National Academies Press: OpenBook

Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports (2012)

Chapter: Chapter Four - State of the Practice

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter Four - State of the Practice." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2012. Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22751.
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20 This chapter describes the degree to which airports, their consultants, and the FAA are applying state of the science technologies and SOA practices when collecting, storing, or using utilities information. In general, there is a significant gap between what airports are doing and how the SOT and SOA practices can assist in collecting, storing, and applying information on subsurface utilities. Few airports collect utilities data using the full range of applicable technologies. Interview and survey respondents reported that because of a lack of awareness of the options, too much reliance is placed on consultant practices that vary firm by firm and sometimes even within firms. Technology gaps may also reflect limited funds. A more significant gap exists between SOA policies, procedures, standards, and organiza- tional structures that promote the exchange of utilities data, and the practices many airports report currently using. Many airports and consultants do not follow the ASCE 38 practice of having a registered surveyor or engineer sign or stamp deliverables that contain utilities information (according to interviews and survey). Interview and survey respondents acknowledge that uncertainty as to the quality of the airport’s utilities information leads to risks for the airport and other consultants who rely on this information. Once information is collected, there is a broad range of practices for storing and retrieving it at airports. Interview and survey responses indicate that a few but growing number of airports have standards that they believe are adequate for capturing their utilities data. However fewer airports have policies and procedures in place for handling the informa- tion once it is received. Most larger airports and a growing number of medium and small airports are beginning to use consolidated CADD drawings, GIS databases, electronic document management systems, and asset management sys- tems to store and retrieve their utilities data. When using utilities information, many airport staff mem- bers and consultants complain about the challenging organiza- tional and interpersonal dynamics required to find and obtain the information they need. While many accept the accuracy of the data they receive, especially if metadata are provided, most survey respondents and interviewees want more com- prehensive coverage. Following are more specifics on what is currently being done, and the next chapter highlights some of the practices that could be adopted. OrganizatiOnal FactOrs Organizational factors, including awareness, organizational culture and interpersonal dynamics, policies and procedures, procurement practices, and funding sources, were high- lighted in many interviews and surveys as being critical fac- tors to the success of utilities data collection, storage and use. available information In comparison with other modes of transportation and with several other industries in general, there is relatively little literature published about collecting, storing, and using information about utilities at airports. Much of the material that is available is marketing material from private firms that provide SUE services to airports. In addition, vague, incomplete, or in some cases errone- ous interpretation of the material that is published is fairly common. Practitioners of SUE in the aviation industry have typically heard of ASCE 38-02, but interview and survey respondents reported that few have applied its specific provi- sions beyond the concepts of the four QLs defined within it. Although these QLs may have been achieved, they are not necessarily always differentiated on the plans nor explained to the design engineers or constructors. Many of the respon- dents are also aware of the Spatial Data Standards for Facili- ties, Infrastructure, and the Environment (SDSFIE), but few are aware of recent changes to this standard or of alternatives that exist (see the section on Data Standards in this chapter and the following chapter on Effective Practices). interpersonal Dynamics One of the key factors affecting the success of utilities data collection at airports is interpersonal dynamics. At almost all airports interviewed, dynamics of this nature both helped and hindered access to the utilities data people require. Interview and survey respondents reported that different departments often hold their information close and only share it when it is in their best interests. Furthermore, consultants often with- hold data they have collected on past projects to support their current work and retain a competitive advantage for future work. Some organizations also cite security. The result limits the accessibility of data to individuals who have a legitimate need to know. As data become less accessible, project costs, chapter four state OF the Practice

