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Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 26 5 Airport Infrastructure Planning for UAS Suggested guidance on how to evaluate UAS demand and integrate UAS into airport infrastructure planning is provided in this section. Each airport has its own set of unique advantages, needs, opportunities and issues that should be considered when evaluating the viability of UAS activity at the airport. Therefore, although the following sections provide methodologies for evaluating UAS demand, infrastructure and operational requirements based upon the teamâs experience and expertise, without the existence of regulatory guidelines and standard practices, proposed UAS and airport guidance provided herein are educated strategies. Airport sponsors should work with their federal and state aviation program managers, airport stakeholders, consultants and UAS operators to design a plan that fits their specific needs and stay abreast of the evolving UAS industry, technology, guidance and regulations. Proposed guidance highlighted in this Section is based on current conditions described in Section 3. Case studies were conducted to test proposed planning concepts in a âreal worldâ environment. Input from airport management, stakeholders, FAA, state DOT, UAS operators and manufacturers, and academia were used to modify and/or create planning methodologies to address existing and potential UAS airport integration. Findings from Topics A, Managing Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Vicinity of Airports, B, Engaging Stakeholders in UAS, and D, Potential Use of UAS by Airport Operators, were also considered. The following Subsections provide suggested guidance for planning UAS integration into an airport environment. Accompanying âHow Toâ tools consisting of quick reference flow charts highlighting key components of the proposed planning process are provided in Section 11. UAS and Airport Planning Documentation According to the FAA, âAirport planning is a systematic process used to establish guidelines for the efficient development of airports that is consistent with local, state and national goalsâ¦. (and) assure the effective use of airport resourcesâ¦to satisfy aviation demand in a financially feasible manner.â (FAA, 2018). Airport planning includes national and state system plans, airport master plans for a specific airport and even planning studies related to a specific airport need and/or demand. Since UAS represents only a portion of an airportâs total demand and infrastructure needs, two types of planning documents could be developed to evaluate UAS integration: incorporation into an on-going airport master plan or development of a stand-alone UAS integration plan document. Both options achieve the same goal - providing a plan to effectively and efficiently use the airportâs physical and financial resources to support UAS. In developing the suggested planning processes, existing FAA and state DOT planning, environmental, design, and funding guidance was used where applicable. 5.1.1 UAS Integrated Airport Master Plan An airport master plan provides the airport sponsor short (5-years), mid (10 years) and long (20+ years) -range planning infrastructure and operational recommendations based upon existing and forecast demand, regulatory requirements and likely changes in the aviation/aerospace industry. Integrating UAS as part of an Airport Master Plan and Layout Plan allows UAS demand, infrastructure, noise levels, and operating criteria to be evaluated as part of the overall long-range planning process.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 27 UAS integration into master plan efforts allows efficient and holistic airport development. Therefore, airports should consider planning for UAS even though current federal and state funding may not specifically identify UAS development as part of a traditional master plan. If an airport chooses to include UAS in its Airport Master Plan, UAS analysis should be provided in a separate chapter or appendix of the Airport Master Plan narrative report to allow for easy updates as the industry evolves. There are numerous overlaps between UAS and a traditional master plan that could be addressed in such a section. For example, infrastructure recommendations should also be included in the airportâs long-range development program, including financial feasibility analysis, capital improvement plan, and airport layout plan set and could include plans for UAS in the same estimation process. 5.1.2 UAS Planning Study A UAS Planning Study is a stand-alone study that focuses on identifying airport infrastructure, operational and financial needs necessary to support UAS activity at the airport. While the UAS Planning Study, like the integrated master plan, also considers an airportâs long-term infrastructure, planning and financial needs, and grant assurances, it usually does not include proposed airport development beyond that needed to support UAS demand unless identified for potential dual aviation use. The size and detail of a UAS Planning Study depends on the goals and financial resources of the sponsor since this study is not currently eligible for federal or state funding. A UAS Planning Study may or may not include updates to the Airport Layout Plan set (ALP) and/or airport capital improvement program requests provided to the state. However, like the integrated master plan study, a financial feasibility analysis including a draft twenty-year capital improvement program can be useful. Typically, this type of study is initiated when there is an opportunity to support UAS activity at an airport, and, due to timing issues, funding for an airport master plan and airport layout plan (ALP) update is not available. A UAS planning study can follow the same steps, apart from the ALP, as that outlined in FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150/5070-6B, Airport Master Plan, but tailored to the specific UAS needs of the airport. Initial Needs Assessment and Pre-Planning The goal of any airport planning effort is to provide the sponsor and community a framework for airport development that satisfies demand while efficiently addressing resource needs. Thus, the initial sponsor needs determination and pre-planning efforts are critical. As part of the pre-planning process and needs determination, the type of planning study and the level of detail needed will be identified. The level of detail may vary, but the following activities should be considered in the pre- planning process: â¢ Consider the following questions: o What are the airport sponsor(s) and stakeholderâs vision and objectives? o What is the current and anticipated UAS demand, including commercial, military, and civil.? o What is the current and anticipated non-UAS activity? o What capital improvement funding is available to support UAS development?
