by Steve Barrett
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has officially announced the selection of the HMMH Team to prepare “Guidebook for Energy Projects Compatibility with Airports and Airspace.” The objective of this research is to produce a guidebook supported by empirical evidence that provides best practices for aviation safety associated with planning, developing and constructing energy production and transmission technologies at and around airports.
The project is funded under the NAS Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration. The ACRP is an industry-driven, applied research program that develops near-term, practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators. HMMH has undertaken several other ACRP research projects associated with aviation noise issues.
The Guidebook will review information on energy and airports including issues associated with solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power, wind energy, power plant stacks and cooling towers, electric transmission lines, and oil and gas drilling. Potential impacts include physical obstruction, glint and glare, radar interference, and thermal plumes. The Guidebook will rely on existing experience like solar PV projects at Manchester, Indianapolis, and Fresno, and oil/gas drilling operations at Elmira-Corning, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Denver.
HMMH will be working with experts in the energy field. The Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories will evaluate solar glint and glare. Bryan Miller, former Department of Defense Liaison to the White House, will review wind energy and radar issues. Professor Yu Zhang from the University of South Florida will contribute knowledge about existing and future air traffic operations. And Mary Vigilante of Synergy will provide oversight on airport operational issues. The Guidebook will be delivered to the ACRP in the fall of 2013. I look forward to managing this project and advancing the state of practice for enhanced energy project siting.