National Academies Press: OpenBook

Subsurface Utility Engineering Information for Airports (2012)

Chapter: Chapter Seven - Conclusions

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Page 33
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Seven - Conclusions." 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 33
Page 34
Suggested Citation:"Chapter Seven - Conclusions." 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 34

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33 Many airports have formal programs to support utility data collection, storage, and use. Some airports are applying the basic principles of subsurface utility engineering (SUE), but not all use it effectively. Airports and their consultants may not be aware of ASCE 38 and its benefits. There are a few airports that have contracted for and received SUE mapping for individual projects, and a few have begun successful pro- grams to integrate project data into an overall airport map- ping program. Literature clearly notes that utilities present risks to proj- ects of all kinds, and that applying the principles of SUE is an effective way to mitigate and manage those risks. Airports possess many of the right tools to have an effec- tive overall subsurface utility management program: geo- graphic information system (GIS), control over activities on the airport property, adequate survey control density, and clear lines of sight to Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites. They also have personnel with experience in GIS capabilities. A significant impediment to an effective program to man- age utility data and use it effectively is a lack of SUE focus. Project managers, airport engineers, and GIS/Computer- Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)/asset managers need more information on how to effectively integrate SUE into their project development process. The following sugges- tions for further research and technology transfers might remedy that situation: • Increase awareness and training on SUE practices: Airport staff and consultants need resources to learn about and better understand effective SUE practices and published guidelines. A guidebook may be help- ful in leveraging lessons learned, research, and work completed by others. • Integration of utility mapping with geotechnical investigations: Geotechnical investigations are typi- cally conducted with a variety of surface geophysics and exploratory boreholes. Utilities interfere with these investigations by contributing to energy fields in the regions of investigation. As such, there is an attempt to eliminate utility “noise” so that interpretations are more valid. Research would helpful in describing advanced geophysics now available for the purposes of mapping utilities that may have application to air- ports. This research would produce significant cost savings, while at the same time increasing data qual- ity at airports. A research project to identify applicable geotechnical factors for investigation, coupled with a trial project or two to analyze results and costs savings, might be useful. • Development of SUE prequalification criteria: Many state DOTs have developed specific SUE prequalifica- tion materials. Airports may benefit from research into SUE prequalification checklists and other materials. • Standard scopes of work for utility mapping: There are many standard items that can be placed in a scope of work for utility mapping. Research into a standardized scope of work for utility mapping that shows manda- tory items along with optional items may be useful for airports. • Cost guidelines: The Maryland State Highway Admin- istration provides cost guidelines for SUE work per linear foot along state highways. While helpful for highway projects, metrics based on linear foot may be more conducive to linear transportation networks such as streets and highways. Research into airport cost metrics that are based on area and can be appropriately weighted to apron areas, runway and taxiway areas, and non-aircraft operating area portions of their property may be helpful to airports. Because SUE services are often required during design, the typical percentages of overall project design costs will also help airports assess the amount of money SUE services will require. Such metrics may assist airports competitively procure SUE services. • Development of a utility data model: Currently, a gap exists between the overly detailed Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure and the Envi- ronment, inconsistent data models published by soft- ware vendors, and the simplified utilities structure in the FAA’s AC 150/5300-18B. Research into devel- opment of an airport industry data model or standard that is compatible with FAA, ASCE, and other rel- evant guidelines may be useful to airports. • Improved CADD–GIS interoperability: As a grow- ing number of airports use GIS, it is becoming more important to exchange data between GIS and CADD software packages. Research into airport CADD–GIS exchange standards and/or nonproprietary data formats would be helpful to airports. chapter seven ConClusions

34 • Development of a metadata profile: Metadata are attached to CADD and/or GIS utilities data used by airports. Research into an airport metadata profile may describe the source, method of collection, quality level, date or validity of the data collected, and feature level. This may be helpful to airports describing their sub- surface utilities. • Integrating utilities into the project development process for airports: Other transportation sectors have developed a multitude of flow charts, coordination check- lists, design criteria, utility avoidance strategies, and other items that can be incorporated into a project’s planning, design, and construction process. Research into develop- ing such an application to airports may be useful.

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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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