Beaming with Pride!!!

October 31st, 2014
by Diana Wasiuk

HMMH led the environmental analysis for THREE (3) of the successful NextGen implementation projects highlighted by FAA administrator Michael Huerta in his speech to the Aero Club of Washington this month. The three Performance Based Navigation (PBN) projects are the Seattle Greener Skies and the Houston and North Texas Optimization of Airspace & Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) projects. Yours truly managed one of the OAPM NEPA projects and contributed to a report on NextGen priorities sent to Congress by the FAA last week (also mentioned by the Administrator).

To read the transcript of Administrator Huerta’s speech see:
https://www.faa.gov/news/speeches/news_story.cfm?newsId=17554.

For more on work performed by HMMH staff in support of NextGen implementation see our website and the OAPM environmental website at http://oapmenvironmental.com.

TBT (a day late): Happy Birthday Nick Miller!

October 31st, 2014

by Mary Ellen Eagan

Nick Miller

Nick Miller, ca 1983

We celebrate a milestone birthday for Nick Miller today, so I thought it would be fun to share a very old photo, which I’m told was taken on one of HMMH’s first field data collection trips.  This may – or may not – have been the time they rented a sailboat instead of staying in hotels; life was different in those pre-email/internet/cellphone days.  Yes, that is a book under his arm (remember those, kids?)

It has been my great pleasure to work with Nick for 30 years – even after all this time, I’m always amazed that he can distill a challenging problem to its essential element in a matter of minutes, direct a team toward a creative solution, and keep clients happy all the while.

Happy Birthday Nick!

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft

October 29th, 2014

by Nicholas P. Miller

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The Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently released ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft, the result of research conducted by a team of consultants led by HMMH. HMMH was retained to conduct this research project to determine the cause and recommend changes to the Integrated Noise Model (INM), which currently incorrectly computes the noise created by many of the General Aviation Jets. The study compared INM produced sound exposure levels and climb profiles with measured sound exposure levels and radar reported climb profiles. HMMH found that the INM assumed all aircraft used maximum power for takeoff, while in practice, pilots used a “derated” thrust to preserve engine life, creating lower takeoff altitudes, and generally lower levels than the INM computed. HMMH developed a method that would use the INM modeling in a realistic manner, duplicating the procedures used by pilots and are in communication with FAA to assist if possible in correcting the INM modeling. In the future, modeling would be more accurate, noise exposures realistic, and better decisions will be made about land use and aircraft noise around airports where General Aviation jets operate.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM)

October 21st, 2014

by Christopher Menge

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Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) is pleased to announce the release of TRB’s NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM), the final product of NCHRP Project 25-34, led by HMMH and supported by a team of consultants.

Noise is an important environmental concern for highway planners and designers, and through 2010, state highway agencies have spent $5.4 billion to abate the noise generated by federally-aided highway projects. Transportation agencies assess different aspects of highway noise to determine or predict community impacts during transportation planning, although procedures have varied by program and agency. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)’s Transportation Noise Model (TNM) is a computer program used for predicting noise levels and their impacts in the vicinity of highways. The TNM was developed in the 1990’s by a team led by HMMH under contract to the FHWA. The FHWA has provided substantial guidance for the routine application of the TNM; however, scenarios still exist for which there remains limited or no technical guidance.

Under NCHRP Project 25-34, HMMH was asked to investigate sixteen different research topic areas to identify best practices and provide significant guidance on applying TNM to accurately, consistently, and efficiently model traffic-generated noise in a variety of settings that has not been previously addressed by TNM. The objective of NCHRP 25-34 was to supplement existing guidance on applying the TNM by identifying best practices to model structure reflected noise; bridge expansion joints; signalized interchanges; intersections; area sources (e.g., weigh stations, park and ride lots, toll facilities, and service plazas); median barriers; roundabouts; and tunnel openings. The research determines the sensitivity and accuracy of methods to model multi-lane highways, rows of buildings, topography, ground zones, and tree zones, and identifies best practices for input parameters. The research also synthesizes the state of practice for analyzing the effects of wind and temperature gradients on sound propagation.

The results of NCHRP Project 25-34 are intended for use by experienced analysts, modelers, and designers. Report 791 will be of immediate use to experienced users of TNM by helping them to improve the accuracy and precision of their modeling results and inform decision-making related to the design of noise abatement measures.

PRIDE

October 17th, 2014

By Mary Ellen Eagan

I just passed a milestone – 30 years at HMMH!

Mary Ellen Eagan and John Putnam

Mary Ellen Eagan and John Putnam

We mark those milestones by making contributions to a non-profit of the 30-year employee’s choosing. I’m proud to report that I was able to hand deliver a check today to John Putnam, co-founder of Partners for Rural Improvement and Development in Ethiopia (PRIDE).

PRIDE is dedicated to improving the living conditions and quality of life in the rural highlands of Ethiopia. Founded by a group of volunteers in Boulder, Colorado, PRIDE promotes positive change in some of the poorest Ethiopian villages. PRIDE helps lay the foundation for sustainable development by focusing on improvements in education, clean water, and agriculture. PRIDE focuses its efforts on those areas with the greatest likelihood of breaking cycles of poverty.

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John Putnam is a partner at Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell and a dear colleague. I am constantly amazed by his dedication to PRIDE, and eagerly await stories of his adventures in Ethiopia. He tells me that this contribution will likely support development of a new school which has just broken ground.