Airport Climate Adaptation and Resilience

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) produced ACRP Synthesis 33 - Airport Climate Adaptation and Resilience: A Synthesis of Airport Practice through its Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) with funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The report collects and synthesizes all relevant information regarding risks posed to airports by climate change and actions being taken to combat these risks. The report is a collection of best practices targeted at airport directors and technical managers.

The three key elements of the study are a literature review of risk evaluation methods and adaptation and resilience efforts, a survey of airports to regarding ongoing risk analysis and adaptation efforts, and case studies supplemented by interviews.

Chapter Two includes eight case studies:

  • the State of Alaska
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Oakland, California
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas
  • Jackson, Mississippi

Airports in each of these areas have proposed and/or initiated resilience and adaptation measures based on their unique climate change-related risks.

The report analyzes information collected through interviews with airport managers and technical staff, a literature review, and a survey in the chapter “Methods and Survey Responses.” A detailed Table summarizing the effects of climate change, their impacts, and airport-specific responses is included.

The report then summarizes the business, financial, security, and physical risks associated with these climate effects. Current adaptation and resilience activities occurring at American airports are described. Some examples include: elevating runways out of floodplains, sea-level rise modeling, scenario planning, and the formation of state- or local-level task forces.

Surveys of airport managers and technical staff indicate that, among other findings, respondents believed weather-related airport disruptions to be increasingly frequent and/or intense.


The ACRP was authorized in 2003 and is a model of the successful National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program. The ACRP is tasked with researching under-examined issues shared by airport operating agencies.



Publication Date: January 1, 2012

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  • Case study

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