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News Archive 2010

ACRP Impacts on Practice: San Diego's Effort to Mitigate Noise Impacts for Community Stakeholders

November 16, 2010: Burlington, MA

Airport Cooperative Research Program’s (ACRP’s) Impacts on Practice series is designed to provide examples of how airport industry practitioners are using ACRP research results to assist them in their work. HMMH’s work on ACRP Synthesis 11-03/Topic S02-03, A Compilation of Airport Noise Programs in Areas Outside DNL 65 was quoted recently in ACRP Impacts on Practice:  San Diego’s Efforts to Mitigate Noise Impacts for Community Stakeholders as an example of ACRP results having an impact on San Diego International Airport’s noise and community outreach program.

The goal of ACRP is to provide well-researched, useful publications that can contribute to the growth and development of the nation's airport industry.

HMMH Presents 2nd Annual Founders Award

November 11, 2010: Burlington, MA

At the 2010 Annual Meeting, HMMH presented its second Founders’ Award for Excellence to Ted Baldwin and his project team in recognition of their exemplary performance on the Van Nuys Airport Part 161 Study - a project that by many measures was uniquely challenging, technically innovative, and resulted in proven client satisfaction.

Under Ted's guidance, and with significant contributions from Bob Behr,Sean Doyle, Eric Cox, Mike Hamilton and Brad Nicholas , the Los Angeles World Airports, LAWA, became the second airport operator in the country (the first one being Naples, a project which Ted also managed several years ago) to implement a noise and access restriction under the provisions of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations , Part 161. The newly adopted rule requires the early phase-out of Stage 2 jet aircraft at Van Nuys.

HMMH one of the Top 100 Women-led Businesses

November 4, 2010: Burlington, MA

HMMH joins the list of top 100 women-led businesses in Massachusetts. In the Boston Business Journal/Commonwealth Institute survey, companies were ranked by 2009 revenue. An awards program is being held on December 8 at the Park Plaza Hotel.

The Commonwealth Institute is one of the leading women’s organizations in Boston whose mission is to help CEOs, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives build successful businesses.

Mary Ellen Eagan Presented with FAA Certificate of Appreciation
November 1, 2010: Burlington, MA

In recognition of her contributions, Mary Ellen Eagan was presented with the Airports’ Partner Award at the FAA New England Region 2010 Airports Conference in Burlington, MA.

The award is “for services that enables the FAA and airport sponsors to minimize noise impacts on citizens and students in New England”, and was presented by LaVerne F. Reid, Manager, Airports Division, New England Region.

HMMH Awarded Contract by the FAA Air Traffic Organization to Support NextGen Implementation
October 11, 2010: Washington, DC

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) was recently awarded a multi-year multi-million dollar contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist the FAA in reviewing NextGen Operational Changes and/or Airspace and Procedure Proposed Actions.

“HMMH has made a considerable investment in supporting the FAA NextGen initiatives and our subject matter experts have been involved in virtually all aspects of NextGen planning.  We are delighted the FAA has recognized our leadership in environmental planning, NextGen planning, as well as airspace analysis, and has invited us to be a part of the implementation of such a critical element of the NextGen system.” said Diana Wasiuk, Director Airport and Airspace Planning. “We look forward to five years of close collaboration with the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and other aviation stakeholders and to ample opportunities for applying our environmental and airspace planning expertise to further the ambitious and much needed improvements laid out by the FAA’s Metroplex initiative added Vinnie Khera, Director Advanced Programs.

As part of this contract, HMMH will assess current and planned airspace and procedure efforts at metroplex areas across the US. HMMH subject matter experts will explore new NextGen enabled solutions, and provide recommendations for effective implementation. HMMH will also lead the environmental analysis associated with the proposed changes.

HMMH’s team includes industry experts from three other highly accomplished aviation companies - URS Corporation, CH2MHILL and Mosaic ATM.

HMMH Awarded FAA Environmental Streamlining Contract

October 11, 2010: Washington, DC

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) was recently awarded a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop a program evaluation of Vision 100 environmental streamlining initiatives for NEPA analyses conducted by FAA’s Airports’ Organization.

