Managing Runoff from Aircraft and Airfield Deicing and Anti-Icing Operations

Airports across the United States face increasing regulatory and technical challenges in managing runoff from aircraft deicing operations. The development of effluent guidelines, which is currently under consideration by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has the potential to expand requirements to a much larger community of airports. Of particular concern is the impact of the expansion of these requirements to smaller airports, which are more resource-limited than large hub airports. Developing successful technical solutions may pose an even greater challenge. Because of the history of storm water management and regulations affecting airports (i.e., Multi-sector General Permits, Individual State NPDES Permits, Phase I and II storm water regulations), there is an existing need for airports to consider best management practices (BMPs) for controlling potentially impacted runoff from aircraft deicing operations. Developing planning guidelines for aircraft deicing runoff management systems would assist airports in designing (or re-designing) site-specific solutions. A primary goal of this effort is to provide planning guidelines that encourage more proactive planning related to storm water management from aircraft deicing operations. The proposed planning guidelines would serve as a tool for airports to evaluate and select BMP options for managing aircraft deicing runoff. Thus, these guidelines would promote the use of sustainable and efficient management systems for reducing the potential for spent aircraft deicing fluid (ADF) to be present in storm water discharges. This project would help draft, review, and disseminate these guidelines for the overall improvement of the industry and would take into consideration FAA standards and requirements as well as NPDES-driven requirements where applicable. Many unique BMPs and other control options have been implemented at airports, and valuable experience that has been gained could be shared through establishing national design guidelines. Given the potential development of effluent guidelines by the U.S. EPA, there is an urgent need of an airport forum for the identification, consideration, and study of subject areas where more work is needed to better understand the capabilities and limitations of currently available control technologies for runoff from aircraft deicing operations. The planning guidelines to be developed by this project not only will support the ongoing EPA efforts to learn more about how airports manage deicing runoff, but also will provide technical guidance to the regulated community and local, state, and federal regulators. In developing the planning guidelines, the research should develop a state of the current practice; identify issues associated with runoff management systems; identify factors that should be considered when considering fully integrated systems such as those in operation in Pittsburgh and Denver; evaluate the cost-effectiveness of various systems; and identify environmental and operational impacts of various approaches. The research should also consider related EPA regulations issued associated with effluent guidelines.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 2-02

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Salamone, Michael

  • Performing Organizations:

    CH2M Hill

    Austin, TX  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Mericas, Dean

  • Start Date: 20061009
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20081212
  • Source Data: RiP Project 11593

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01462990
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Airport Cooperative Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 2-02
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:14PM