the previously published Operations and Maintenance and Design and Construction Research Roadmaps.

The primary aim of this roadmap is to uncover key opportunities and challenges in the area of airport environmental management and outline and prioritize specific research ideas needed to address these gaps over the next five years. HMMH, along with research partner The Cadmus Group, developed the roadmap through a detailed review of relevant research and broad stakeholder engagement with airports, airlines, consultants, trade associations, and regulators. The research ideas generated as part of this project are organized into eight high-level themes, which represent the main categories of challenges facing airports in this field presently and over the next several years. Based on the result of the outreach and literature review, 55 research ideas were generated and categorized into eight high-level themes. These themes are:



Water Quality and Availability

Air Quality and Emissions


Monitoring and Reporting

Natural Resources

Emerging Technologies

The research ideas are described in the Narrative Report, as well as in detail in the Idea Matrix (both available on ACRP’s project site). The ideas were prioritized, based on similar criteria that ACRP uses to select submitted problem statements, and placed on the visual roadmap based on their relative urgency and industry need. The interactive visual roadmap allows users to quickly see how many ideas are in each category, which are a higher priority, and the details of each idea.

About the Author
Katherine Preston, Principal Consultant, Aviation, HMMH

Katherine B. Preston, ENV SP

Director, Aviation Environmental Services

Katherine is the Group Leader for HMMH’s Aviation Environmental Services Group and has been involved in the Aviation industry for more…

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