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 28 o What is the likely return on investment associated with UAS infrastructure development? o Does the community, local and state government and airport stakeholder support UAS activity and development at the airport? o Which stakeholders needed to participate in this process (e.g. FAA ADO Personnel, State DOT Aviation Personnel, local legislative personnel, and airport tenants)? o What could be the airportâs liability and insurance requirements related to UAS? o Has the airport applied or received a COA to support UAS activity? â¢ Analyze and evaluate current UAS industry opportunities and challenges, such as those highlighted in Section 4 of this Guidebook, and â¢ Create an airport Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis as described in the following section. SWOT Analysis Development of a SWOT analysis is especially helpful in determining anticipated UAS demand and the viability of an airport to successfully support potential demand. A SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used to address issues and opportunities that may be impacting demand. ACRP Report 28, Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports, Report 19, Passenger Air Service Development Techniques, and Report 98, Understanding Airline and Passenger Choice in Multi-Airport Regions, all provide resources for SWOT analysis. The following factors may to be included in an airport SWOT analysis as recommended by the ACRP Web Resource (TRB ACRP Web Resources, n.d.): â¢ Size of catchment area â¢ Levels of demand â¢ Major airport users including industrial park tenants likely to use or support UAS â¢ Major employers and Universities in the vicinity involved with UAS â¢ Airport facilities to support UAS â¢ Community support for UAS â¢ Existing marketing efforts, and â¢ Potential Capital Improvement Funding Typically, strengths and weaknesses are internal to the airport whereas opportunities and threats usually relate to external factors. Through a SWOT analysis, an airport can identify key strengths, best opportunities, needs to rectify weaknesses, and threats to monitor and address. Data related to the SWOT examination may be obtained through coordination with airport management, economic development and county representatives and potential commercial, civil and military UAS users. Table 1 highlights some of the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that an airport may face related to UAS development.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 29 Table 1 : SWOT analysis results for sample UAS integration factors Airport Strengths Airport Weaknesses Uncongested airspace Airport already equipped with COA Designated aviation test site (UAS or non-UAS) Excess airfield capacity Available hangars, apron, and/or administrative facilities On-airport developable land On-site aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) and other emergency facilities Military facilities at the airport or near the airport On-site maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities On-site Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) On-site industrial park Compatible adjacent land use (e.g. agricultural, industrial, and commercial) Limited airport authority or board support Legal and insurance liability issues Non-commercial landing fees Limited developable land due to environmental constraints and long-term land leases Class B or C controlled airspace (however, the FAA has been providing waivers on a case-by-case basis) Substantial manned military and/or commercial operations Limited airport operating staff Airport is not equipped with COA to support UAS activity Limited airfield/airport capacity Airspace constraints (restricted airspace, military operating areas (MOAs),), congestion) Visibility of airport to potential UAS manufacturers and users Existing tenant and stakeholder concerns Proximity to other airports Existing communication infrastructure Insufficient cash flow to support sale of bonds for infrastructure improvements Opportunities Threats State and local economic goals that support UAS development Airport use of UAS to support operations, maintenance and management Skilled UAS trained workforce Academic organizations providing training/education related to UAS Support DOD UAS needs and demands Support UAS flight training and maintenance education in conjunction with regional universities and trade schools Lack of federal, state and local funding for infrastructure improvements Large manned aircraft operations â ATC and aviation tenant coordination concerns Federal, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances â limited guidance Competition from nearby commercial and GA airports Environmental and compatible land use concerns. Community privacy, security, and safety concerns
