ICAO Green Technologies Seminar

September 26th, 2014

by Stephen Barrett

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convened its first seminar focused entirely on Green Technologies at its headquarters in Montreal on September 9 and 10. The program occurred just days after the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a report stating that carbon dioxide levels rose in 2013 at unprecedented rates.

The seminar ran a gamut of green technology issues in aviation, from those associated with aircraft (cleaner burning engines, alternative fuels, more efficient airspace procedures) to green buildings fueled by renewable energy and minimizing surface transportation effects. The team from Solar Impulse, the solar powered plane that flew across the US and Europe in 2013 and is now redesigning its aircraft for a round-the-world flight, participated in the seminar through two video presentations that provided inspiration to the participants as to what can be achieved. At an evening reception, Airbus made a formal release of its single passenger electric-powered plane which was previous unveiled at its headquarters over the summer. The two companies also discussed technologies that can be readily incorporated into existing planes to allow them to taxi on the ground entirely on electric power.

I was fortunate to be asked to make a presentation on the opportunities for airports to develop renewable energy to power on-site facilities. During my presentation, I reviewed a variety of technologies – including solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydrokinetics, and fuel cells – and discussed the state of the technology, its markets and applications, and compatibility with airports including examples from around the world. ICAO would like to make this type of information more readily available to member states and there are plans to provide guidance on a variety of green technologies based on information that was presented at the seminar.

As Solar Impulse 2 prepares for its round-the-world flight in 2015, it is clear that there are challenges to the world’s aviation industries in a future of climate change, but that there are also opportunities to those who seize them.

ICAO Green Technologies Seminar

ICAO Green Technologies Seminar

Department of Defense Patriot Award

September 25th, 2014

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I was completely stunned this afternoon at our weekly Thursday staff meeting to have a special guest speaker from the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, who presented me with a Patriot Award, which recognizes “the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence, if needed.”

The nomination was made by Kurt Hellauer, who returned early this summer from a 10-month deployment to the Middle East. Hopefully, he’ll blog about his experiences at some point, but for now, I am just happy to report that he is back safe and sound and fully engaged in our practice again. Welcome home, Kurt, and thanks again for your service!

scanned_award-500

Congratulations Mary Vigilante!

September 11th, 2014

by Mary Ellen Eagan

This year ACI-NA added a new category to its annual Environmental Achievement Awards to recognize an individual for outstanding contributions to the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Committee. The winner of the first-ever Peer Recognition for Outstanding Individual Contribution and Leadership Award is Mary L. Vigilante, President of Synergy Consultants, Inc.

Vigilante previously served as co-chair of the Committee’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Working Group, in which she aided airports and associate members to understand how to improve their NEPA efforts. She has been involved with ACI-NA for more than 20 years and has contributed a wealth of experience to the committee.

Mary has been a mentor and inspiration.  It’s great to see her recognized for her contributions to the industry.  Bravissimo!

Photo of Mary Vigilante

Mary Vigilante

Photo of ACI-NA award

2014 ACI-NA Environmental Achievement Award to Mary Vigilante

FAA Announces the Release of AEDT 2b

September 11th, 2014

by Robert C. Mentzer Jr.

The FAA announced on September 8, 2014 that the Aviation Environmental Design Tool version 2b (AEDT 2b)a next generation noise and emission model designed for airports, will be released on May 29th, 2015.  The upcoming version is expected to replace the FAA’s INM and EDMS models which have been used separately for noise and emissions modeling for several decades.  AEDT 2b will combine these two models along with the latest airport and aircraft data to provide airports and consultants a tool to develop noise, emission, and fuel burn results.  One set of data inputs (airfield, aircraft operations, etc.) will allow the user to develop results for all three categories and for different phases of flight.  This will also result in the user being able to understand the consequences of various changes at an airport from one tool.  AEDT 2areleased in 2013 to replace NIRS, is currently available for regional and larger scale analysis such as air traffic redesign studies.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored Report on Aircraft Noise Annoyance and Sleep Disturbance

July 29th, 2014

HMMH is pleased announce the release of the Transportation Research Board (TRB)’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 17: Research Methods for Understanding Aircraft Noise Annoyances and Sleep Disturbance. HMMH led a research team to develop and validate a research protocol for a large-scale study of aircraft noise exposure-annoyance response relationships across the US, and to propose alternative research methods for field studies to assess the relationship between aircraft noise and sleep disturbance for U.S. airports.

The first phase of this ACRP Study included the collection of data for the purpose of testing an aircraft noise annoyance survey, for use in a national study, to update the dose-response relationship between noise exposure and the percentage of people who are highly annoyed. The second phase, the sleep disturbance portion of the ACRP Study, included:

  1. Developing at least two general research protocols to improve the understanding of the relationship between aircraft noise and sleep disturbance in a field setting; and
  2. Identifying criteria to be used to test and evaluate the protocols.

The report describes the annoyance survey methodology that was developed and applied and the results relevant to the goals of the study. It also discusses airport-community relations and presents the final sleep disturbance study designs and budget estimates for each type of study.

This project validated the approach that will be used in the surveys that FAA will conduct at 20 airports, with HMMH-led assistance.  The HMMH team currently is working with the FAA to refine the survey methods based on the results of the Study and to develop an appropriate statistical process for randomly selecting the 20 representative airports.

acrp_webdoc_017_cover_500