Resilience study co-authored by Dr. Santos was cited by President Biden

April 21, 2022

runway resilience study for PDX Airport co-authored by Prof. Joost Santos was recently cited by President Biden in his speech aired by KGW-NBC8, Portland, Oregon. The study seeks to estimate the present value of the future losses avoided by constructing a seismically resilient runway, which effectively translates to a 50:1 benefit-to-cost ratio. This ratio was mentioned by President Biden in his speech (at the 49:15 mark in this video of the speech). 

The study considers the following benefit categories: (i) deaths, injuries, and instances of post-traumatic stress disorder (ii) property damage; and (iii) direct business interruption. Prof. Santos investigated resilience-based mitigation strategies that aim to reduce the direct business interruption impacts: (i) lost revenue to PDX, its tenants, and users; (ii) opportunity losses to Portland-area businesses because of travel delays or cancellations; and (iii) direct business interruption to other businesses in the surrounding Willamette Valley because of delayed post-earthquake safety assessment of their buildings. This study could be used as a template for future similar studies of geographically remote or readily isolated critical infrastructure systems.