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 30 Opportunities Threats Potential UAS commercial and air taxi opportunities (urban air mobility) Potential opportunity to establish airport authority which may improve cash flow and funding for infrastructure improvements Market connectivity Low business costs - Non-union work force; low cost of living, low land costs and rental rates; low operating costs Lack of skilled labor needed to support UAS and area has a hard time attracting and keeping skilled professionals Airport supports multi-jurisdictions with differing goals and objectives Lack of resources to market airport both in the US and worldwide Although there is a great deal of uncertainty related to integrating UAS into a public airport environment, substantial opportunities abound for UAS research and development, maintenance and repair, flight and air traffic control training, manufacturing, and air cargo. As the UAS industry grows, other opportunities will continue to arise. Sponsors can perform a business case analysis for each opportunity (e.g., air cargo, air taxi service, and on-site manufacturing) to determine the viability of proposed development which includes potential revenues and costs, other benefits, potential regulatory barriers, stakeholder and community acceptance as well as potential airport liability. Both a UAS integrated master plan and UAS Planning Study or other similar documentation will assist management in addressing these issues. If the report(s) demonstrate demand and local support for UAS airport growth, it can be used to justify the airport obtaining a Certificate of Authorization (COA) as well as related planning, environmental and infrastructure projects. Suggested Planning Document(s) Scope The scope of an integrated airport master plan or UAS planning study may include the following components based upon the client needs and budget. Additional detail is provided in the remaining sections of this chapter. â¢ Airport Strategic Vision and Objectives. This section highlights the airport sponsor and communityâs vision for the airport and UAS during the planning period. â¢ Existing Airport Conditions. Airport master plans and UAS planning studies should identify the existing conditions of the airport, airspace, land use, environmental constraints and aviation activity including UAS. â¢ UAS Forecasts. Several UAS forecasts should be developed as part of any UAS analyses, including likely based unmanned aircraft, UAS operational forecasts by type of operation (i.e. commercial, general aviation/civil, military, itinerant and local) as well as the anticipated unmanned aircraft fleet mix (e.g. DOD Groups 1-5) to identify possible activity during a specified planning period. â¢ Critical Aircraft Analysis. The critical aircraft analysis identifies the âmost demanding aircraft type, or grouping of aircraft with similar characteristics, that make regular use (500 annual operations) of the airportâ (FAA, 2017). An airportâs critical aircraft may consist of a combination of UAS and traditional manned aircraft design specifications.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 31 â¢ Airport Capacity Evaluation. Although unmanned aircraft are not currently included in FAA airport capacity models, developing an airport capacity evaluation for both manned and unmanned aircraft can identify if the current airfield capacity is adequate to accommodate future operational demand. In other words, does the airport currently have the capacity to support the addition of UAS-related operations. â¢ UAS Facility and Infrastructure Needs. Existing airport facilities and infrastructure (i.e., airfield, landside and support facilities) should be evaluated based upon existing and future aircraft, including UAS, demand needs. â¢ UAS and Airport Operational Guidance. Existing unmanned, manned and ATC procedures should be considered, and types of operational guidance to support the introduction of UAS into airport environment are evaluated. â¢ Alternative(s) Development. Alternatives to address UAS facility and infrastructure needs, and operational requirements are assessed. â¢ Airport Compliance, Environmental and Land Use Analyses. Overall impacts of UAS integration should be evaluated by considering on and off airport land use and zoning, airport compliance with grant assurances, and existing and potential environmental impacts. â¢ Implementation Plan and Financial Feasibility Analysis. Current airport planning guidance requires both a facilities implementation plan and financial feasibility analysis. â¢ Airport Layout Plan Set. A key product of an airport master plan is the airport layout plan set, which is a graphical representation of long-term airport development including proposed UAS development. â¢ Next Steps. Following the initial planning efforts (integrated airport master plan or UAS planning study), other efforts may be needed to support UAS development including but not limited to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation (e.g. environmental assessments), requests for a COA, coordination with local legislature, changes to local ordinances, research of potential alternative funding