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August 5, 2021

Flying High: Airports and Climate Change Risks

Airports are unique infrastructure assets that are particularly vulnerable and also very important in the socio-economic landscape of a country. Requirements for long, open and flat terrains that are usually found near to sea level and the coastline with high cooling requirements makes them vulnerable to flooding, coastal related storm surges, erosion, and increased cooling loads from high air temperatures in climate change scenarios

A process of identification of hazards and vulnerabilities, evaluation, and prioritization of adaptation options helps to develop a program for implementation over time. CEAC Solutions has evaluated potential climate change for airports and identified several common threats and potential adaptation options that can be considered across the Caribbean in order to build resilience.

Increased sea levels, erosion and storm surge are risks that have manifested themselves in some regional airports. Routine shoreline condition assessments, including natural shoreline features such as dunes and mangroves can help to identify potential risks. Pavement condition assessments on both airside and landside can help to identify increasing pavement issues from higher daytime temperatures and water levels that reduce pavement strength. Wave climate modelling is useful to determine shoreline erosion risks from increased wave heights in a future climate along with storm surge risks. Low and flat drain profiles and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the current elevations relative to sea level usually identifies issues with a 0.45-meter increase in sea levels and increased likelihood of projected flooding with increased rainfall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adaption option evaluation requires a combination of engineering analysis, costing, financial analysis to define feasibility and stakeholder consultations to measure risks, returns, acceptability and priorities for international airport projects.

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