Climate change could affect California coastal airports, including many general aviation airfields, according to new research.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that 39 of California’s 43 coastal airports have assets exposed to projected flooding that could disrupt operations in the next 20 to 40 years. .
Researchers conducted a statewide assessment of the exposure of California’s airport infrastructure to projected coastal flooding from storm surges and sea level rise through 2100.
This study is the first of its kind to explore beyond the boundaries of each airport using geospatial tools to include the entire interconnected infrastructure, including road access, ground-based navigation and communications systems. airport coastal flood exposure assessments.
“It’s important to recognize that critical assets of an airport operation may lie outside the boundaries of the airport,” explains lead researcher Sarah Lindbergh.
The analysis shows that 39 out of 43 public coastal California airports will have assets exposed to coastal flooding by 2100. Researchers note that this number is much higher than traditional risk assessments that only consider assets within airport boundaries.
“While we do not know how these newly identified exposures translate into impacts, we are surprised to learn that most airport assets are likely to see a flood event within the next 20 years. ‘ reports Lindbergh.
The analysis shows that 16 of the 39 airports have exposed assets within their boundaries, such as runways and taxiways, while the remaining 23 airports have flood-prone assets, such as airport road access and navigation systems. You have assets outside your jurisdiction. .
Some of the nation’s largest airports are included in the list, such as Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), but the list also includes many general aviation airports, including:
- Half Moon Bay Airport (KHAF)
- Monterey Regional Airport (KMRY)
- Oceano County Airport (L52)
- Hayward Executive Airport (KHWD)
- Little River Airport (KLLR)
- Eureka Murray Field Airport (KEKA)
- California Redwood Coast Humboldt County Airport (KACV)
- Andy Macbeth Airport at Klamath Glen (S51)
- San Luis County Regional Airport (KSBP)
- Carlsbad McClellan-Palomar Airport (KCRQ)
The researchers also examined how flooded airports transfer risk to nine other transportation systems in the state, including highways and railroads.
They noted that the ramifications for transportation of both goods and people could include delays, congestion and cancellations.
The report identifies significant airports within these corridors, particularly airports within the San Francisco Bay-Central Valley-Los Angeles corridor, such as San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport, and Murray Field Airport in Eureka within San Francisco, should be preferred for adaptation. Francisco Bay and North Coast transport corridors.
For the new study, researchers also reviewed more than 100 state legislative and planning documents to address the importance of working together to adapt to climate change.
This state policy review reveals that market and regulatory incentives for airport infrastructure, such as maintenance, upgrades and replacements, are mostly confined to airport perimeters.
“Most policies are designed to reduce risk and encourage adaptation at the single asset level—one airport at a time, for example,” says Lindbergh.
Researchers argue that measuring interconnected infrastructure exposure can help direct state-level policies that promote coordinated climate adaptation planning.
“Our research encourages people to think beyond their boundaries and jurisdictions,” says Lindbergh.
The study was presented at the Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting in early December 2022 and published in a journal. climate risk management.
Read the full study at ScienceDirect.com.