National Academies Press: OpenBook

Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports (2012)

Chapter: Chapter Five - Effective Practices

« Previous: Chapter Four - State of the Practice
Page 28
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Five - Effective Practices." 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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Page 28
Page 29
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Five - Effective Practices." 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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Page 29
Page 30
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Five - Effective Practices." 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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Page 30

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28 This chapter identifies utility data collection, storage, and application practices that the literature review, interviews, and survey responses indicated are particularly effective at airports. In many cases, these practices are being applied. It can be noted that the practices identified here may not always be appropriate to an individual airport situation. Using SUE effectively requires a variety of skills and coordinated work processes. Airport project managers and engineers are the primary parties responsible for carrying out effective SUE practices. However, they need to interact with airport management, GIS/CADD technicians, surveyors, public utility companies, and others as they carry out these practices. They also require support from records librar- ians and/or CADD/GIS program managers who can store and retrieve the utilities information produced. An effective practice referred to repeatedly in both interviews and surveys was the establishment of a single responsible department to oversee continuity of managing subsurface utility informa- tion on airports. This oversight department has the mandate to coordinate between the different stakeholders within the airport property to ensure the capture, dissemination, and management of utility information. Stakeholders identified as potentially involved in the utility process depending upon the airport structure and type of project and therefore needing coordination of activities may include: • Airport and/or public agency project manager • Airport and/or public agency utility design or reloca- tion designers • Airport and/or public agency project design engineers or their consultants • Airport and/or public agency utility engineer • Airport and/or public agency survey section personnel • Airport and/or public agency property department • Airport and/or public agency maintenance personnel • Airport and/or public agency construction inspectors • Airport and/or public agency consultants for construc- tion inspection • Airport and/or public agency roadway department • Design or planning consultant hired by the airport and/ or public agency • Survey consultant hired by the airport and/or public agency • State One-Call center • Utility company records personnel • Utility company engineering personnel • Utility company “locators” • Utility company “contract locators” • Private industry “private utility locators” • Utility company construction inspectors • Utility company consultants for relocation design • FAA • Agency tenants • U.S. military • FHWA • SUE consultants • Construction personnel • Maintenance personnel • GIS departments • Contracts and procurement departments • Railroad companies. The level of effort and therefore the number of people required to support these various positions obviously varies greatly according to the size of the airport or project. These activities can be performed as a part of existing employ- ees’ jobs on smaller projects and/or at smaller airports. More extensive construction programs at large airports may require several new staff members or consultants to fulfill these roles. Effective SUE practices start well before and end well after (if ever) infrastructure development projects. Organi- zational, policy, standards, and procedural activities start in advance of a design or construction project. Project cost con- trols, constructability, and project safety are all better man- aged when accurate and complete information about utilities is available as early as possible. Following is a checklist of specific effective activities that span the life cycle of typical airport construction programs. Each of these is described in more detail in the sections that follow: • Organizational structure that promotes utility data exchange • Procedures for SUE data collection and exchange • Data standards that promote usability • Policies that enforce standards and procedures • Qualified consultants • SUE Training • Data collection techniques • Coordinate with construction activities chapter five EffEctivE PracticEs

29 • Coordinate with maintenance activities • Deliverables that accurately depict utilities • Consolidate utilities data as it is received. The following paragraphs describe in detail the SUE- related processes that airports have found most effective: • Organizational structure that promotes data exchange: As noted in the chapter on state of the prac- tice, natural divisions between departments and organi- zations often introduce barriers to sharing information on subsurface utilities. Project costs, the risk of utility breaks, and safety concerns all decrease as informa- tion becomes more available. To achieve this, airports are increasingly relying on documented policies and procedures to encourage awareness and information exchange among those who have a right to know. Some airports have appointed asset managers, GIS/ CADD managers, and records librarians who are empowered to seek and share data across organizational boundaries. The individuals often become a focal point for data exchange and become aware of data sources and needs throughout the air- port. They are often invited to project kickoff, program coor- dination, and planning meetings and therefore can serve as a conduit that not only spans departments but also projects and programs within departments. Program and project manag- ers also play an important role in the sharing of utilities data, for it is they who are often the first recipient of delivered data and/or questions from consultants seeking data. • Procedures for utility data collection: There are myriad ways to collect, store, and use utilities data in an effective manner. Clearly documented procedures are important to successfully carrying out SUE-related tasks. These procedures identify the applicable stan- dards and specifications that must be met, describe how utilities data are to be submitted to the airport and how they will be checked, and describe the ways in which utilities data can be used. The procedures also document how field utilities data collection will be coordinated with airport construction projects as well as tenant improvement inspections. Points of contact for obtaining necessary airport security badges, coor- dination with airfield operations, potential sources of useful information, and other relevant stakeholders are identified. Information on soil resistivity, pavement reinforcements, and other airport-specific factors that can affect the performance of geophysical detection equipment, as well as positive/negative results from past geophysical efforts, are provided to help new con- sultants identify which tools and methods will likely work best. Procedures are specific, but allow for some flexibility for consultants to perform work in a manner that is efficient for their company and not impede the standard of care by dictating means and methods. As procedures and related standards and policy documents are developed, consistent terminology, specifications, and references are provided (Virginia DOT). • Data standards for consistency and usability: Data standards are established for the storage of utilities data. The U.S. National CADD Standard for CADD data and the DOD’s SDSFIE, the FAA’s AC150/5300-18B for GIS data, and the current FGDC CSDGM or ISO-19115 for metadata are adopted and adapted to meet airport- specific needs. ASCE 38 QLs are tracked within the metadata as well. Common CADD and GIS symbology are applied from sources such as the National CADD Standard or developed by the airport or its consultants. Standards such as these provide consistency, structure, and scalability to the vast and exponentially growing stores of utilities data that organizations are collecting. • Policies that enforce procedures and standards: Procedures and standards for collecting, storing, and using utilities data are typically enforced through writ- ten policies that are included in airport contracts, lease agreements, and other agreements that involve utilities information. Policies establish penalties for failure to submit stamped drawings that accurately depict as-built conditions and conform to the airport’s standards. In addition, funding is made available for airport staff or another consultant to develop as-builts if others do not submit them in a timely manner. • Qualified consultants: Consultants involved in SUE tasks are typically pre-qualified (see sample prequalifi- cation requirements in Appendix C) and selected based on professional qualifications, although cost may often be considered as well in conformance with the airport’s procurement practice. Having an on-call SUE consul- tant available can provide continuity and familiarity with the airport’s facilities, procedures, and policies. Airports participate with and coordinate with local One-Call systems. • SUE training: Project managers, engineers, and other airport staff members are trained in utilities issues, technologies, and procedures. Training is also provided to consultants and contractors on airport-specific poli- cies and procedures. • Data collection techniques: When utilities data are collected in the field, high-accuracy GPS equipment capable of horizontal accuracies of greater than ±1 ft is used. On projects where utilities are a potential fac- tor, utilities data at the appropriate QL (often QLB) should be collected as early as possible in the project life cycle. QLB searches within the project area are conducted for both known and unknown utilities. The search for unknown utilities also has security implica- tions (Anspach 2005). It is effective to consider the level of accuracy and/or investigation required of the not-visible underground utilities as comparable to the visible features that are included in an accurate and comprehensive topographic survey and obtain them in the same relative time frame of project development. On-call or airport staff members tasked with collecting