21 change orders, the likelihood of costly utility breaks, and safety risks all go up. Many of the airports interviewed rely exclusively on design and construction project managers to implement SUE-related policies and procedures as they see fit. Many of these project managers rely primarily on the expertise of the consultants they have hired. There are advantages and disadvantages of this approach. An advantage is that it allows consultants to carry out tasks using the best technology and methods of which they are aware. It also allows them to work in ways in which their staff have been trained and become accustomed. The primary drawback of this approach is that work is carried out in a variety of ways, which can lead to inconsistent results. AASHTO, most state DOTs, and some large facility owners have overcome organizational and interpersonal constraints by establishing written programs that include standards, poli- cies, and procedures that enforce consistency without con- straining efficiency. A small but growing number of airports have also begun to establish programs of this nature. Interview and survey respondents reported that airports schedule meetings at the beginning of and periodically dur- ing all design and construction projects. Occasionally this is also done as a part of major tenant improvement projects. Airports that conduct such meetings as a matter of policy and/ or standard procedure have found that better coordination from the onset can lead to better use of available resources and better chances of receiving quality data. Another quality of data improvement includes use of secure Internet sites to exchange data. Allowing authorized individuals to access utilities data in a secure manner over the Internet increases the accessibility of data while not com- promising its security. • Policies and Procedures—Although most airports interviewed and survey respondents reported having CADD standards that identify the format of delivered drawings, and some airports have procedures governing the use of utilities data, few airports have established procedures for collecting utilities data. They typically rely on the knowledge and experience of their outside design consultants to complete a design or data collec- tion project. This can lead to variation in the manner in which the data are collected, which can degrade the consistency of the data once consolidated with deliver- ables from other consultants. • Procurement—A few of the airports interviewed and several DOTs have prequalification requirements for SUE providers to help streamline the procurement pro- cess. A copy of some of these prequalification require- ments is provided in Appendix C. FHWA has prepared a sample scope of work for SUE services (see Appen- dix D), which some airports and many state DOTs have modified for their use. Some state DOTs have published their own standard scope of services. These standardized descriptions ease the burden on individual project managers tasked with defining the SUE services they require. • Airport Funded Activities—Some of the airports inter- viewed have allocated operational funds (as opposed to capital funds supported by FAA grants, as described below) to SUE activities. A few airports have con- ducted SUE projects as a means of developing com- prehensive CADD and/or GIS maps of utilities in preparation for construction activities. Some airports have also selected on-call consultants that can provide SUE services on an as-needed basis. A few larger air- ports employ staff members who are familiar with SUE and can perform records research and field survey of utility appurtenances themselves, relying on external consultants for more equipment-intensive subsurface detection and excavation services. • FAA Funded Projects—Many airport capital improve- ments are funded through federal grants or the use of passenger facility charges. These funds carry grant assur- ances and other requirements. Through the Airports GIS Program and other programs, the FAA is beginning to require standardized collection and submittal of geospa- tial data. The requirements for these submittals are defined in FAA Advisory Circulars, notably AC150/5300-16, -17 and -18, which define geodetic control, remote sens- ing, and GIS data collection and submittal requirements. Utilities data and references to ASCE 38 are covered in AC150/5300-18. When conducting capital improvement projects funded through FAA Airport Improvement Pro- gram (AIP) grants or projects able to utilize Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs), airport managers may be able to include subsurface utility data collection costs into their projects. Airport managers can contact the FAA Office of Airports for specific eligibility requirements. cOllecting subsurFace utilities Data Most airports and consultants initially, and often exclusively, rely on records research to identify the location of utilities. This research is often carried out first by searching through available record drawings and then by contacting individu- als believed to have additional information. Following are the methods currently according to phone interviews and in survey responses. • Manual Document Research—More often than not, utilities records research involves a physical search of documents kept in hard copy, CD or DVD, and/or on networked disc drives. These archives are typically accessed by indexing the project that installed or dis- covered a utility and then searching sheet-by-sheet for relevant details. The process is labor-intensive and sub- ject to omissions because of lost, damaged, checked out, or misfiled documents. The process also imposes a con- straint on consultants because few airports will allow them to remove needed documents from the premises.

