Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Department or Program

Public Administration


Judy Lewis


While the aviation industry has grown dramatically in the past 100 years, it has done so with minimal environmental awareness. Leaders in the industry must become more conscious of environmentally-friendly practices available for airport use. This research provides a discussion of technology and sustainable practices available for use at U.S. airports. This research also provides funding information available to airports for sustainable projects. The methodology used in this research study was a review of literature that examined environmental reports, federal regulations, periodicals, political statements, and professional articles related to the topic. Environmental sustainability and climate change as it relates to airport sustainability is also defined. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues operating certificates and provides regulatory oversight for all Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 139 airports. FAR Part 139 certificated airports are the largest and busiest air carrier service airports in the United States. Several industry leading airports recognize the need to pursue environmental conservation initiatives, and are doing so on a voluntary basis. These environmental initiatives include the utilization of alternative energy, sustainable building design, retrofitting energy efficient technology to existing facilities, water conservation, recycling programs, and construction waste management. Motivators, priorities, and barriers to airport sustainable practices are identified to provide insight to current and future environmental trends at airports. The results of this research study identify a need for official publications that can be utilized by airports wishing to invest in sustainable initiatives. Further research is necessary by the federal government to create a user-friendly guide for airport sustainability that can be utilized by large and small airports alike.