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Agricultural Operations on Airport Grounds A SYNTHESIS OF AIRPORT PRACTICE Shaun J. Germolus AirportAdmin, LLC Kissimmee, FL 2022 Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Subscriber Categories Aviation A I R P O R T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M ACRP SYNTHESIS 117
ACRP SYNTHESIS 117 Project 11-03, Topic S10-17 ISSN 1935-9187 ISBN 978-0-309-68678-5 Library of Congress Control Number 2022932312 Â© 2022 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. Cover photo: Bethel Airport, Bethel, Alaska, Meyers Farm Operations. Printed with permission of Meyers Farm. NOTICE The report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transporta- tion Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names or logos appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Published reports of the AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.mytrb.org/MyTRB/Store/default.aspx Printed in the United States of America AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in transpor- tation of people and goods and in regional, national, and international commerce. They are where the nationâs aviation system connects with other modes of transportation and where federal responsibility for man- aging and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agen- cies and not being adequately addressed by existing federal research pro- grams. ACRP is modeled after the successful National Cooperative High- way Research Program (NCHRP) and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activi- ties in various airport subject areas, including design, construction, legal, maintenance, operations, safety, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. ACRP provides a forum where airport operators can cooperatively address common operational problems. ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100â Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary participants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the American Asso- ciation of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airlines for America (A4A), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) as vital links to the airport community; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a contract with the National Academy of Sciences formally initiating the program. ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials, equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research organi- zations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibili- ties, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Research problem statements for ACRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport professionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing coop- erative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the intended users of the research: airport operating agencies, service pro- viders, and academic institutions. ACRP produces a series of research reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties; industry associations may arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, webinars, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by airport industry practitioners.
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
CRP STAFF FOR ACRP SYNTHESIS 117 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Marci A. Greenberger, Manager, Airport Cooperative Research Program Jordan Christensen, Senior Program Officer Demisha Williams, Senior Program Assistant Natalie Barnes, Director of Publications Heather DiAngelis, Associate Director of Publications ACRP PROJECT 11-03 PANEL Joshua D. Abramson, Cypress Technology, Nashville, TN (Chair) Debbie K. Alke, Helena, MT Gloria G. Bender, TransSolutions, LLC, Fort Worth, TX David A. Byers, Quadrex Aviation LLC, Melbourne, FL Traci Clark, Allegheny County Airport Authority, West Mifflin, PA David N. Edwards, Jr., GreenvilleâSpartanburg Airport Commission, Greer, SC Brenda L. Enos, TRC, Boston, MA Patrick Magnotta, FAA Liaison Liying Gu, Airports Council InternationalâNorth America Liaison Adam Williams, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Liaison Christine L. Gerencher, TRB Liaison TOPIC S10-17 PANEL Brett Godown, Salinas Municipal AirportâSNS, Salinas, CA Tea Schook, City and County of Denver, Denver International Airport, Denver, CO Cindy Schreiber-Beck, Tri-State Aviation, Inc., Wahpeton, ND Stephanie Ann Ward, Mead & Hunt, Inc., Lansing, MI John Weller, FAA Liaison Michael J. Begier, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Liaison C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S
AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The author wishes to acknowledge the generous sharing of time and experience by the airport experts who helped by identifying the right person for the survey, completing the survey questionnaire, being interviewed, or providing documentation. Airport Contributors Alexander Field South Wood County (ISW) Jeremy Sickler Appleton International Airport (ATW) Abe Weber Bacon County Airport (AMG) Glover Scott, Renee Holland Bartow Executive Airport (BOW) John Helms Bethel Airport (BET) Vickie Swain, Tim and Lisa Meyers Chester-Catawba Regional Airport (DCM) Keith Roach Chino Airport (CNO) Dick Considine Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) Catherine Boyles Denver International Airport (DEN) Tea Schook Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) Marty Lenss, Kathy Bell Hector International Airport (FAR) Darren Anderson Kansas City International Airport (KCI) David Long, Jill Ronk Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) Jesse Romo Metropolitan Airports Commission (LVN & 21D) Kelly Gerads San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI) Cassidy Berenato South Bend International Airport (SBN) Tim OâDonnell Van Nuys Airport (VNY) Christopher Tosto WahpetonâHarry Stern Airport (BWP) Cindy Schreiber-Beck Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command HQ Jeff Gardner The author also wishes to acknowledge the many amazing airport operators across the nation for the overwhelming participation in the online survey. Your dedication to our industry and assistance provided for these projects are greatly appreciated!
