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ACRP AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM REPORT 8 Sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Lightning-Warning Systems for Use by Airports

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ACRP OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE* TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2008 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE* CHAIR OFFICERS James Wilding CHAIR: Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT, Topeka Independent Consultant VICE CHAIR: Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board VICE CHAIR Jeff Hamiel MEMBERS MinneapolisSt. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission J. Barry Barker, Executive Director, Transit Authority of River City, Louisville, KY Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT, Harrisburg MEMBERS John D. Bowe, President, Americas Region, APL Limited, Oakland, CA Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT, Jackson James Crites DallasFort Worth International Airport Deborah H. Butler, Executive Vice President, Planning, and CIO, Norfolk Southern Corporation, Richard de Neufville Norfolk, VA Massachusetts Institute of Technology William A.V. Clark, Professor, Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles Kevin C. Dolliole David S. Ekern, Commissioner, Virginia DOT, Richmond UCG Associates Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, John K. Duval Charlottesville Beverly Municipal Airport Jeffrey W. Hamiel, Executive Director, Metropolitan Airports Commission, Minneapolis, MN Steve Grossman Oakland International Airport Edward A. (Ned) Helme, President, Center for Clean Air Policy, Washington, DC Tom Jensen Will Kempton, Director, California DOT, Sacramento National Safe Skies Alliance Susan Martinovich, Director, Nevada DOT, Carson City Catherine M. Lang Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Federal Aviation Administration Technology, Atlanta Gina Marie Lindsey Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments, Arlington Los Angeles World Airports Neil J. Pedersen, Administrator, Maryland State Highway Administration, Baltimore Carolyn Motz Hagerstown Regional Airport Pete K. Rahn, Director, Missouri DOT, Jefferson City Richard Tucker Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Huntsville International Airport Tracy L. Rosser, Vice President, Corporate Traffic, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Bentonville, AR Rosa Clausell Rountree, Executive Director, Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority, Atlanta EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Henry G. (Gerry) Schwartz, Jr., Chairman (retired), Jacobs/Sverdrup Civil, Inc., St. Louis, MO Sabrina Johnson C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas, Austin U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Linda S. Watson, CEO, LYNXCentral Florida Regional Transportation Authority, Orlando Richard Marchi Steve Williams, Chairman and CEO, Maverick Transportation, Inc., Little Rock, AR Airports Council International--North America Laura McKee EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Air Transport Association of America Henry Ogrodzinski Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC National Association of State Aviation Officials Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Melissa Sabatine Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA American Association of Airport Executives Paul R. Brubaker, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT Robert E. Skinner, Jr. George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn, and Foreign Secretary, Transportation Research Board National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC Sean T. Connaughton, Maritime Administrator, U.S.DOT SECRETARY LeRoy Gishi, Chief, Division of Transportation, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Christopher W. Jenks Interior, Washington, DC Transportation Research Board Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads, Washington, DC John H. Hill, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT John C. Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington, DC Carl T. Johnson, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, John C. Stennis Space Center, MS Thomas J. Madison, Jr., Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association, Washington, DC Nicole R. Nason, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT James S. Simpson, Federal Transit Administrator, U.S.DOT Robert A. Sturgell, Acting Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration, U.S.DOT Robert L. Van Antwerp (Lt. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC *Membership as of June 2008. *Membership as of September 2008.

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AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM ACRP REPORT 8 Lightning-Warning Systems for Use by Airports Lawrence Heitkemper Ronald F. Price MDA FEDERAL INC. Rockville, MD David B. Johnson NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH Boulder, CO Subject Areas Aviation Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2008 www.TRB.org

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AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM ACRP REPORT 8 Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in trans- Project 04-02 portation of people and goods and in regional, national, and inter- ISSN 1935-9802 national commerce. They are where the nation's aviation system ISBN: 978-0-309-11752-4 connects with other modes of transportation and where federal respon- Library of Congress Control Number 2008908760 sibility for managing and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most 2008 Transportation Research Board airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Coopera- COPYRIGHT PERMISSION tive Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously to meet demands placed on it. published or copyrighted material used herein. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The ACRP carries understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB or FAA endorsement out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the agencies and are not being adequately addressed by existing federal material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate research programs. It is modeled after the successful National Coopera- acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of tive Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Pro- the material, request permission from CRP. gram. The ACRP undertakes research and other technical activities in a variety of airport subject areas, including design, construction, mainte- nance, operations, safety, security, policy, planning, human resources, NOTICE and administration. The ACRP provides a forum where airport opera- tors can cooperatively address common operational problems. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Airport Cooperative Research Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the The ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing 100-Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary partici- Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the pants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP purposes and resources of the National Research Council. Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review Department of Transportation with representation from airport oper- this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration ating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), and the Air Transport necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, or the Federal Aviation Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Association (ATA) as vital links to the airport community; (2) the TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to (3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. contract with the National Academies formally initiating the program. The ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials, Council, and the Federal Aviation Administration (sponsor of the Airport Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research orga- names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the clarity and nizations. Each of these participants has different interests and respon- completeness of the project reporting. sibilities, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Research problem statements for the ACRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to the TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by iden- tifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed by the TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport pro- fessionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels pre- pare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and Published reports of the selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooper- AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM ative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP are available from: project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the Transportation Research Board Business Office intended end-users of the research: airport operating agencies, service 500 Fifth Street, NW providers, and suppliers. The ACRP produces a series of research Washington, DC 20001 reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties, and industry associations may arrange for work- and can be ordered through the Internet at shops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore results are implemented by airport-industry practitioners. 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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR ACRP REPORT 8 Christopher W. Jenks, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Crawford F. Jencks, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Charles W. Niessner, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications ACRP PROJECT 04-02 PANEL Field of Safety Allen D. Parra, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Chair) Vincent J. Cardillo, Massachusetts Port Authority, East Boston, MA Parker W. McClellan, Jr., Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, Orlando, FL Lawrence Smith, Odessa, FL Mark Weber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Thomas Mai, FAA Liaison Christine Gerencher, TRB Liaison