30 new or relocated utilities data in the field are in close coordination with construction crews so that utilities data can be captured before they are buried. Field sur- vey data are tied to established airport control points such as PACS/SACS and/or the National Spatial Refer- ence System. • Coordinate with construction activities: The level of effort required for utility mapping is discussed during the planning phase of any construction project. ASCE 38 serves as a guideline for developing a scope of work for utility mapping. As design proceeds, a standard- ized utility conflict matrix is developed. Just prior to construction, any One-Call locating activities are coor- dinated with the mapping process so that discrepan- cies with the mapping can be resolved and potentially fixed in the mapping record (along with the appropri- ate metadata). During construction, abandoned utilities are removed from the ground where feasible; the util- ity records are adjusted accordingly. At the beginning of, and at relevant junctures throughout a construction project, CADD/GIS personnel meet with project rep- resentatives to ensure that the necessary data are being collected in a proper format. As-builts are submitted where possible at the end of major construction phases, as opposed to months after construction activity is com- plete. If these phased deliverables do not meet the air- ports data standards requirements, progress payments are withheld or other corrective measures are imposed. Utilities data are incorporated into UCR, whether they are in CADD or GIS format, so that airport staff, con- sultants, and others with a need to know have informa- tion that is as up-to-date as possible (SHRP2 R01). • Coordinate with maintenance activities: As mainte- nance is performed on airport facilities and equipment, any relevant information on utilities discovered, changes in condition to known utilities, or any new utility instal- lations is recorded. If accurate location information is needed, coordination with airport staff or on-call con- sultants is important so that accurate information is cap- tured before the utility is covered. This information is submitted in a format, often by means of a CMMS, to a CADD or GIS manager who can have the data inte- grated into the airport’s UCR. • Deliverables that accurately depict utilities: Utility data research, field data collection, and utilities installed or encountered during construction are recorded on CADD drawings and/or GIS data sets that conform to the airport’s data standards. A registered engineer or sur- veyor signs or stamps these deliverables to ensure their reliability in accordance with ASCE 38. The deliverables are formatted so that planners, designers, engineers, and contractors can easily find the information they need and so that the data can easily be merged into consolidated CADD master drawings or a GIS data repository. • Consolidating utilities data as it is received: Utili- ties data from all available sources are consolidated into master utility CADD drawings and/or a centralized GIS database. This is done in as timely a manner as pos- sible, especially on large-scale construction programs where each subsequent phase can benefit from up-to- date and accurate information on subsurface utilities. Close conformance to SUE standards and procedures (as mentioned earlier) will ensure that data can be inte- grated with existing resources in a timely and effective manner. This integrated data can then be best deployed to planners, designers, engineers and contractors work- ing on subsequent phases. Implementing GIS so that advanced users can employ high- powered desktop software to perform sophisticated queries and analyses, while casual users can quickly and intuitively find the information they desire, is an effective way to disseminate utilities data. Standardized metadata identifying the source of the data, the project(s) responsible for installing or relocating the utility, the date the data were collected, the method of col- lection, and QL as defined in ASCE 38-02 are recorded for each individual utility component or feature as opposed to the over- all layer or feature class (e.g., metadata are recorded for each manhole as opposed to generalize metadata being recorded for all manholes). To ensure consistency, the consolidation (not the collec- tion) of utilities data is the responsibility of a single airport department and/or on-call consultant. The data management personnel that work with the data include a licensed surveyor and/or engineer who is familiar with airport utility engineer- ing and ASCE 38, as well as CADD/GIS technicians’ profi- cient in entering and editing the data. Drawings are submitted in a timely manner to those respon- sible for data consolidation. Tenant permit applications and inspections are used as a means of tracking utility installations by tenants and others not directly under contract with the air- port. Budget is set aside to help fill in the gaps in utilities data not collected under capital improvement or tenant improve- ment projects.

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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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