“HMMH has been a part of some of the most complex NEPA streamlining projects at airports across the country and we are excited to assist the FAA by applying this hands-on experience to assessing the effectiveness of the Vision 100 initiatives” said Vinnie Khera, Director Advanced Programs. “Streamlining is geared towards achieving a more complete and timely environmental process, and if applied correctly is a win-win proposition for all stakeholders, therefore it is extremely important to ensure that the benefits of this process are being realized, added Bob Miller, Senior Vice-President.

The services provided by HMMH will consist of an assessment of how well environmental streamlining has achieved the intended objectives and recommendations for process augmentation and improvement. HMMH has also been asked to assist in assessing the degree to which FAA meets both the high standards of environmental analysis required by NEPA and related FAA regulations and the demands of a streamlined environmental processes. The findings will be used to evaluate ARP policy and resources for environmental streamlining of airport projects.

Vision 100 – Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act (“Vision 100,” Pub. L. 108-176) was signed into law on December 12, 2003. Title III of Vision 100, known as the Aviation Streamlining Approval Process Act of 2003, directs the Secretary of Transportation to conduct expedited environmental review processes for airport capacity projects at congested airports and aviation security and safety projects.

Technology for a Quieter America Report Released
October 7, 2010: Burlington, MA

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE), Committee on Technology for a Quieter America recommends engineering controls for noise reduction in the United States in a recently released report, available now for purchase.

According to George Maling, Chairman of the Committee, this study focused on the importance of engineering to the quality of life in America, especially the role of noise control technology in making possible a quieter environment. The study committee and supporting panels of experts were appointed by the NAE to recommend engineering solutions that will result in reduction of noise levels to which Americans are exposed. The Committee’s report, Technology for a Quieter America, summarizes the existing noise problems, reviews community noise metrics, discusses technology for noise control and makes recommendations for each study area.

As a result of his many years of experience, Dr. Carl Hanson, a co-founder of HMMH, was called upon by the National Academy of Engineering to serve as a member of the Committee and to collaborate on the recommendations presented in the publication.  Dr. Hanson is active in a wide range of rail transportation projects including noise control designs of vehicles and facilities, compliance tests, environmental assessment, community measurement programs and expert testimony.  In these activities, Dr. Hanson consults for engineers and planners on projects for railroads, rapid transit properties, state agencies and the Federal government.  He has been especially active in the area of high speed rail and maglev systems, having conducted research and consulting projects in the United States and Europe.

HMMH receives honorable mention for ZweigWhite rankings
October 4, 2010: Burlington, MA

HMMH received an honorable mention for the ZweigWhite ‘2010 Best Companies to Work For’ rankings. The rankings are based on workplace practices, employee benefits, employee retention rates, and more.

In April 2010, HMMH applied to be a ‘2010 Best Environmental Services Firms to Work For’, first submitting its corporate survey and then asking staff to complete the anonymous employee portion of the survey. This was HMMH’s first time participating in the survey.

One survey question asked staff to describe HMMH’s culture or personality. “Client focused” and “Focused on Integrity” received the highest ratings from HMMH staff.  These are hallmarks HMMH has prided itself on since the company’s inception. Employees also reported strong agreement to the statement “My firm practices fair treatment of employees” and 95% would recommend HMMH to a friend looking for a job.

HMMH is pleased with our employees’ participation in the survey and in the ranking results as we continue our efforts to be anEmployer of Choice.

HMMH Announces Promotions
July 1, 2010: Burlington, MA

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) is pleased to announce the promotions of Robert Mentzer, Jr., Alison Moore, Timothy Johnson, and Robin Gardner.

Mr. Robert Mentzer, Jr. has been promoted to Principal Consultant. Mr. Mentzer has been involved in environmental noise and air quality issues since 1989 and joined HMMH in 1994. Mr. Mentzer has led the preparation of noise contours for over 60 airports, including Part 150 Land Use Compatibility Planning Studies, Part 161 Noise and Access Restriction Studies, and other airport environmental and master plan studies. Mr. Mentzer's promotion to Principal Consultant is an acknowledgement of his16 years of exemplary achievements and committed service to HMMH. Mr. Mentzer is a skilled instructor, a mentor to staff, a capable project manager, and a fine consultant bringing new business to our aviation practice.

