Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S10-17. Agricultural Operations on Airport Grounds

Airport airfield grounds are not required to be used for cultivation of agricultural crops because of the risk to aviation safety from potential for attracting hazardous wildlife. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not recommend establishing wildlife attractants (including agricultural cultivation of crops and grains) within five (5) miles of an airport. Federal regulations, however, provide provision for airport operators to use the airport property for cultivation of crops while following specified guidelines fund in advisory circulars. One of the reasons airports allow the utilization of airport property for crop cultivation purposes is to increase revenue sources for their operations. With increasing needs for non-aeronautical revenue and the wider cultivation of crops (including cannabis), airports require additional knowledge and information in one location on which to make decisions about on-airport farming operations and agricultural leasing schemes. Previous studies have recommended additional research to quantify the risks associated with the specific agricultural operations on the airport property. Some airports that have experienced increase in air traffic have ceased the agricultural operations that were initially on the airport grounds – Indianapolis International Airport is one of them. It is important to understand key drivers that motivate whether or not airport operators lease property for agricultural operations. In addition, it is equally important to understand the regulatory background that affect how agricultural operations interact with aviation safety and the types of lease language used. The objective of this synthesis is to compile literature and practices at airports in initiating and managing agricultural operations on airport grounds. The audience for this research is airport operators and legal teams that balance potential revenues with aviation safety and security concerns from on-airport farming.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S10-17

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

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

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Staba, Gail

  • Start Date: 20200324
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01723654
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S10-17
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 25 2019 3:12PM