Environmental Protection

Aviation Industry Handbook to Detail Water Issues

The Airport Cooperative Research Program, which is managed by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration, has awarded a contract to Gresham, Smith and Partners, an architecture, engineering, and environmental firm, to develop an aviation industry handbook titled "Water Resource Issues Affecting Airport Capacity Enhancement Planning."

This handbook aims to provide airport operators and planners with guidance in recognizing potential impacts that capacity enhancement activities may have on water resources while balancing business concerns and environmental protection.

The handbook will be developed in two phases and will serve to:

  • identify issues and requirements related to water resources (including quality and quantity, wetlands and groundwater) that may affect the environmental review process linked to airport capacity improvements;
  • describe potential effects of not adequately addressing these issues and requirements; and
  • develop strategies airports can employ to implement improvements in a timely and cost-effective manner while protecting water resources.

“In recent years, the importance and difficulty associated with water resource permitting has elevated water resources to one of the top issues affecting airports," stated Tim Arendt, Gresham, Smith and Partners. "Specifically, guidance is needed that identifies more effective alternative means to efficiently manage water resource issues directly and indirectly associated with capacity modifications."

The handbook is anticipated to be completed by June 2010.

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