Effective Practices for Monitoring and Managing Tree Growth Off the Airport

Off-airport tree growth may penetrate the airspace surfaces established to maintain safe aircraft operations. The traditional method for monitoring tree growth is through obstruction surveys, which are often expensive. If a survey has not been conducted in recent years, potential obstructions resulting from tree growth could go unidentified and could potentially contribute to an accident and possible liability exposure. The issue is often more pressing at small airports in rural settings as global positioning system (GPS) approaches are established, and resource limitations impact the monitoring and control of tree growth. Alternative practices such as the use of unmanned aerial system (UAS)-collected light detection and ranging (LiDAR) or photogrammetry may provide more cost-effective solutions for gathering data. In addition, new practices, such as the establishment of zone-based maintenance schedules, may be useful. Research is needed to identify new technologies and practices and determine their effectiveness for monitoring and managing off-airport tree growth. The objective of this research is to evaluate alternative methods for monitoring off-airport tree growth relative to their effectiveness, accuracy, ease of use, cost, training/expertise requirements, and ability to translate findings into actionable data. The results should provide airports with methods and tools to monitor and control tree growth in a cost effective manner.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $300000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 04-27

  • 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:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Start Date: 20200818
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01748071
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 04-27
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 17 2020 3:04PM