ABOUT THE ACRP SYNTHESIS PROGRAM Airport administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This infor- mation may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the airport industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-to-day work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire airport community, the Airport Cooperative Research Program authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing project. This project, ACRP Project 11-03, âSynthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices,â searches out and synthesizes useful knowl- edge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute an ACRP report series, Synthesis of Airport Practice. This synthesis series reports on current knowledge and practice, in a compact format, without the detailed directions usually found in handbooks or design manuals. Each report in the series provides a compendium of the best knowledge available on those measures found to be the most successful in resolving specific problems. FOREWORD By Jordan Christensen Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report is focused on agricultural operations on airport grounds and the benefits and risks associated with maintaining an airport agricultural program. This synthesis compiles previous studies, regulator information, and existing guidelines from airports that already have a program in place. A number of airports were surveyed, which provided information on types of agricultural uses in place at airports, safety concerns, program motivations, risk factors, and lessons learned. A sample checklist that may be used to determine the feasibility of developing a program by airport opera- tors is found in Appendix E. Information used in this study was acquired through literature review, airport interviews, and over 250 survey responses from airports of a variety of sizes. Shaun Germolus, AirportAdmin, LLC, Kissimmee, Florida, synthesized the information and wrote the report. The members of the topic panel are acknowledged on page iv. This synthesis is an immediately useful document that records the practices that were acceptable within the limitations of the knowledge available at the time of its preparation. As progress in research and practice con- tinues, new knowledge will be added to that now at hand.
1 Summary 3 ChapterÂ 1 Introduction 3 Scope of This Study 4 Study Methodology 7 ChapterÂ 2 Survey Responses 7 Airports Surveyed 7 Airports Interviewed 8 Summary of Common Themes from Respondents 9 ChapterÂ 3 State of Practice of Agricultural Operations on Airport Grounds 9 Key Motivations for Initiating Airport Agricultural Land Lease Programs 10 Benefits of Airport Farmland Lease Programs 11 Types of Crops at Airports 11 Industry Highlight #1 â Airport Decision Prohibiting Agricultural Land Lease 14 Agricultural Operations in the Airport Environment 15 Special Conditions 15 Strategies to Overcome Challenges 16 Industry Highlight #2 â Agricultural Land Lease Program at Naval Air Stations 17 Industry Highlight #3 â Commercial Airport Gardening in the Last Frontier State 20 ChapterÂ 4 Findings on Airport Agricultural Land Lease Administration 20 Airport Farmland Bid Process and Strategies 21 Considerations for Development of Airport Farmland Lease Agreements 22 Airport Agricultural Land Lease Practices 23 Industry Highlight #4 â Hydroponic Farming Inside the Terminal 26 ChapterÂ 5 Findings on Management of Agricultural Operations and Risk Factors 26 Airport Safety and Security Considerations 26 Airport and Tenant Responsibilities 27 Wildlife Attractants 28 Environmental Impacts of Agricultural Operations 28 Adjacent Land Use Factors 29 Strategies for Managing Risk 30 Industry Highlight #5 â Sod Farms on Airport Grounds C O N T E N T S
32 ChapterÂ 6 Case Example: Eastern Iowa Airport, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 32 Lease Administration 33 Program Management 34 Special and Innovative Conditions 34 Summary 36 ChapterÂ 7 Summary of Findings 36 Summary of Key Findings 37 Gaps in Knowledge and Suggestions for Further Research 39 References and Bibliography 40 Glossary 41 Acronyms and Abbreviations 42 Appendix A Airport Interview Questionnaire 45 Appendix B Summary of Airport Interview Participants 47 Appendix C Survey Participants 56 Appendix D Survey Instrument and Summary of Responses 65 Appendix E Checklist for Determining Feasibility and Development of Airport Agricultural Program 68 Appendix F Sample Airport Farmland Lease Agreement 75 Appendix G Sample Airport Farmland Bid Form Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.