sources, and marketing initiatives. Airport Strategic Vision and Objectives. An airportâs strategic vision, objectives and goals identify how the airport sponsor plans to attract and maintain various aviation/aerospace activities, including UAS, along with the role of the airport both within the community and within the state and national air transportation system. The SWOT analysis conducted as part of preplanning process should be refined and included in this section of the airport master plan or UAS planning study. The SWOT analysis includes an overview of current and anticipated regulatory and industry changes associated with UAS that may impact airport development. Existing Conditions The existing conditions section of a planning study typically includes various broad categories of historical and current information needed to support the planning analysis: a brief history of the airport, a summary of current physical facilities at the airport, the current airspace environment and operational procedures including identifying potential obstructions to air navigation, environmental and land use and zoning data as well as historical activity. The level and detail required will depend upon the goals of the airport sponsor.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 32 Some existing conditions are particularly relevant to UAS. Relevant existing facilities may include: â¢ If the airport already has a Certificate of Authorization in support of UAS operations. â¢ Existing airport and airfield infrastructure that may support UAS (i.e. air traffic control tower, runways, taxiways, helipads, aprons, hangars, fuel facilities (e.g. electric charging stations), and utilities. â¢ Existing airspace classifications (Class B, C, D, or E), nearby UAS designated operating areas, military operating areas, and air traffic control procedures. â¢ Aircraft approach and departure, ground movement and communication procedures â¢ Airport zoning, land use and obstruction identification â¢ Existing environmental conditions â¢ Historical manned and unmanned activity (e.g. based aircraft, operations, and fleet mix) â¢ Historical financial and grant assurance data â¢ Existing airfield and communications infrastructure â¢ Existing safety and security protocols for manned and unmanned aircraft operations. With the integrated UAS master plan, most of this data will be acquired as part of the traditional master planning process. Whereas, the level of existing conditions assessment needed as part of the UAS planning study effort will depend specifically on the purpose and goal of the analysis. Forecast Process The purpose of developing aviation activity forecasts is to provide a realistic picture of potential activity and demand as well as anticipated infrastructure and operational needs over an established planning period, typically 20 years. To provide realistic forecasts, planners use historical data, existing operations and activity, current and forecast industry trends, changes in technology, socio- economic trends, and other pertinent data to evaluate and predict likely aviation demand. The FAA Aerospace Forecast, 2018-2038, defines UAS as either model or non-model aircraft or hobby and non-hobby, respectively (FAA, 2018, p. 39). Non-model UAS activity is also defined as commercial operations, which includes all business, academic and governmental operations except DOD activities. Military UAS activity is defined by Congress, DOD, DOT/FAA and the UAS industry as unmanned aircraft used for military/DOD activity and research. Civil UAS operations are defined as public aircraft operations. Thus, public/civil UAS operations, according to DOT and Congress, are those activities performed by or associated with governmental aircraft and/or activities (e.g. mosquito spraying, US Forestry Service). The FAAâs Office of Aviation Policy and Plans Statistics and Forecast Branch (APO-110) indicated that FAAâs aviation and airport activity forecasts (e.g. Terminal Area Forecasts (TAF) do consider UAS activity. Therefore, based upon these conversations, airport forecasts established as part of the integrated or stand-alone planning studies can be compared to the most recent airport TAF. In order to compare UAS and manned operations it is critical to identify common terminology. Thus, in this forecast and fleet mix analyses, definitions are based on those outlined for aircraft in the FAA Glossary for 2016 TAF (FAA, 2016) and applied as follows to UAS operations and activity: â¢ Itinerant UAS Operations are defined as operations performed by unmanned aircraft that land at an airport arriving from outside the airport area or depart from an airport and leave
