Airport Workgroup

an icon of the outline of an airplane

Mission:

a mechanical device hooked up to a fire truckTo identify impacted airports throughout the state; coordinate with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies; and support community engagement activities as requested. 

The Airport Workgroup is led by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and includes staff from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and Michigan Department of Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

Recent Accomplishments:

  • In 2018, this workgroup engaged federal partners to explore the feasibility of adjusting existing federal rules requiring commercial service airports to dispense foam as part of their federal airport firefighting certification.  Through outreach to the United States Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration, regulatory relief from the traditional foam testing requirement was achieved through the Airport Workgroup.  This relief came in the form of new guidance that permits new foam testing equipment to be employed in place of more traditional methods of dispensing foam onto the ground.
  • Upon notification by our federal partners that new testing methods could be employed at the state’s commercial service airports, the Airport Subgroup collaborated with its partners to explore options for bringing this new testing equipment to the state as quickly as possible.  These discussions, in conjunction with supplemental legislative appropriations for PFAS response, led to the Airport Foam Testing Equipment Grant Program.  This program allocated nearly $25,000 for each of 19 commercial service airports in the state to acquire these more environmentally friendly foam testing systems.  By the end of the fiscal year, 17 airports had purchased their testing systems through this grant program, and the remaining 2 were poised to purchase equipment in early 2020. As of early 2020, all commercial service airports have received and have employed their new testing equipment. The Airport Workgroup believes that the grant program illustrates the effectiveness of the MPART topical workgroup arrangement.
  • In 2019, this Workgroup, utilizing MDOT Aeronautics Airport Inspection staff completed a full inventory of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) stored at commercial service airports in Michigan. The AFFF reported in response to the survey is being picked up as part of a statewide pick-up and disposal effort.
  • On April 27, 2020, MDOT and EGLE issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for $4M in grant funding for PFAS testing at commercial services airports. Funding is from the Michigan State Legislature under Section 401(1) and (2) of EGLE’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget.  A webinar was held on April 28, 2020, to walk applicants through the RFP.

Next Steps:

  • Grant awards should be announced in summer 2020.  Applicants must be able to enter into a signed grant agreement with MDOT by September 15, 2020. Work is expected to be complete within 18 months of a signed grant agreement.

Reports:

None currently

Research/Studies: 

None currently

Timeline of Accomplishments: 

  • October 10, 2018:  MDOT sent a letter to the U.S  Department of Transportation and National Association of State Aviation Officials seeking support to urge the Federal Aviation Administration to provide an alternate method of complying with foam testing requirements
  • December 18, 2018:  Federal Aviation Administration responded to MDOT’s request, which later results in approval of testing foam dispensing equipment without releasing foam.
  • 2019: MDOT Aeronautics staff collected information on current inventories and past areas of AFFF utilization.
  • December 2019:  AFFF pickup and disposal program started.  When completed in 2020, this will result in over 33,000 gallons of AFFF being removed from the Michigan environment. Read more about this effort on the Fire Station Workgroup page.

Workgroup Lead Name and Email: 

Bryan Budds, MDOT BuddsB@michigan.gov
Hal Zweng, MDOT ZwengH@michigan.gov