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Airport Workgroup

a mechanical device hooked up to a fire truck

Airport Workgroup

About the workgroup

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).


To identify impacted airports throughout the state; coordinate with appropriate federal, state, and local agencies; and support community engagement activities as requested.

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 had 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.
  • By August 2020, 19 airports had been awarded grants totaling $4M.  These grants were administered by MDOT and ranged from $100,000 to the maximum of $250,000.  Grants ran 18-24 months.
  • In April of 2022, a request for proposals was issued for additional testing and monitoring at airports.  As of November 2023, 18 grants had been awarded totaling $5.5M, and a 19th grant was undergoing a bid process.  These grants range from $100,000 to $250,000 and are being administered by EGLE.  These grants were intended to run no more than 24 months.

Next steps

  • In 2024, EGLE anticipates issuing another request for proposals to support airport PFAS investigations.  The RFP will likely include funds for additional testing and monitoring, as well as source delineation and remediation.



Research and studies


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: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 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. As of November 2023, approximately 65,000 gallons of AFFF had been picked up as part of this program.
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Contact information

Hal Zweng

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)