Environmental Management

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 517–522 | Cite as

Airports Offer Unrealized Potential for Alternative Energy Production

  • Travis L. DeVault
  • Jerrold L. Belant
  • Bradley F. Blackwell
  • James A. Martin
  • Jason A. Schmidt
  • L. Wes BurgerJr
  • James W. PattersonJr


Scaling up for alternative energy such as solar, wind, and biofuel raises a number of environmental issues, notably changes in land use and adverse effects on wildlife. Airports offer one of the few land uses where reductions in wildlife abundance and habitat quality are necessary and socially acceptable, due to risk of wildlife collisions with aircraft. There are several uncertainties and limitations to establishing alternative energy production at airports, such as ensuring these facilities do not create wildlife attractants or other hazards. However, with careful planning, locating alternative energy projects at airports could help mitigate many of the challenges currently facing policy makers, developers, and conservationists.


Airport Biofuel Energy GIS Grassland Solar Wildlife Wind 



The United States Department of Agriculture, Mississippi State University, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration support our research. We thank P. M. Schmidt, R. King, and L. Clark for providing comments on the manuscript, and E. Poggiali for administrative support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Travis L. DeVault
    • 1
  • Jerrold L. Belant
    • 2
  • Bradley F. Blackwell
    • 1
  • James A. Martin
    • 2
  • Jason A. Schmidt
    • 1
  • L. Wes BurgerJr
    • 2
  • James W. PattersonJr
    • 3
  1. 1.United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife ServicesNational Wildlife Research CenterSanduskyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and AquacultureMississippi State UniversityMississippiUSA
  3. 3.United States Federal Aviation AdministrationWilliam J. Hughes Technical CenterAtlantic CityUSA

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