Research Projects

Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 145 Applying an SMS Approach to Wildlife Hazard Management

Participated in a national research program as an SMS expert to introduce and guide the application of a risk-based approach to wildlife hazard management programs and outline additional steps for integrating such programs into a SMS for airports and stakeholders. The applicability and efficacy of utilizing risk-based methodologies for wildlife management and control has been debated due to the highly variable nature of wildlife presence related to various species, size, behavior, flocking and movement patterns, as well as variability associated with season, time of day, region, disturbances in the vicinity of airports, and other related factors.  To date, there has been little guidance on how to develop wildlife management and control programs consistent with the style of SMS that can be applied universally across all airports.  However, wildlife management programs fit perfectly with SMS principles.  There are known risks associated with hazardous wildlife, data are normally collected as part of wildlife management programs, outcomes are measurable and empirical in nature, and continuous improvement through trending and data analysis are goals of these programs that can be incorporated directly into an airport’s SMS.

Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis S13-04-10 Safety Reporting Systems at Airports

As Principal Investigator and Project Manager conducted a comprehensive nation-wide survey of safety reporting systems at U.S. airports. The focus of the Study was to assess current practices, processes, and systems employed at airports to collect and analyze safety data and information. The Team developed survey design tools and conducted interviews with a broad range of airport size and operations. The research and resultant report provided findings on data types, processes, and uses of safety data for possible use in future Safety Management System (SMS) implementation strategies for airport managers. Specifically the research assessed the following three data uses, flows, and functions: 1) Internal airport use of safety data such as accident, incident, health and safety, and near misses for activities on the airfield, terminal, and landside (if relevant). 2) Collective state, regional, or multi-airport management sharing and reporting of safety information for more than one airport system. 3) External airport safety data reporting to agencies such as airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). These systems were researched to gather information on data reporting means and methods, data analysis and reporting, and follow up practices and procedures.

Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis Study 37 Lessons Learned from Airport SMS Pilot Studies

As Principal Investigator and Program Manager led a national research team and project to collect information, assess results, and provide a published report. Conducted interviews and compiled findings and lessons learned from U.S. airports that participated in one of the four FAA SMS pilot studies. Re-assessed industry resources and documents to provide a comprehensive list of SMS references for airport operators. The report can be viewed and downloaded at the following link:

Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis Study 29 Ramp Safety Practices

As Principal Investigator and Program Manager conducted research to identify and describe the current state of ground handling practices, focusing on safety measures used at airports. The intent of the study was to collect and review information on ramp safety operations, staff roles and responsibilities, safety training, audit and inspection programs, safety violation programs, and collaborative safety initiatives such as Foreign Object Debris (FOD) programs. The report can be viewed and downloaded at the following link: