Defining Airport Operational Sustainability for the U.S. General Aviation Airports

2019-05-15T18:49:19Z (GMT) by Yue Gu

While the general public may be familiar with commercial airports, there are thousands of small General Aviation (GA) airports serving communities across the United States. Many of these airports are under pressure to survive and to bring in more revenue without impinging on the community and environment. Many organizations and governmental agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), now recognize the value of sustainable development and importance of operation to airport sustainability. Achieving operational sustainability is a means that may help airports on sustainable development and has positive impacts on airports’ economic viability, natural resource conservation, and social responsibility. However, airport operational sustainability is rarely defined in a consistent, measurable manner (Johnson & Gu, 2017).


This study explored the understanding of airport operational sustainability among five GA Regional and Local airports. Based on the findings, a new definition of airport operational sustainability for U.S Regional and Local GA airports was proposed. A set of performance metrics for airport operational sustainability was developed. The outcomes of the study may help airport shareholders contribute to airport sustainability planning through a better understanding of sustainability principles. A set of performance metrics for airport operational sustainability may be used to quantify the sustainability achievements of airports and help airports measure their performance.