Airports Going Green Conference

Sustainable Airport Manual

SAM v3

The Chicago Department of Aviation is the first in the nation to develop sustainable guidelines for design and construction at airports. The Sustainable Airport Manual was created as an integral part of Chicago’s ongoing efforts toward implementing more environmentally sustainable initiatives across all airport activities.

The SAM is a comprehensive guidance manual created by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to incorporate and track sustainability in administrative procedures, planning, design and construction, operations and maintenance, and concessions and tenants with minimal impact to project schedules or budgets. The SAM not only guides the implementation of sustainability initiatives at O'Hare and Midway International Airports, it is used by several other airports around the world.

The CDA continues to expand its focus to incorporate sustainability initiatives for:

  • Administrative Procedures [Download chapter]
    Guides the integration of sustainability into administrative activities associated with airport planning, design, construction, maintenance, and daily operations.
  • Planning [Download chapter]
    Sets the framework for incorporation of sustainability into all airport functions, from initial plans through commissioning and operation, by providing policy guidance, measurable checklists, and case study examples.
  • Design & Construction [Download chapter]
    Guides the incorporation of sustainability into design and construction of civil-airside, civil-landside, occupied buildings, and unoccupied buildings/structures in an airport environment.
  • Operations & Maintenance [Download chapter]
    Guides the incorporation of sustainability into an airport’s everyday activities, with a focus on training, monitoring, reporting and the refinement of Best Management Practices.
  • Concessions & Tenants [Download chapter]
    Guides the incorporation of sustainability into the planning, design, construction, and operation of all terminal concessionaire, landside and airside tenant facilities.


Sustainable Airport Manual Appendices