ACRP Best Practices for Airport Obstruction Management Guidebook

Project Summary

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires airports to protect the airspace around the airport from obstructions and report object data to the FAA so it can be published as a point of reference for the aviation industry. However, the sources of information relating to object data can vary in accuracy, which may force airlines to use the most restrictive data, potentially limiting useful load. 

When development occurs around airports without strong controls, these objects can cause the FAA to change operating procedures to maintain safety. This can result in changes to services for airport patrons and negatively affect the local economy.

The cumulative effects of these problems led the Transportation Research Board to enlist Hanson for the development of the Airport Cooperative Research Program’s Research Report 195: Best Practices for Airport Obstruction Management Guidebook. This guide is a methodology for developing a composite map of critical airspace surfaces and a sample composite map, as well as supporting documents and templates.

The guide contains background information on airport obstruction management regulatory environment, steps for identifying controlling surfaces at airports, information about the significance of maintaining updated obstruction data for airports, steps for identifying obstructions, guidance for developing a composite map of airspace surfaces and tools to use in educating stakeholders and the public.

Hanson led the applied research on existing issues and challenges in airport obstruction management for a broad range of aviation and nonaviation stakeholders. Hanson also researched and developed practical solutions for obstruction mitigation, stakeholder outreach and conflict resolution based on best practices and real-world solutions.