22 • Electronic Document Research—At a moderate but growing number of large and medium airports, record drawings have been entered into a document manage- ment system that enables electronic search and retrieval. These systems range from custom software developed by consultants to meet an airport’s specific needs to commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) software solutions. Custom software can be expensive, but pro- vides greater flexibility to address the specific needs, preferences, and work processes of that airport. COTS solutions range widely in price and but are developed to address more general needs. A small but growing subset of airports utilizes document management systems that can link related documents to the geographic location of specific utility assets. These “GIS- enabled” document management systems typically provide a map display and the ability to search for documents related to a specific location. The location specified is often a gen- eralized reference (e.g., a roughly drawn bounding area or a grouping of associated map grid cells) to the location of the project that first installed or discovered the location of the utility. Most airports that have an electronic document man- agement system that allows authorized consultants to use it while on airport property and a few have begun to offer these capabilities through secure systems available on the Internet. • Word-of-Mouth—Informal communication between individuals is a pervasive method used to gather airport utilities data. This method is especially prevalent and valuable when the information desired is from outside the department or organization that needs it. Although the results of such inquiries can be beneficial, success relies heavily on knowing and maintaining a friendly relationship with those who possess the information or who know someone who does. Restrictive organiza- tional policies regarding data sharing, labor-intensive data retrieval processes, and retirement or death of individuals who are “in the know” limit the success of this method. There is also a limit to human recollec- tion, given the rapidly growing volume of records and associated data enabled by modern CADD and GIS technology. Once records research has been completed, some airports attempt to directly locate utilities and record specific infor- mation about them. This field work is often done in prep- aration for and as a part of an infrastructure development program. Following are common methods used by interview and survey respondents to collect these data. • Remote Sensing—Remote sensing involves measur- ing without coming into physical contact with the subject. This method includes aerial photography and Light Detection & Ranging (LiDAR). Airports typi- cally collect aerial photography (a few airports do so as frequently as once a year) as a means of develop- ing GIS and/or CADD maps that can be used for plan- ning and preliminary design purposes. Technological advances and the increasing sophistication of users of this information have fueled a trend toward higher resolution and accuracy imagery. Common resolutions include 1-ft, 6-in., and 3-in. square pixel sizes. To some degree 6-in., but especially 3-in resolution imagery can be used to identify and locate utility assets on or above the ground. The use of such imagery to locate and/or confirm the location of visible portions of the utility is growing among airports, especially as new FAA GIS requirements are prompting more aerial imagery col- lections at airports. LiDAR technology is typically not used by airports or their consultants to collect utilities data, although it has been used in other industries. One limitation of LiDAR is that the assets being identified must be exposed and in the line of sight of the laser scanning device at the time the survey is conducted. This can present a logistical challenge to con- struction crews and equipment, as well as to project sched- ules. Some airports and their consultants are considering, and in a few cases applying, LiDAR as a means of supporting other non-utilities data collection efforts. FAA Standards for Using Remote Sensing Technologies in Airport Surveys (AC150/5300-17C) prescribe methods of collecting and sub- mitting geospatial data depicting many airport features using LiDAR, although its use in collecting utilities data are cur- rently not accepted. • Geophysical Detection—As with aerial photography and LiDAR, subsurface detection technologies can remotely sense the location of a utility without com- ing into direct contact with it. GPR, EML, and RFID are examples of subsurface detection technologies that airports have used with varying degrees of success, depending on differing soil types, lack of knowledge of the limitations of the technology, and limited expe- rience with the necessary equipment. Cost, however, appears to be the primary factor that results in GPR only being used on a limited, case-by-case basis. Often the technology is only used where critical utilities are suspected and design/construction is imminent. • Field Surveying—Most airports have a means of col- lecting survey coordinates (x, y, and z) of utilities on the surface or exposed by construction. Some of the larger airports employ licensed land surveyors for utili- ties, properties, and other data collection requirements. Others retain on-call local consultants who can survey exposed utility locations. Several airports interviewed indicated that it was helpful to use these contracts for surveying routine utility exposures, since the advance knowledge of when a utility might be exposed and sur- veyed was rare. Some airports attempt to use their on-call or in-house capabilities to survey One-Call or contract locator markings.

23 Although this is better than not capturing those marks, it is important to note that this does not lead to QLB information. ASCE 38 is currently under revision to clarify this point. Survey responses indicated that airports more often con- tract for such survey services as a part of design projects. Increasingly lower costs, productivity improvements of newer devices, and the need for greater accuracy have favored the use of RTK GPS or total stations. An issue that often constrains the use of these technolo- gies is the need to come into direct physical contact with the utility. Such contact is limited by safety and security restric- tions on airfield, aircraft, and ground service operations; tight construction schedules; and the cost of excavating test holes or potholes. Although this data collection method provides coordinates of the utility asset, it does not necessarily pro- vide additional details such as the type of utility, material, condition, or invert elevations. For this reason, qualified engineers sometimes accompany surveyors in the field so that these data can be collected at the same time as the coor- dinates are recorded. Several airports interviewed noted a general lack of air- field electrical information and attributed this to the difficulty in detecting an underground conduit that does not necessarily follow straight lines and the volume of wires that can run through any given conduit. To compound the matter, many electrical engineering drawings are “one-line” diagrams that show a schematic of electrical conduit and lines that is not accurately tied to a known coordinate system. Collecting electric data is particularly important because electrical lines are among those that present the highest risk to airport operations and safety. • As-Builts—Most airports have policies that require consultants or contractors to submit as-built drawings. Seventy-five percent of airports interviewed (12 of 16) include as-built requirements in contracts. Half (8 of 16) also enforce their as-built policy by withholding a retainer fee. Despite these methods, only two of the 16 airports interviewed believed that as-builts accurately represent the installed location of utilities. Airports employees have recognized this problem, but only a few interviewed have gained management support to imple- ment remedies (e.g., enforcement of financial penalties and/or taking nondelivery into consideration in future competition for work) or to provide funding for alterna- tives (e.g., staff or on-call consultants to conduct field survey and prepare sufficient as-builts). As hard as col- lecting as-builts from consultants can be, airports are even more challenged to collect as-builts from tenants. One approach that has worked for some airports is to provide incentives to consultants, tenants, and the FAA such as a providing greater access to the airport’s data. • Data Collection Accuracies—Most airports and con- sultants desire survey-grade horizontal accuracies for utility assets that are on the surface or exposed by con- struction or potholing. Recognizing technical limita- tions, and citing cost and technical limitations, they are often satisfied with less precise vertical accuracy, especially of subsurface features. Regardless of the accuracy with which data are collected, the availability of metadata is essential in allowing users of the data to judge how and when to use it. In the end, all stake- holders appear to recognize the relationship between accuracy and cost and the variations in the relative ben- efits and costs of more accurate data on different types of projects. For these reasons, accuracy specifications appear to not be set by universal policy, but often on a case-by-case basis by the airport project manager in charge of the design or construction effort. Many inter- viewees have found through experience, however, that mapping grade surveys inherently lead to utility data that is usually insufficient for design purposes. stOring subsurFace utilities Data Data have diminished value unless stored in a manner that can be easily accessed and searched by those who need them. The manner in which utilities data are stored by airports ranges from secure, Internet-accessible databases to hand- marked drawings on the dashboard of a maintenance tech- nician’s truck. While the trend is clearly toward electronic storage and dissemination, several constraints—including time, money, and old habits—have slowed the progression. Based on the interviews, the following paragraphs describe how airports and their consultants store and access the utili- ties information they need. • Record Drawing Rooms—Most large airports have record drawing rooms with some sort of paper-based cataloguing system to help staff members or authorized consultants find the drawings they need. Usually, but not always, these drawing rooms are secure and ade- quately protected from fire and flooding. Medium and small airports typically retain some drawings on site, but often rely on record drawings retained by the parent authority, city, or county. Some airports try to obtain and retain copies of tenant and FAA drawings, but more often than not these records are requested only when needed to support a project and then discarded when the project is complete. It is relevant to note that inter- views with some airport staff members indicated that records drawings were readily available to consultants, but that consultants surveyed about those same airports indicated that they were not. • Electronic Records—Most airports receive design and as-built drawings in electronic format on CD/DVD or through e-mail. The files submitted are typically CADD drawings in the native format of the brand of CADD software in use at the airport. In some cases, PDF or image copies of these CADD drawings are also supplied.

24 In most cases, airports have CADD standards that describe how the data in the CADD drawings are to be delineated on separate layers, the symbology that is to be applied, and the cover sheets and title blocks to be used. Few specify file naming, title, or page num- bering conventions. At present few airports require QL attributes such as those detailed in ASCE 38. After the data are received, they are often kept on individual hard drives of the receiving project manager or consolidated onto shared network drives that others can easily access. • Document Management Systems—Some larger air- port interviewees have invested in electronic docu- ment management systems to store and retrieve record drawings and other documents. Often when they are first installed, tens or hundreds of thousands of historic hard-copy drawings and related documents are scanned and loaded into these systems. COTS document man- agement systems range in price from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars, depending on their capabilities. Some airports have opted to hire software developers to create custom document management systems tailored specifically to their needs. Additional information about each document can be entered as the original is loaded, which can be laborious and therefore expensive. The challenge is to identify the right balance of cost versus the ease of search and retrieval that these attributes offer. Airports have entered as few as two to three attributes and as many as 22. The desire to capture additional information about utilities has often fueled the desire for more attributes. Some airports have also tied the documents they enter into management systems to the geographic location of the facili- ties or assets referenced in each document. This is often most relevant when the document management system is used to search for utilities. • Consolidated Master Utility Drawings—Many large and medium sized airports interviewed consolidate util- ity record and as-built drawings as they are received into UCRs that show utilities infrastructure for the entire airport. Often these records are broken down into separate drawings for each type of utility. They are typ- ically placed on shared network drives or intranet sites for colleagues and authorized contractors to retrieve. • Consolidated Geographic Information System Data— Some interviewed airports have converted their UCR data into a GIS database. This is the GIS equivalent to a CADD UCR. The primary difference is that GIS data are often structured to hold attributes and metadata that enable more sophisticated searches and queries to be performed. Consolidated GIS data are sometimes stored as files on a shared network drive for airport staff and consultants to use. To open this software, they must have access to desktop GIS software that can read the GIS files. More often, especially at larger airports, these GIS data are kept in databases and made available to users through intranet web applications. • Utility Network Models—As noted previously, once utilities information has been consolidated into a stan- dardized and comprehensive data set, sophisticated queries, analyses, and reports can be carried out. These enable computers to understand the flow and capac- ity characteristics of a utility network, forecast peak demand, identify where pollutants may have entered or exited a system, isolate network branches in the event of a break, and produce other more sophisticated analyses. Few airports have taken their utilities data to this level. Most are focused on collecting a set of data that shows the location of utilities assets and a few key details. • Data Standards—A prerequisite to consolidating CADD or GIS data are standards that identify on which layers specific types of utilities assets will appear, their geo- metric properties, the way in which they appear on ren- dered maps and drawings, attribute details, and metadata that describe the quality of the data itself. Although sev- eral standards exist, the primary details most airports and consultants require about utilities assets are type, size, material, and ownership. Currently, airports store this information in a variety of manners suited to the individual needs of their project(s). While some have adopted national or international standards, there was little consistency among the airports and consultants interviewed. Following are some of the primary stan- dards that are currently being used, with modifications or in combination, by airports and consultants to store utilities data. – Department of Defense Spatial Data Standards for Facilities Infrastructure and the Environment (SDSFIE)—Originally developed by the Tri- Services CADD–GIS Technology Center under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, this standard encompasses an enormous amount of detail about utilities and other types of facilities and assets. The components of the standard are consistently defined and tools are freely available to help implement them. For these reasons, most airports that have used GIS to store utilities data have relied heavily on the SDSFIE. The key con- straint airports have faced is that the volume of lay- ers and attributes is broader than an airport typically requires and far more extensive than an airport will ever fully employ. Another constraint is that the older policy of expanding the SDSFIE to better suit non- defense applications has been reversed under new DOD leadership. – U.S. National CADD Standard—Most U.S. air- ports have adopted the U.S. National CADD Stan- dard (or the corresponding American Institute of Architects CADD layering standards) and require their consultants to submit design and as-built data in this format.