Ms. Alison Moore has been promoted to Vice President. Ms. Moore has led HMMH’s Human Resources (HR) Department since 1991, with the title of Human Resources Manager awarded in 1998. She has recently taken over responsibility for HMMH’s Administrative Services activities encompassing IT, Office Services, and HR. Her contributions to HMMH’s management team have shown her ability to think strategically and consider multiple perspectives. She is a natural leader and in her new role, will address the wellbeing of the company as a whole just as she has advocated for our individual employees’ interests as Human Resources Manager.

Mr. Timothy Johnson and Ms. Robin Gardner have been promoted to Senior Consultant.

Mr. Johnson joined HMMH in 2005. He provides acoustical & vibration measurement and analysis support primarily to HMMH’s Rail and Commercial/Industrial Groups. Mr. Johnson is Assistant Project Manager for the California High-Speed Rail project from Fresno to Merced, the Port Columbus International Airport ground noise berm/barrier design study, and the Springfield, Illinois Railroad Consolidation Project. Mr. Johnson was promoted because of his technical expertise and his long-term value to HMMH. He has taken on increased roles in project management and training of junior staff and HMMH is confident that he will be a very successful Senior Consultant.

Ms. Gardner joined HMMH in 2007 after working in the Noise Office at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Building on the expertise gained at Sea-Tac, she focuses on aviation projects including noise and operations monitoring systems (NOMS), sound insulation programs, and noise land reuse programs. She is currently managing the acoustical design and testing tasks for the Quieter Home Program at San Diego International Airport and the land reuse plan for the Maryland Aviation Administration, and is assisting with the management of the Centennial Airport NOMS acquisition and the San Antonio International Airport NOMS acceptance testing. HMMH has recognized Ms. Gardner’s exceptional project management skills and promoted her to Senior Consultant.

Please join us in congratulating these individuals in their accomplishments.

Stephen Barrett Selected to Conduct ACRP Synthesis Project
April 28, 2010: Burlington, MA

Stephen Barrett, Director of Clean Energy at HMMH, has been selected as the Principal Investigator for Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis Project 11-03/Topic S10-06:Developing Energy Technologies and Their Effects on Airports. The ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agencies through funding provided by the National Academy of Sciences.

Mr. Barrett will be compiling existing literature, data, and ongoing research on physical, visual and electromagnetic impacts from energy technologies on airport and aviation safety. The primary focus will be on wind and solar energy generation operations as they relate to airport property and also on power plant locations near airports. In his research, Mr. Barrett will identify and quantify potential hazards, present laws and regulations related to energy siting and recommend mitigation options. The resulting ACRP Synthesis Report will provide a single, definitive guidance for airport operators and regulators that describes the potential conflicts between energy generation and airport operations, and reports the experiences of airports that have directly developed or partnered with developers on energy generation projects. 

Over the last 10 years, Mr. Barrett has worked with the public and private sectors to develop renewable energy projects, including wind, solar, tidal, wave, biomass, and geothermal. He is presently supporting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with the preparation of a National Solar Guidance for Airports. He has worked with wind farm developers in assessing the potential impacts on airspace from wind turbine generators. He has also helped airports site and design solar generation projects, most recently at Palm Beach International Airport.

Information on ACRP is located at http://www.trb.org/ACRP/ACRPOverview.aspx

FAA Awards Solar Guidance Document Project to HMMH

March 16, 2010: Burlington, MA

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) has been selected by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop a solar guidance document for airports. The guide will be in the format of a handbook or FAA Advisory Circular and be the central reference for airports interested in exploring the potential benefits and costs of solar energy. The guide will:

  • Provide baseline information on solar technology and applications for airports
  • Describe FAA requirements and procedures to ensure that a proposed system is safe and poses no risk to pilots, controllers, or airport operations
  • Review economic factors and business arrangements that make solar projects cost-effective
  • Illustrate the unique opportunities associated with solar generation at airports through case studies of existing installations and reference materials supporting their success, and
  • Detail how FAA funding programs can aid project development

In all, the guidance will provide a comprehensive, clear, and readily usable source of information that airport sponsors can apply to their evaluation of solar potential.