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 33 the airport area. These UAS operate beyond the 20-mile radius of the airport. These UAS operations include both visual and instrument UAS operations. â¢ Local UAS Operations are airport operations (visual and instrument) performed by an unmanned aircraft that remains in the local traffic pattern, executes simulated approaches or low passes at the airport, and performs operations to or from the same airport within a designated practice area (20-mile radius of the airport). â¢ Commercial UAS Operations are defined as unmanned aircraft carrying passengers or cargo for hire or compensation â¢ General Aviation and Civil UAS Operations are defined as all private and commercial UAS used for hire, compensation or governmental use. In other words, all UAS operations not designated as military, âmodel/recreationalâ or for the carriage of passengers and large cargo for compensation. â¢ Military UAS Operations are operations performed by military aircraft under the DOD and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). â¢ Recreational, Model, Consumer or Hobby UAS Operations are defined as operations specifically used by hobbyists or consumers for recreational purposes only. These activities are discouraged from occurring within the public airport environment and, therefore, were not included as part of the UAS activity forecasts. Although consumer/hobby use of UAS continues to be a large segment of the market, this type of UAS activity is unlikely to regularly occur within a traditional airport environment. Instead, military, commercial UAS and GA/civil UAS activity are anticipated to drive UAS operations within a public airport environment. However, most UAS are currently limited to less than 55 pounds. Thus, commercial UAS passenger and cargo activity is unlikely to occur on a regular basis within the next decade unless substantive regulatory and technology changes occur. For this reason, it is expected that only a portion of industry and governmental UAS active units and operational forecasts, will likely occur at an airport. However, as the size of the unmanned aerial vehicle increases to a size resembling current manned aircraft, increased use of existing airport infrastructure (i.e. runways, taxiways, aprons, and hangars) is likely. There are a variety of approved methods to forecast future demand: regression and trend analysis, share analysis, exponential smoothing, survey techniques, comparison to other airports, and range projections. However, all forecast methodologies require planners to collect and evaluate historical data, existing forecast data (governmental and industry forecasts), current demand and socio- economic data, if relevant, and any other relevant data needed to establish realistic forecasts of demand. Forecasts, depending upon the type of existing manned and unmanned aircraft and likely UAS operations, may include: â¢ Based aircraft forecasts â¢ Commercial manned and UAS demand â¢ Military manned and UAS demand â¢ General aviation manned and UAS demand â¢ Aircraft, manned and unmanned, fleet mix projections, and
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 34 â¢ Local and itinerant operations Using historical and forecast data specific to the airport as well as UAS national and international forecasts of demand, planners can create two (e.g. base and high) or three (e.g. low, mid and high) probable forecasts using approved statistical methodologies to provide the sponsor a range of likely activity given the various unknown variables. This type of methodology was applied in the FAA Aerospace Forecast, 2018-2038 and was used in the airport case studies conducted for this report. While this type of ârangeâ forecast is not the only methodology that could be used, it provides realistic estimates of demand based on current conditions and UAS industry forecasts as well as provides the sponsor flexibility to address demand. Appendix Section 9 suggests steps for the creation of UAS range forecasts. Determining Critical Aircraft Although UAS are aircraft under the law and fit the definition of âaeronautical useâ under 49 U.S.C. Â§40102(a)(6), 14 C.F.R. Â§1.1, UAS may not currently be designated as a critical aircraft or be part of the composite critical aircraft design requirements. However, if following the FAAâs recommendation of ârightsizingâ airport infrastructure to support the most demanding aircraft using the facilities, technically UAS should be included. Since Congress through the Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 and the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act has signaled its intent to treat UAS as aircraft, FAAâs current stance may change in the future making it important for airports to consider how UAS might impact critical aircraft. The critical aircraft may consist of a single aircraft or a composite of the most demanding characteristics of several aircraft (e.g. approach speed, wingspan, tail height, landing gear). It also represents the aircraft or group of aircraft that regularly, approximately 500 operations annually, uses the airport âexcluding touch-and-go operations. An operation is either a takeoff or landing.