How Cadmus led the first-ever statewide airport sustainability management plan, helping Virginia airports lower operating costs, engage with airport stakeholders, manage their environmental footprint, and optimize their use of resources.
The Virginia Department of Aviation (DOAV) serves the 66 public-use airports in the Commonwealth of Virginia, from small general-aviation and local-service airports up to large commercial-service airports. DOAV’s mission is to cultivate an advanced and sustainable aviation system that is safe, is secure, and provides for economic development; promote aviation awareness and education; and provide the safest and most efficient flight services for the Commonwealth leadership and state agencies.
Developing new sustainability management plans (SMPs) is both time- and resource-intensive for individual airports, particularly smaller airports with limited staffing. DOAV sought to identify a set of sustainability-related measures, tools, and resources that were widely applicable to airports across the Commonwealth to help eliminate this burden. However, the diversity in airport size, mission, and geography across Virginia makes such a task challenging.
Cadmus tapped experts from all disciplines within our firm and teaming partners and elicited feedback from Virginia airports to develop a set of broad sustainability categories and subcategories around which Cadmus created a statewide SMP. The resulting set of documents and tools–the Virginia Airports SMP–includes a comprehensive framework document which details the characteristics of the Virginia aviation system and the current state of sustainability initiatives at airports in the United States, and introduces the sustainability categories and subcategories around which the SMP is structured. This SMP also includes resilience components—an aspect not traditionally considered in SMPs, but critical when planning for a sustainable and resilient future.
Accompanying the Framework are three supplements, tailored for three size categories of airports: Commercial Service, Reliever and General Aviation-Regional, and General Aviation-Community and Local Service. The supplements provide sustainability planning guidance, tools, and suggested sustainability goals, metrics, targets, and initiatives from which airport operators can select.
Ultimately, the SMP gives tailored direction on sustainability planning for the 66 public-use airports in Virginia, helping them lower operating costs, engage with airport stakeholders, manage their environmental footprint, and optimize their use of resources.
The SMP was published on the DOAV website in August 2016 and is available for public download. To help educate stakeholders on the SMP:
- Representatives from 18 airports attended workshops around the Commonwealth to learn more about the SMP and to understand its benefits for their respective airports.
- The SMP was presented at conferences organized by the Virginia Airport Operators Council, Virginia Aviation Board, and the Transportation Research Board.
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We have been extremely thankful for how easy you have made this—kudos to you. All the coordination has been amazing. You have made it really easy, especially for me. Keep it up!
Mike Swain, Manager, Engineering Section, Virginia Department of Aviation
Having participated in the development of the SMP firsthand, I feel confident saying it provides a wealth of resources for Virginia airports. We piloted the SMP materials at our airport and found them useful for helping us identify sustainability projects that will save money, reduce our consumption of natural resources, and enable stronger engagement with our community.
Buzz Jarrell, Orange County Airport Manager and Steering Council Member