25 for utilities and communications, and is eventually slated to become a mandate for any projects that apply federal funds to the development of geospatial data, which will include most airports, few airports currently know it exists. A key challenge airports face with regard to meta- data that describe utilities data is the need to describe subsets of data (i.e., specific groups of features) dif- ferently. For example, it is relevant to differentiate between airfield lights collected through survey means versus digitized from a relatively old scanned as-built drawing. This increases the complexity and the burden of populating metadata about utilities. Another very important piece of metadata is the signa- ture or stamp of the licensed surveyor or engineer who pre- pared the utilities data. This signature or stamp certifies that a qualified and licensed professional is directly responsible for preparing the data to the appropriate standard of care. This conveys a certain level of trustworthiness to the recipi- ent and future users of the data. If a deliverable was prepared in accordance with ASCE 38, the users can make decisions based on the data with a high level of confidence. Interest- ingly, despite its virtues, few airports interviewed require stamped or signed SUE data deliverables. The result is data that may meet an immediate need, but may not instill confi- dence in future users. It is also in violation of ASCE 38. Only three of the SUE firms interviewed said they stamp their air- port mapping deliverables. Even the few airports interviewed that use SUE on a systematic basis to map utilities do not require their consultants to stamp their work when supplying data with a QL attribute. using subsurFace utilities Data The value of quality data is demonstrated when it is used to make decisions, perform analyses, avoid unintentional util- ity breaks, and support other activities. Quality encompasses many factors including accuracy, currency/timeliness, com- prehensiveness, conformance to specifications, correctness of attribute values, and the presence of metadata (FAA 2009). Utilities data are used by many, including airport planners, designers, contractors, maintenance technicians, emergency personnel, meter readers, and others. To make use of the data, they require easy access to the subset of avail- able information. Airports need data to be presented to them in a clear and comprehensible manner. They also need to know the quality and age of the data. With this information, they can apply responsibility and with confidence to the tasks at hand. Following are the primary ways airport interviewees are using the utilities data they collect and store. • Design—Having quality information regarding subsur- face utilities available during the early design phases of a project can help planners, architects, engineers, and others eliminate consideration of project alternatives – Software Vendor Models—A couple of software vendors have developed data standards for utilities. Although these models are extensive, they have been developed by disparate industry groups or private firms and therefore lack consistency, making them difficult for airports to implement in a uniform way. Also, because these standards were developed for broader markets, they are not perfectly matched to the typical needs of airports. – FAA Advisory Circular 150/5300-18B—General Guidance and Specifications for Submission of Aero- nautical Surveys to NGS: Field Data Collection and Geographic Information System (GIS) Standards. This document was issued in 2009 and is being rolled out nationwide as a requirement of airports using federal funding. It requires that airports collect and submit GIS data in a specified format to an FAA website. Included in this standard are a few specific (e.g., airfield lights and utility tank site) and a few generic (i.e., utility point, utility line, and utility polygon) definitions. While this utilities data struc- ture is significantly less detailed than what airports typically require, it does provide a means for airports to share GIS data depicting utility locations with the FAA. This standard is also one of the few that men- tions and encourages the use of ASCE 38-02. – INSPIRE—European countries have collaborated in developing a spatial data infrastructure called INSPIRE, which includes data standards encom- passing utilities. These standards are roughly anal- ogous to the Framework Data Content Models developed by the Federal Geographic Data Commit- tee (FGDC), under the eGovernment program. An advantage of these broad standards is that they allow software vendors to develop advanced products that can be used by those who adopt it. A disadvantage of these standards is that they are often too broad to be used as-is by a vertical market such as airports. Also, potential users who have already developed a standard sometimes face challenges when adapting their data to meet the requirements of the broader standard. – Metadata Standards—Although most individuals interviewed recognize the value of metadata in con- junction with utilities, few have adopted uniform standards to represent that metadata. The FGDC’s Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM), Version 2, is broadly recognized as a de- facto standard for capturing metadata, but few prac- titioners in the airport industry fill these data in. GIS practitioners in the energy industry have also devel- oped a profile of the International Standards Organi- zation (ISO) Geographic Information Metadata stan- dard (ISO 19115). A similar profile of this standard is being developed in cooperation with the FGDC for broader use throughout North America (ANSI 2009). While this standard has a specific application

