Posts Tagged ‘TRB’

TRB e-circular “Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment” published

Friday, April 18th, 2014

By Mary Ellen Eagan

TRB recently published Circular E-C184: “Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment.” The following summarizes the content of the e-circular.

“Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment 2014” consists of twelve individually authored sections, representing the authoring experts’ opinions on issues that address the major environmental components affected by aviation activities, sustainable solutions that have evolved and continue to be developed to minimize environmental impacts, and the key processes that link aviation and the environment.

Readers of prior e-circulars in this series may notice that we no longer include a stand-alone section on “sustainability”.  This is because the Committee believes that sustainability is a cross-cutting issue that affects all topics in the environment – it is a way of operating, not an “issue”.  We have added several new topics to this volume:

  1. Natural resource management:  Airports are challenged to address natural resource management issues related to wildlife hazards, natural resource revenue generation (e.g., timber, minerals, energy), and water conservation.
  2. Renewable energy:  this section addresses major issues airports should consider when identifying and developing renewable energy alternatives.
  3. Public Health:  an emerging issue that several airports are facing is the need to develop health impact assessments and health risk assessments to respond to community concerns regarding the impact of airports on communities.

The individually authored sections of this e-circular represent the viewpoints of the attributed authors.  Members and friends of the TRB Environmental Impacts of Aviation Committee have also reviewed and contributed comments to these sections.

Many thanks go to the authors (listed below, by paper):

Environmental Impacts of Aviation on Human and Natural Resources  

  • Noise: Natalia Sizov (Federal Aviation Administration), Brad Rolf (Mead & Hunt), Mary Ellen Eagan (Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc.)
  • Air Quality: John Pehrson (CDM), Warren Gillette (Federal Aviation Administration), Brian Kim (Wyle), Prem Lobo (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
  • Climate Change: Judith Patterson (Science College, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada ), Mohan Gupta (Federal Aviation Administration), Rangasayi Halthore (Federal Aviation Administration), Anuja Mahashabde (The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA)
  • Water Quality: Dean Mericas (Mead & Hunt), John Lengel (Gresham Smith & Partners), Richard Davis (Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.)

Sustainable Solutions to Address Environmental Challenges

  • Climate Change Adaptation Planning and Preparedness: John Lengel (Gresham, Smith and Partners), Kristin Lemaster (CDM Smith), Judith Patterson (Concordia University), Andrea Schwartz Freeburg (Federal Aviation Administration)
  • Natural Resource Management: Dean Mericas (Mead & Hunt), Sarah Brammell (Environmental Resource Solutions)
  • Renewable Energy: Steve Barrett (Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc.), Bruno Miller (Metron Aviation), Phil Ralston (Port of Portland)
  • Aviation Alternative Fuels Development And Deployment:  Bruno Miller (Metron Aviation), Steve Csonka (CAAFI), Kristin Lewis (Volpe Center/RITA, Jim Hileman (FAA), Mark Rumizen (FAA), Nancy Young (Airlines for America), and John Heimlich (Airlines for America)

Processes and Tools for Implementing Sustainable Solutions

  • Environmental Review under NEPA:  Mary Vigilante (Synergy Consultants), Brad Rolf (Mead & Hunt), John Putnam (Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell), Donald Scata (FAA), Betsy Delaney (First Environment), Barbara Thomson (First Environment)
  • Environmental Management Systems And Sustainability Measurement: Mary Vigilante (Synergy Consultants), Brad Rolf (Mead & Hunt), John Putnam (Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell), Donald Scata (FAA), Betsy Delaney (First Environment), Barbara Thomson (First Environment)
  • Aviation Environmental Modeling Tool Suite:  James Hileman (Federal Aviation Administration), Christopher Roof (USDOT RITA)
  • Research Needs in Public Health In Aviation:  Burr Stewart (Burrst), Andrew Dannenberg (CDC), Brian Kim (Wyle), Daniel Jacob (Federal Aviation Administration)

 

ACRP Report Released on Defining and Measuring Aircraft Delay and Airport Capacity Thresholds

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

ACRP104coverLast week, the Transportation Research Board’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) released Report 104: Defining and Measuring Aircraft Delay and Airport Capacity Thresholds. The ACRP report offers guidance to help airports understand, select, calculate, and report measures of delay and capacity. The report describes common metrics, identifies data sources, recommends metrics based on an airport’s needs, and suggests ways to potentially improve metrics.

Guidance and recommendations are provided regarding the relevance of particular delay and capacity measures by airport type, airport characteristics, and project lifecycle phase. The report suggests the most appropriate measurement tools at various points in the project development cycle, for specific items in each element, and for different types of airports. The report does recognize that it is not practical to have one threshold that can be applied to all airports.

The report includes additional metrics that would be helpful in the future, one of which is better communication of delays to the general public. The report summarizes that these communications should be easily understandable, able to be used as a common measure at any airport, and applied consistently across all airports. It was also noted that using a more positive metric, such as level of service, rather than using a term such as delay, which has a negative connotation, would better serve the public and the industry overall.

The research, led by TransSolutions of Fort Worth, TX, was conducted under ACRP Project 03-20. The other team members and primary authors of the report included Futterman Consulting of St. Petersburg, FL, Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. of Herndon, VA, and Jasenka Rakas of Berkeley, CA.

Click here to view the report.

HMMH Starts Work on Energy Siting Guidebook for the Aviation Industry

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

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.

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).

 

TRB Highlights – Aviation

Monday, January 30th, 2012

by Phil DeVita

One of the highlights of the TRB Annual Meeting that I look forward to each year is the AV030 sessions on aviation and environmental impacts.  HMMH’s president, Mary Ellen Eagan, does a great job in pulling these sessions together to allow the subcommittees to present an update on progress and highlight emerging “hot button” issues.   This year sessions did not disappoint with a very interesting student presentation on “Bird Aircraft Strike Risk Assessment at Commercial Airports: Sub-Model Development Accounting for Strike Occurrence and Severity at Seattle Tacoma International Airport”. 

The climate change subcommittee provided an update on climate change issues affecting aviation, including an update from the summer Woods Hole Conference which focused on climate change adaptation and planning.  With the changing climate, airports are starting to focus on the potential impacts of climate change and incorporating these impacts into the master planning.  Some of the issues included in the planning include rising sea water, stormwater and severe weather. There was also an entertaining discussion with attendees on other topics of concern such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and the role of alternate fuels.  The climate change discussion supports the activities of HMMH’s Climate and Energy Group with the release of the “Technical Guidance for Evaluating Selected Solar Technologies on Airports” and the ACRP Synthesis, “Investigating Safety Impacts of Energy Technologies on Airports and Aviation”.  With renewable energy becoming a viable alternative to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, the impact on aviation is becoming a growing concern and HMMH’s experience in this area is helping the aviation industry address these concerns.