Posts Tagged ‘ACI’

Report from 2012 ACI-NA/World Conference & Exhibition

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I’m just back from the 2012 ACI-NA/World Conference in Calgary, Alberta.  Highlights of the weekend’s Environmental Affairs Conference included the following:

The ACI-NA/World Conference and Exhibition kicked off with the Calgary White Hat Ceremony, a symbol of the Western hospitality and good cheer that made everyone feel very welcome.  Somehow I’m having trouble imagining that happening with a bunch of Red Sox hats…

Calgary White Hats Ceremony

Monday’s keynote speaker was Zanny Minton Beddoes, Economics editor for The Economist. She had some great things to say about her predictions for the economy, some of which was actually reassuring (for a change).

The Exhibit Hall was the usual mélange of consulting firms, concessionaires, and airport engineering products and services – everything from carpets to trains.  The Hall is always a great chance to catch up with folks – see who has switched companies, grab a latte, check out who has the best swag, etc.

Finally, I must say I was disappointed not to get a chance to explore Calgary, which seems a vibrant city, awash in oil and gas money. What little I did see (see photos below of the Family of Man and The Famous Five) was beautiful. Next time!

Family of Man, Calgary

Famous 5 Statue (not Clint Eastwood!), Calgary

 

Sustainable Opulence

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

by Mary Ellen Eagan

Vegas, Baby.  Just returned from four days in Vegas, attending the ACI-NA Environmental Affairs Conference and the TRB Environmental Impacts of Aviation (AV030) Mid-year meeting. 

This year the Environmental Affairs Conference teamed with the Operations and Technical Affairs Conference.  There were several joint sessions, most notably on Integrating RNAV/RNP into the airport setting.  Other hot topics included:

  • Further discussion of FAA’s impending Program Guidance Letter on Residential Sound Insulation.  Latest word is that ACI-NA and other industry groups will have an opportunity to review the draft shortly.  Stand by.
  • Air toxics and other ongoing air quality studies in the Los Angeles area.
  • Strategies for noise stringency at upcoming CAEP meeting.
  • PBN implementation and integration with airports:  “NextGen begins and ends at airports”.

Our TRB meeting covered a lot of ground in a few hours, including:

I had been dreading holding two environmental meetings in Las Vegas, which I have long considered one of the least sustainable places on earth.  However, after listening to these two guys talk about water conservation initiatives in Las Vegas – not just including the Strip, but especially the Strip – I was quite impressed.  Following the meeting, several of us had dinner in the Aria Hotel, which has achieved USGBC LEED Gold Certification.   More on the City Center’s Environmental Commitment – including an on-site cogeneration plant, specially designed low flow shower heads, and CNG limos here.  My only wish is that it would be more visible to the tourist with an environmental conscience.  This is one of those cases where what happens in Vegas shouldn’t stay in Vegas.

Keeping with its commitment to sustainability, CityCenter has commissioned the first stretch-limo fleet powered by compressed natural gas (CNG).

 

Report from ACI-NA Annual Conference and Pre-conference Workshops

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I’m still collecting my thoughts from nearly a week in Pittsburgh at ACI-NA’s 19th Annual Conference and Exhibit.  Here are the highlights:

GRILogo

I attended the GRI Workshop on Friday, September 24th (that would be the workshop that preceded the pre-conference seminar).  For those of you unfamiliar with the Global Reporting Initiative, it is an international framework for reporting on sustainability initiatives.  Four North American airports (Denver International, Portland International, San Diego International, and Toronto Pearson International) have participated over the last two years in the development of a Draft Airport Operator Sector Supplement (AOSS).  As the name implies, the AOSS is meant to provide additional airport-specific sustainability information that is not already provided through the G3 Sustainability Guidelines, which is the cornerstone of the GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework.  One obvious example is aircraft noise.  Here is a description of the proposed new performance indicator for airports to report on noise exposure:

  • 2.1 Identify the index most widely used in your country or at your airport to calculate the number and percentage change of people residing in areas affected by noise. Where no indicator exists, report using the Day Night Level (DNL), showing the number of people exposed to (55 and) 65 DNL. Where the metric covers a 24 hour period, information on noise during the night-time period can be expressed using a default Leq metric for an 8 hour period. The reporter must define the 8 hour period although flexibility is provided to set the start time to reflect cultural differences (for example, some reporters may regard night as being 22.00 to 06.00, while others may think 23.00 to 07.00 is more appropriate to local circumstances). 
  • 2.2 Specify the metric and the time period adopted and the thresholds applied for calculating exposure. To aid comparability between airports, the reporting threshold chosen should reflect the onset of significant annoyance.
  •  2.3 Report the number and percentage change of people residing in areas affected by noise. If metrics exist to calculate the number and percentage change of people residing in areas affected by noise for both day and night periods, please report information for both.

I’m still trying to interpret this recommendation, but my guess is that U.S. airports will be fine to simply report on the number of people exposed to DNL 65 dB and higher.  What’s not clear is whether airports should also report on the number of people exposed to DNL 55 dB and higher (not a common practice for most US airports).  This is an even more complicated question when you consider the statement that “the reporting threshold chosen should reflect the onset of significant annoyance” in the context of current ISO and other efforts to update the Schultz Curve.

Environmental Affairs Seminar

The Environmental Affairs Seminar was a two-day whirlwind of updates on a range of environmental issues facing airports:

Presentations from the seminar will be posted on the ACI-NA website shortly.

Then the conference began.

The annual conference is generally pretty light on substance (a good thing, after three days of intense meetings), but I did enjoy two sessions in particular:

Nick Bilton, Source: ACI-NA

Nick Bilton, Source: ACI-NA

  • Nick Bilton, lead technology writer for the New York Times Bits Blog gave an engaging keynote address on the use of technology and communication, with a particular emphasis on social networking.  I learned about foursquare, and though I don’t have enough of a social life to take advantage, I can see that it offers potential for airports.  He also showed an amazing video on instantaneous information flow, as illustrated by the death of Michael Jackson.
  • Deb Meehan of SH&E also gave an entertaining update on state of the airline industry.  She emphasized her belief that airline profits in the last 18 months have come at the expense of the traveling public – especially in terms of comfort – and that we should look for airlines to start competing on service.

 Looking forward to next year in San Diego!

ACI-NA Rocks Austin!

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I’ve just returned from the ACI-NA Annual Conference in Austin, Texas, the Live Music Capital of the World, which offers me an opportunity to talk about temporary threshold shift.  TTS occurs when one is exposed to significant noise levels for a temporary period of time – listening to the Eggmen at Maggie Mae’s for several hours Monday night, for example.  A study in the 1980’s measured the temporary hearing loss of volunteer subjects exposed to a Bruce Springsteen concert.  The average sound exposure during the four-hour concert was 100 dBA.  The subjects’ hearing was tested 30 minutes and 16 hours after the end of the concert; immediately after the concert 5 of the 6 subjects experienced significant threshold shift (<50 dB) predominantly in the 4-8 KHz range; by 16 hours after the concert ended, hearing had returned to normal in all of the subjects.  I don’t know about the rest of you who were there on Monday, but my ears are still ringing.  However, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Other excitement at the conference included:

Look for the Environmental Affairs Seminar presentations to be posted soon on the ACI-NA website.

I’m looking forward to the next Environmental Affairs Committee Conference in San Antonio, April 13-16, 2010