26 • Facilities Maintenance—Often preventative mainte- nance and work order requests are associated with utili- ties. When work orders are issued, it is often difficult to accurately identify the specific asset that requires atten- tion, given the variety of verbal or written descriptions that are used to identify its location. In addition, details about the asset such as size, material, part numbers, etc., are often not available. Consequently, a considerable amount of time and money is wasted on repeated visits to the location, maintenance applied to the wrong asset, or maintenance applied to assets soon to be removed. To remedy this problem, many large and medium-sized airports interviewed have implemented CMMS. These sys- tems track work orders, maintenance labor, materials, parts and other supplies, and the cost of maintaining airport infra- structure. Some of these systems can be linked to maps con- taining GIS data to precisely locate facilities and assets being maintained. Whether a CMMS is map-enabled or not, it does require quality utilities information so that assets are discreetly identified and the appropriate level of detail is available. One challenge in associating data in a CMMS with utility data are that utility data that has originated from a SUE-mapping deliverable and is stored in a CADD or GIS format is typi- cally far more specific (or granular) than data in a CMMS. Assets or facilities (particularly small, high-quantity items such as valves or lights) are often grouped into logical units in a CMMS. An example would be all valves on a certain branch of a utility network or all lights in a parking area. The result is that it is very difficult to link the individual assets (i.e., a single valve or light) with the group of items recognized by a CMMS. Airports that have had the ability to implement CMMS in par- allel and in close coordination with a GIS system have often done better at establishing a link between the data in the two systems. • Asset Management—The use of asset management practices and information systems is a growing trend in the airport industry. The term asset management, however, is being used to describe a broad variety of processes and systems. GIS, CMMS, building control and monitoring, and other tools are often included in the realm of asset management. Asset management can also include inspection and current condition data. The purest definition of asset management is financial, encompassing the cost, useful life, and replacement value information about specific assets. Utilities assets are critical to the operation of an airport, are very large in quantity, and are typically hidden from view or easy access. Quality data about utilities is therefore a criti- cal part of an asset management system, and one that is often difficult to develop. • Metering—A small but by no means insignificant stream of revenue at airports comes from gas, electrical, fuel, and other meters that measure the use of product that are unfeasible or too costly. Good data also help archi- tects and engineers come up with optimal project designs. Planning and preliminary design can consume 5% to 15% of the cost of a typical airport construction project, 5% to 10% of which is spent on gathering information, much of it about utilities. Having quality data available at the onset of a project can therefore also provide significant saving to the project as a whole. Designers and architects use utilities data in a variety of ways. First, they are looking for utilities that are in the way of the infrastructure to be developed and must be relocated or avoided. Second, they are looking for utilities that will need to be used to provide service to the infrastructure being developed. Lastly, they are concerned with utilities near a project site that should be avoided during the construction phase of a project. Airport designers and architects predominantly use CADD software to do this design work. GIS is often used for analysis and the identification of possible conflicts. For architecture and design work associated with buildings, BIM is rapidly emerging as a very powerful, 3D, analytic tool that can be used to manage infrastructure need of buildings throughout their life cycle. While most design and architecture work is carried out in an office using CADD, GIS, BIM, and other software, some utility companies have taken proposed designs into the field to confirm or check the proposed designs against existing conditions. This requires the use of powerful hand- held, tablet, or ruggedized laptops that can be brought into the field. • Construction—Utilities data are important during con- struction so that workers can take the proper precau- tions to avoid utility breaks or risks to their personal safety. Locating and marking utilities within or near a construction area, carrying hard-copy record draw- ings into the field, and utilizing the utilities data pres- ent on design drawings are common methods used on airport construction projects. Less prevalent techniques include confirming the location of subsurface utilities using RFID technology, GPS-equipped construction equipment, and mobile computing devices. • Inspection—Aside from the mandated daily airfield inspections that certificated airports (14 CFR Part 159) are required to carry out, the most frequently inspected assets at airports tend to be utilities. Having reliable data showing the location and characteristics of utili- ties can not only ease the inspection process, but it can ensure thorough results and protect the safety of workers. Some airports have coordinated data collec- tion activities with utility asset inspections. While some airports have used mobile computing devices during inspections, the practice is far more pervasive in the public utility industry.

27 ports have general data usage guidelines that must be accepted and signed. Some airports have defined Sen- sitive Security Information to include utilities infra- structure that directly support security activities such as closed circuit television cameras. grOwing use OF subsurFace utilities engineering at airPOrts In spite of gaps between SOT and SOA, there is an ever increasing use of SUE both on airport projects (Pillar 2001) and for complete airport facility mapping programs (Nelson 2008). Surveys of SUE consultants identified 44 airports where SUE was contracted in the past 10 years, almost exclu- sively limited to mapping functions. conveyed through subsurface utilities. Whether meters are read by airport staff or third parties, quality data about the location, condition, and accessibility of the meters are important for productivity, safety, and mini- mal impact on airport operations. Many airports rely on manual reading of meters and hard-copy records. The trend in the overall utility industry, however, is to rely more heavily on automated meter reading and mobile computing devices. • Data Security—As a greater volume of utilities data is disseminated to a broader audience, often by means of the Internet, concerns over protecting it from mistaken or malicious acts becomes increasingly important. Air- ports have developed data security policies, but not necessarily at a granular level that clearly indicate how utilities data are to be protected and handled. Some air-

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 34: Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports examines ways in which information on subsurface utilities is collected, maintained, and used by airports, their consultants, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to help increase the effectiveness of, and enhance safety during, infrastructure development programs at airports.

The report also compares the current state of technology and effective processes from other industry sectors with what airports do today.

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