Integrating Climate Change Risk into Airport Management Systems

Airports manage risk under various programs, with many tied to either operating or capital budgets. Severe weather and emergency planning, for example, is usually a distinct function within the airport, and risk factors accounted for during emergency planning are often not tied to asset management or capital planning. Costs from weather-related events that are below thresholds for requesting federal aid are rarely captured and tracked by airports or relevant emergency management departments. In addition, climate change brings new challenges and is projected to increase costs and coordination needs. Effective integration of management systems can reduce the impacts sustained during specific events, as well as establish a cogent risk identification and quantification process to help reduce ongoing costs and service disruptions associated with severe weather and climate change. Airport management systems include, but are not limited to, emergency response, asset and risk management, enterprise risk management, capital planning and funding programs, and community relations. Research is needed to help airports understand how climate risks increase uncertainty to maintenance and capital budgets, and how this exposure can be mitigated and addressed through strategic changes to airport management systems and plans. ACRP Report 147: Climate Change Adaptation Planning: Risk Assessment for Airports introduces the need to build resilience into various airport systems and can be supplemented by a detailed exploration of how various airport management systems can incorporate climate risk factors. Without an integrative resource for airports, climate resiliency can be viewed as an abstract and unquantifiable risk, resulting in missed opportunities. Airports also may not be aware of the full range of climate risk factors warranting inclusion in airports’ multi-hazard risk management processes. Improvement in the quantification of risk factors, including airport and regional economic impact, can help inform asset management plans, emergency plans, and capital plans, among others. The objective of this research is to develop a handbook for airport planners, management, airport operations staff, as well as others that integrates current and projected climate change-related risks into airport management systems and planning at airports of a variety of sizes, types and geographical locations. The handbook should consider, at a minimum: (1) A brief roadmap to region-specific resources to identify projected climate change hazards; (2) Stakeholder identification to include decision-making roles (internal and external); (3) Identification and thorough review of existing plans, data and systems that manage risk, to include benefits and barriers; (4) A self-assessment of gaps in systems and planning for risk exposures; (5) Suggested methods to address climate risk management across systems and plans, and their life cycles; (6) Effective methods of communication, governance, and facilitation by system owners to engage stakeholders across and between organizations and roles; and (7) An approach to integrating existing tools in relevant ACRP publications into airport management systems.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 02-74

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Performing Organizations:

    ICF Incorporated LLC

    9300 Lee Highway
    Fairfax, VA  United States  22031
  • Principal Investigators:

    Rodehorst, Beth

  • Start Date: 20160928
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180322
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 40175

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01572145
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 02-74
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2015 1:30AM