Airport Stormwater Guidance Manual

Stormwater and other hazardous wildlife attractants near airports pose a significant safety risk in our state and around the nation.

  • About 75 percent of all civil aviation air strikes occur near airports.
  • Waterfowl, gulls and raptors represent 77 percent of reported bird strikes causing damage to aircraft in the U.S.

In 2009, WSDOT Aviation, in coordination with WSDOT Environmental Services and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), developed a stormwater design manual to assist in the design, construction and maintenance of stormwater facilities on and near airports. The manual focuses on design modifications to decrease the attractiveness of stormwater facilities to wildlife rather than active wildlife removal measures.

The manual includes design details for all stormwater facility types recommended for an airport environment, even if those BMPs are relatively unchanged from the Highway Runoff Manual or Ecology manuals. This allows the manual to be a standalone reference. Each of the BMPs in the ASDM has been assigned a number beginning with “AR” so that it is clear that the design details came from this manual. As more is learned about stormwater facilities at airports, it is anticipated that design details will be further adapted to better address airport-specific needs.

Manual Objectives:

  • Reduce wildlife conflicts near airports to increase safety for people in the air and on the ground.
  • Meet all applicable Department of Ecology and federal policy and regulatory requirements.
  • Satisfy both water quality and safety requirements through Best Management Practices (BMPs).
  • Provide guidance to assist airports, local jurisdictions and state and federal agencies in designing stormwater facilities that comply with Ecology’s stormwater manuals and FAA guidance to detour wildlife conflicts on and near airports.
  • Provide predictability for airports, local jurisdictions and state and federal agencies in developing stormwater facilities to address wildlife conflicts.

Airport Stormwater Manual 2009