“We recognized over a year ago the unique landscape and business conditions for developing solar projects at airports and have begun working with several of our clients in this area,” said Bob Miller, an HMMH founder and Senior Vice President.  “We look forward to working with the FAA to assist more airports in capturing this value to enhance energy savings and reduce climate impacts in a manner that is compatible with airport operations.” 

The FAA expects to make the Solar Guide available to airports by the end of 2010.

HMMH Authors Two Articles in Current Issue of AirportConsulting Magazine

March 11, 2010: Burlington, MA

Diana Wasiuk, Director of Airport and Airspace Planning, writes about the far-term perspectives of NextGen and what they mean for airports in ACC's spring edition of AirportConsulting Magazine, a quarterly publicationBob Miller, Senior Vice President, presents a "real airport" case study on the near-term impacts of NextGen in the spring edition.

Mary Ellen Eagan Presented with Gillfillan Award

March 2, 2010: San Diego, CA

In honor of her professional achievements, Mary Ellen Eagan was presented with the Walt Gillfillan Award at the UC Davis Noise and Air Quality Symposium on Monday, March 1, in San Diego California.

The UC Davis website describes this annual honor, established in 2006: “This award is presented at the symposium to an aviation environmental stakeholder for exemplary work addressing the challenges of reducing the environmental impacts of aviation.” She is the fifth recipitient of the award.

Upon receiving the award, Mary Ellen told attendees, "I am truly stunned, and very humbled to receive the award." She later commented, "I owe many thanks to all my mentors at HMMH, who have taught me well these last 25 years. I believe the award reflects well on our corporate commitment to values of: serving clients, being honest, respecting others, building value, using teams, seeking growth and having fun."

Mary Ellen enjoys the technical challenges of science and engineering combined with the public sector challenges of working at airports. Her passion is to advance public understanding of the complex issue of aviation noise and its effects on people.

Marin County (CA) Route 101 Installs Sound-absorbing panels

For the past 6 months, the California DOT (Caltrans) has been installing sound-absorbing panels on the existing noise barriers along Route 101 in Marin County (CA). An article on the panels was recently published in the Marin Independent Journal, titled, Soundwall pays off: Residents along Highway 101 say noise has been reduced. An excerpt follows:

“Patrick Murphy of San Rafael likes what he doesn't hear. Crews are finishing the installation of thousands of sound-absorbing panels as part of a $3 million retrofit of the existing Highway 101 soundwall to give area neighbors relief from freeway noise.”

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) studied the traffic noise exposure and the effects of reflections from noise barriers along Route 101 in 2001. HMMH recommended the panels as a noise mitigation measure in the study. For more information on this project, please visit:http://www.hmmh.com/rt101-noise-monitoring-ca.html.

“Caltrans has conducted several sound propagation and measurement studies in response to complaints, to try to understand whether their standard sound-reflective noise barriers could be increasing noise levels at long distances.  I am pleased to read they have installed the sound-absorbing panels we recommended along the noise-sensitive areas of Route 101.” 

 Christopher Menge, Senior Vice President

HMMH Nominated to ACRP Project Panel

Mr. Phil DeVita will serve on the Project Panel for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Project 02-23 Alternative Fuels as a Means to Reduce PM2.5 Emissions at Airports.  Mr. DeVita is Director of Air Quality at Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH).

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) summary describes the project: “Regions of the country where air quality exceeds the limits imposed by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are required to develop a plan to bring the affected areas back into attainment. This research aims to determine the degree to which introducing a low-sulfur and/or low-aromatic alternative to standard petroleum-derived Jet Fuel A at select airports within PM2.5 non-attainment areas can be an effective means of reducing PM emissions for the region.  The final report will include a framework for assessing lifecycle PM2.5 emissions that will be useful for future studies.”

ACRP 02-23 will have its first meeting in Washington, D.C. on January 6 and 7, 2010.  More information on TRB and ACRP is located at http://www.trb.org/acrp/public/acrp.aspx