â (FAA, 2017). The critical aircraft drives airport infrastructure design requirements such as runway pavement width, strength, and separation standards,. FAA also advocates for âright-sizingâ airport infrastructure and facilities to support the most critical aircraft, which may not be the airport critical aircraft, that regularly uses these assets. Depending upon UAS demand and operational criteria, the future critical aircraft at an airport could consist of a combination of manned and unmanned as well as commercial and military aircraft. Review of military, civil and commercial existing and prototype UAs revealed that several fixed wing UAs have longer wingspans than traditional airframes and require greater runway length for takeoff acceleration. A comparison of design dimensions between manned aircraft and UAs which require airport infrastructure (e.g. runways, taxiways, and apron) are shown in Table 2. Table 2 : Comparison of selected manned aircraft and UAS characteristics Aircraft Type AAC ADG # of Engines Approach Speed (Knots) Wingspan (Ft) Length (Ft) Tail Height (Ft.) MTOW (lbs.) MH-65D Dolphin Helicopter NA NA 1 Max speed 119 Knots Main Rotor: 39â1â 44.29 12.8 20,900
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 35 Aircraft Type AAC ADG # of Engines Approach Speed (Knots) Wingspan (Ft) Length (Ft) Tail Height (Ft.) MTOW (lbs.) F-16 Fighter Jet D II 1 141 knots 32.8â 49.3â 16.7 37,500 Cessna Citation Jet (III, VI) C II 2 126 53.50 55.5 17.25 22,000 Ultralight UAS Airframe* A, B or C I 1 65.17 < 130.34 9â > 40â <30 TBD 55 to 255 Light Sport UAS Airframe* A, B or C I or II 1 65.17 < 130.34 15â >45â <45 TBD 255 to 1,320 Small UAS Airframe/Rotorcraft* A-E II 1 to 2 86.90 < 173.8 < 79â <60 TBD 1,320 to 12,500 Medium UAS Airframe* A-E III or IV 2 86.90 < 173.8 79â>139â 60 > 95 TBD 12,500 to 41,000 Large UAS Airframe* C-E IV, V or VI 2+ 86.90 < 173.8 >139â >95 TBD >41,000 MQ-1 Predator DOD Group 4 1 ~69.7 knots with max of 117 knots 48.7â 27â NA 2,282 Global Hawk RQ-4 DOD Group 5 1 ~126.6 knots Max Speed 211 knots 131.2â 48 15.4 14,991 Reaper MQ-9 DOD Group 5 1 ~97.2 knots Max Speed 162 knots 65.6â 36â NA 10,000 Luna* DOD Group 3 1 38 knots 13.8â 7.5â NA 88.2 Fulmar* DOD Group 2 1 ~48.6 knots Max speed 81 knots 9.8â 4â NA 44.1 Notes: *Catapult takeoff and net recovery
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 36 Aircraft Type AAC ADG # of Engines Approach Speed (Knots) Wingspan (Ft) Length (Ft) Tail Height (Ft.) MTOW (lbs.) Drone approach speed estimated at 60% of max speed Sources: FAA Aircraft Characteristics Database, Updated 1/6/2018, US Department of Defense Report, Drone Report 2018, Military Drones Specifications, and Commercial Industry UAS criteria, 2018 Based upon FAAâs own guidance, UAS that regularly uses airport facilities should be included as part of the critical aircraft analyses whether for the whole airport and/or for specific airfield facilities. Airport Capacity Evaluation Airport capacity is evaluated to determine the potential impacts of forecast demand on existing facilities as well as support for various airfield improvements. FAA provides guidance and approved programs for determining airport capacity. However, neither addresses UAS. Further, based on discussions with FAA personnel, UAS should not be included as part of the capacity evaluation at this time because most UAS fall into aircraft capacity categories A and B (less than 12,500 pounds) and thus minimally impact airport capacity. Thus, the appropriateness of conducting a capacity assessment in the early stages of the UAS planning efforts is questionable unless capacity issues associated with manned aircraft have already been identified. Then, the addition of UAS operations to an already potentially constrained environment should be considered. UAS Facility and Infrastructure Needs As part of any airport planning process, existing airport facilities and infrastructure (i.e., airfield, landside and support facilities) are evaluated considering existing and future demand needs. The facilities analysis evaluates aviation issues and alternatives to address or mitigate those issues. Traditionally, the facilities analysis highlights infrastructure needs to support forecast demand. This data is then used to develop airport alternatives and recommended development during the established planning period. As previously mentioned, there are no specific airport design criteria for UAS other than that provided by the Department of Army (DOA). However, per discussions with FAA and state aviation personnel, existing infrastructure and design guidance may be applied because UAS ultimately will likely use the same facilities as manned aircraft. Therefore, FAA design guidance, FAA Advisory Circulars (AC) 150/5300-13A, Airport Design, AC 150/5390-2C, Heliport Design; AC 150/5000-17 Critical Aircraft and Regular Use Determination, along with supplemental data obtained from US DOD can be used to determine airport UAS facility requirements. Ultralight, Light Sport, and Small Aircraft UAS airframes, which range in weight from 55 to 12,500 pounds are predominantly used by U.S. military, governmental agencies and research organizations and are not yet authorized for business-related use. These UASs may require runways, helipads or some other launch, recovery and control mechanisms to safely operate. As previously noted, existing UAS wingspan and rotorcraft blade lengths are often longer than comparable manned aircraft. Therefore, using design criteria outlined in FAA AC 150/5300-13A, Change 1, Airport Design as well as DOD recommendations, UAS wingspan will be a critical factor for future airfield design.