Posts Tagged ‘RNAV’

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).

 

Got PBN?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

by Mary Ellen Eagan

Apologies for the somewhat belated post, but here’s a quick recap of the recent UC Davis Noise and Air Quality Symposium: Navigating NextGen, held March 4-6 in Palm Springs, CA.

The focus of much of the discussion at this year’s symposium was implementation of the FAA’s NextGen Program, the early phases of which are now being rolled out across the country.  This blog has discussed NextGen issues before, but I think this was the first conference I’ve attended that attendees were uniformly focused on finding ways to make implementation a success.

The symposium keynote was delivered by Dennis Roberts of the FAA’s ATO. Dennis is responsible for managing FAA’s Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) “metroplex” projects, a systematic, integrated, and accelerated program to implement satellite based navigation in the aviation system.   HMMH is involved in several of the metroplex projects, including the Houston Metroplex, which is on the President’s Federal Infrastructure Dashboard, which was initiated to monitor the pace of DOT efforts to accelerate major infrastructure projects by improving permitting and environmental review processes, and to improve the accountability, transparency, and efficiency of Federal actions. 

Other sessions focused on providing an overview of NextGen technologies and Performance Based Navigation (PBN) terminology, as well as airport experiences implementing and collaborating with FAA on the implementation of procedures at their airports.  The takeaway message from the entire symposium is that there is an urgent need for airports to get involved with NextGen airspace planning – airports understand local issues and provide a critical link between communities and the FAA.  Many airports have also spent years developing noise abatement programs and must be at the table to ensure that airspace planners understand both the spirit and substance of noise abatement.  As active participants in several of these projects, we at HMMH believe that this collaborative approach will be critical to early success of NextGen.

Presentations for the symposium can be found here (click on the presenter’s name).  Next year’s symposium will be held in Orange County, CA.  Please let me know if you have suggestions for topics for discussion.

Report from TRB 2010 Annual Meeting

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

by Mary Ellen Eagan

At long last, a report from the 2010 Annual TRB Conference.  My focus is on the workshop, committee meetings, and sessions that were sponsored or co-sponsored by the Committee on the Environmental Impacts of Aviation (AV030).  Here’s my three days at TRB, in chronological order:

Sunday’s Workshop The Costs of Cleaner: Aviation’s Emissions Inventories and Economic Consequences of Their Reduction included three presentations with very different lenses on the climate change issue:

The Committee on Environmental Impacts of Aviation (AV030) held its meeting Monday morning (yours truly presiding – please let me know if you’re interested in joining our mailing list).  In addition to discussion of committee business, there were two student paper presentations:  Analysis and Control of Airport Departure Processes to Mitigate Congestion Impacts by Ioannis Simaiakis of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Lung Deposition of Jet Engine Exhaust Particulate Matter by Elizabeth A. Black of Missouri University of Science and Technology.  The Sustainability Subcommittee also met on Monday, and included a third paper presentation, Mitigating Aviation Carbon Dioxide Emissions: An Analysis for Europe by Lynnette Dray of the University of Cambridge.  The Noise Subcommittee meeting (a joint subcommittee with the Committee on Transportation Noise, ADC40) included presentations by Raquel Girvin on Noise Effects Characterization and Mitigation Research and Lynn Engelman on the DOD Aviation Noise Program.  We also announced the formation of a new Water Resources Subcommittee, which will be ably led by Thomas Klin of CH2M Hill.

AV030 sponsored or co-sponsored three technical sessions:

As you can probably infer from this recitation of meetings and papers, attending TRB’s annual meeting can be a bit like drinking from a fire hose.  My advice to newcomers is pacing (those 9 pm sessions can really do you in), but I have always found the sessions to be informative and stimulating.  And I usually find that something about one (or more) of the sessions finally sinks in sometime later.  I’ll check back in then.