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FOREWORD By Charles W. Niessner Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report provides a quantitative means to assess the operational benefits associated with delay reductions that lightning detection and warning systems can generate. The report will be of particular interest to airline and airport personnel responsible for aircraft ramp safety. Air carriers and airports are concerned with the potential hazards of lightning. Safety policies and practices require that ramp operations be discontinued when the potential for lightning exists. Ramp closures significantly affect all facets of airport operations, including landside, terminal, and airside operations, and the National Airspace System. The severity of these effects could be reduced if current airport lightning-warning systems were enhanced to more precisely identify the periods when ramp closures must be in effect. For example, this could be accomplished by integrating measurements from other weather- observing systems, such as radar, into the lightning-warning systems. Research is needed to determine appropriate methodologies and expected improvements in warning capability. Under ACRP Project 04-02, "Lightning-Warning Systems for Use by Airports," re- searchers at MDA Federal Inc., developed a quantitative means to assess the operational benefits associated with delay reductions that lightning detection and warning systems can generate. It enables an assessment of whether such systems are cost-beneficial on an indi- vidual airport or airline basis. The researchers reviewed and evaluated existing/developing technologies for the mea- surement and prediction of lightning hazards, conducted a survey of selected airports and airlines to identify capabilities and limitations, assessed users' satisfaction with existing warning systems, and performed a cost analysis of operational costs resulting from airport ramp/apron closures. The current state of the industry for airport lightning detection and warning systems appears to be effective. However, there are a number of ways to refine and improve the systems by making better use of the currently available weather observations through the development of "smarter" software and analysis algorithms. These changes have the potential to further minimize the number and duration of ramp closure events and enhance ramp worker safety decision making.

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AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS MDA Federal Inc. was the prime contractor for this study, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research was a subcontractor. Authors of this report are Lawrence Heitkemper, Vice President, MDA Federal; Ronald F. Price, Program ManagerAviation Services, MDA Federal, who also served as the Principal Investigator; and David B. Johnson, Ph.D., Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research. The project benefited from an expert panel organized by the Transportation Research Board. The panel was convened to review the working papers prepared during the course of the study and to meet with the MDA Federal team as we began to assemble our final report. The panel provided helpful and responsive feedback that enhanced the utility of the study research. The authors also wish to express appreciation to the various staff of the airports and airlines surveyed as part of this study. They provided information concerning the lightning detection and warning systems that they employ and the processes and procedures they follow in managing the utilization of the aircraft ramp and personnel that are assigned to outdoor activities. These included representatives from the following airports and airlines: Airports Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, North Carolina Chicago-O'Hare International Airport, Illinois Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, Texas Denver International Airport, Colorado Orlando International Airport, Florida Phoenix-Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona Pittsburgh International Airport, Pennsylvania Tampa International Airport, Florida Airlines American Airlines Northwest Airlines United Airlines United Parcel Service The authors also acknowledge the assistance and support of Dan Breed and Frank Hage from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, as well as background discussions with Don MacGorman, NOAA National Severe Storm Laboratory (NSSL); Bill Beasley, University of Oklahoma; and Steve Good- man, NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS). During the course of our study we visited Vaisala's Tucson Operations Center in Arizona and the offices of Weather Decision Technologies in Norman, Oklahoma. During our visits and in subsequent interchanges, we received valuable support and a wealth of information from Nick Demetriades, Martin Murphy, Ron Holle, Nic Wilson, and Geoff Bing (all from Vaisala), and from Mike Eilts, President and CEO of Weather Decision Technologies, Inc. We also received detailed product information from Jim Block (DTN/ Meteorlogix) and from Mark Miller, Peter Neilley, and Kim Rauenzahn (all from WSI). Our appreciation is also extended to the American Meteorology Society, which permitted us to reprint definitions of lightning terms from their Glossary of Meteorology. Finally, the authors express their sincere thanks to ACRP Senior Program Officer Charles Niessner for his assistance throughout the project and to Adrienne Blackwell, Senior Program Assistant, for facilitat- ing the panel meetings and other aspects of producing the final research report. NOTE The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research Council, and the Federal Aviation Administration (sponsor of the Airport Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are consid- ered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting.

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CONTENTS 1 Summary 7 Chapter 1 Background 7 Lightning Properties, Behavior, and Terminology 11 Lightning Detection Technologies 15 Review of Current Airport Lightning Detection Technologies 19 Lightning Prediction Technologies 25 Chapter 2 Airport and Airline Surveys 25 Introduction 25 Survey Results 32 Survey Observations 33 Conclusions 34 Chapter 3 Cost Analysis 34 Introduction 34 Airport Operations During Lightning Events 34 Specific Impacts and Costs of Suspending Ramp Operations 35 Approach to Cost Savings Analysis 36 Analysis of Costs 36 Case Studies 42 Shorter Duration Events 43 30/15 Analysis 43 Findings 45 Chapter 4 Conclusions 45 Current Systems 46 Smart Algorithms and Software 47 Integrating Technologies for Improved Performance 48 Predicting Lightning Hazards 48 Making Use of Existing Data Integration Systems 49 Additional Issues 49 Looking Toward the Future 50 Summary and Recommendations 52 References 54 Abbreviations 55 Appendix A Lightning Events Data 63 Appendix B Glossary of Lightning Terms