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 37 Medium to large UAs are currently being tested. Again, these UAs resemble traditional aircraft and are being used for BVLOS testing for commercial air cargo, firefighting, medivac and commercial passenger activity. Existing test models require traditional airport infrastructure to operate including runways, taxiways, parking apron, helicopter landing pads, as well as expanded navigational and communication equipment. Thus, where warranted, it is suggested that existing FAA and DOD design standards based upon comparably sized conventional aircraft be used to establish suggested design criteria for airfield, aircraft storage, and other support facilities. Also, given that technology, industry, and consumer demand will continue to drive UAS development, demand, safety, cost and operational efficiency, the suggested methodology includes incorporating flexibility, reviewing compliance requirements and considering operational recommendations. The suggested methodology to identify UAS infrastructure needs and operational improvements and evaluate compliance are outlined in the following subsections. 5.9.1 Airfield Airfield facilities include runways, taxiways, aprons, safety areas and other infrastructure. These facilities are designed to comply with requirements for specific reference codes (Airport Reference Code - ARC). The ARC is based upon the most demanding (i.e. critical) aircraft design criteria (e.g. approach speed, wingspan, tail height, maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), and landing gear configuration) and approach visibility minima. Specific guidance used to establish airfield design needs for UAS was based upon FAA AC 150/5300-13A (FAA, 2014), Change 1 runway and taxiway design standards. These standards cover various elements of airport infrastructure and their functions. A summary of airfield standards is provided in the following paragraphs. Runway design requirements (Runway Design Code (RDC)) is based upon the critical aircraft approach code (AAC), Airplane Design Group (ADG) and approach visibility minima. The RDC is then used to identify runway width, centerline separation to taxiways, taxilanes and aircraft parking, shoulder width requirements, and runway safety area requirements. RDC factors are provided in Tables Table 3-Table 5 and may be used to identify runway dimensional needs to support UAS. Table 3 : Aircraft approach category descriptions AAC VREF/Approach Speed A Approach speed less than 91 knots B Approach speed 91 knots or more but less than 121 knots C Approach speed 121 knots or more but less than 141 knots D Approach speed 141 knots or more but less than 166 knots E Approach speed 166 knots or more
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 38 Table 4 : Airplane design group descriptions Group # Tail Height (ft [m]) Wingspan (ft [m]) I < 20Ê¹ (< 6 m) < 49Ê¹ (< 15 m) II 20Ê¹ - < 30Ê¹ (6 m - < 9 m) 49Ê¹ - < 79Ê¹ (15 m - < 24 m) III 30Ê¹ - < 45Ê¹ (9 m - < 13.5 m) 79Ê¹ - < 118Ê¹ (24 m - < 36 m) IV 45Ê¹ - < 60Ê¹ (13.5 m - < 18.5 m) 118Ê¹ - < 171Ê¹ (36 m - < 52 m) V 60Ê¹ - < 66Ê¹ (18.5 m - < 20 m) 171Ê¹ - < 214Ê¹ (52 m - < 65 m) VI 66Ê¹ - < 80Ê¹ (20 m - < 24.5 m) 214Ê¹ - < 262Ê¹ (65 m - < 80 m) Table 5 : Visibility minimum descriptions RVR (ft) * Instrument Flight Visibility Category (statute mile) 5000 Not lower than 1 mile 4000 Lower than 1 mile but not lower than Â¾ mile 2400 Lower than 3/4 mile but not lower than 1/2 mile 1600 Lower than 1/2 mile but not lower than 1/4 mile 1200 Lower than 1/4 mile *Runway Visual Range (RVR) values are not exact equivalents UAS fixed wing regularly utilize open fields or grass strips to support operations. If due to capacity constraints or need to segregate UAS and manned aircraft activities due to safety concerns, installation of a turf or grass strip on the airport is a cost-effective option. It is important to note that instrument procedures on turf or grass strips is not allowed unless with FAA Flight Standards approval. Turf runway criteria, as provided in FAA AC 150/5300-13A, Change 1 is summarized below: â¢ Recommended runway length: Landing, takeoff and accelerated stop distance requirements due to limited friction and terrain are longer than paved runways therefore a factor of 1.2 should be added to all landing, takeoff and accelerate stop distance associated with the most critical aircraft (manned or unmanned) using the runway. â¢ Recommended runway width and safety areas: the runway width is based upon the same classifications as a paved runway which are based upon dimensional criteria (i.e. approach speed, tail height and wingspan) of the most demanding aircraft regularly using the runway. Turf runway safety areas also use the same dimensional criteria as those applied to paved runways.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 39 â¢ Runway grading and compaction: Turf runways must be kept well drained to support aircraft under all conditions. Therefore, it is required that turf runways be graded to provide at least a 2.0 percent slope away from the runway centerline for a minimum distance of 40 feet to both sides of the landing strip. AC 150/5300-13A also recommends a 5.0 percent slope from that point to the edge of the RSA to provide rapid drainage. The turf runway as well as supporting safety areas, taxiways and aprons should be compacted to allow for the safe movement of airfield maintenance and emergency equipment as well as equipment specific to UAS operations, such as launch and recovery equipment as well as UAS personnel. The FAA Airport Design AC recommends applying the same strength and compaction standards used for a paved runwayâs safety areas. Construction and compaction criteria are further outlined in FAA AC 150/5370-10H, Standard Specifications for Construction of Airports, December 2018. â¢ Boundary and hold markers: Suggested landing strip boundary markers as well as hold markings are recommended as part of turf runway construction. FAA guidance recommends the installation of low mass cones, frangible reflectors or low intensity runway lights to mark the landing strip boundaries. High mass non-frangible items, such as tires or barrels, should not be used. The preferred distance between landing markers is 200 feet. Hold position markings on adjacent taxiways or aprons should also be provided to ensure runway clearance for holding aircraft and mitigate runway incursions. Taxiways design criteria are based not only on the critical aircraft wingspan but also on the undercarriage dimensions of the aircraft. The Taxiway Design Group is based upon the aircraft undercarriage and standardizes taxiway/taxilane width and fillet standards, and in some instances, runway to taxiway and taxiway/taxilane separation requirements. As highlighted previously, it is appropriate for airfield facilities, especially taxiways and aprons, to be built to different standards based upon expected use. Taxiway design standards are provided in Figure 2 and Table 6 and should be used for UAS airport infrastructure design.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 40 Figure 2 : Sample taxiway design groups (FAA, 2014) Table 6 : Design standards based on Taxiway Design Group (TDG) (FAA, 2014) ITEM TDG 1A 1B 2 3 4 5 6 7 Taxiway Width 25 ft (7.5 m) 25 ft (7.5 m) 35 ft (10.5 m) 50 ft (15 m) 50 ft (15 m) 75 ft (23 m) 75 ft (23 m) 82 ft (25 m) Taxiway Edge Safety Margin 5 ft (1.5 m) 5 ft (1.5 m) 7.5 ft (2 m) 10 ft (3 m) 10 ft (3 m) 15 ft (4.6m) 15 ft (4.6m) 15 ft (4.6m) Taxiway Shoulder Width 10 ft (3 m) 10 ft (3 m) 15 ft (3 m) 20 ft (6 m) 20 ft (6 m) 30 ft (9 m) 30 ft (9 m) 40 ft (12 m Notes: For Specific taxiway separation or fillet design criteria, see Chapter 4 of FAA AC 150/5300-13A, Change 1 Using various guidance, key infrastructure needed to support UAS and related operations may be identified. Again, suggested design guidance was based upon data obtained from DOD, DOA, UAS Manufacturers, UAS operators, and FAA design guidance.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 41 18.104.22.168 Launch and Recovery Infrastructure UAS use a variety of launch and recovery systems including pneumatic/hydraulic launch systems, vertical takeoff and landing, as well as horizontal takeoff and/or horizontal landing. The systems used are dependent upon the type of UAS as well as location of the launch and recovery systems. Pneumatic/Hydraulic Launch: A pneumatic or hydraulic launcher is used to launch fixed wing drones. The system which uses gas or hydraulics, launches the UAS from a stable platform to achieve airspeed necessary for sustained flight. To achieve traditional horizontal launch, small UAS would require significantly more power and a long runway which is prohibitive to their effective operation. Transport of these launch vehicles is typically âhitch-mounted or trailer with weights ranging between 50 to 4,200 poundsâ (Saddiqui, 2017) (Davis, 2015). Dimensional requirements for the mobile launch platform or pad are based upon the type of launch platform operational requirements as well as operator safety area. The mobile launch platform or stationary launch pad must be located within an open area free from ground and airspace obstructions. A sample launch footprint based upon the Robonic OHTO Pneumatic Launch System (Robonic, n.d.) is: â¢ Stowed launcher dimension requirements (Length x Width x Height) = 5400 millimeters (mm) x 2100 mm x 1950 mm (17.7 feet (ft) x 6.9 ft x 6.4 ft) â¢ Deployed launcher requirements (Length and Width) = 16100 mm x 2100 mm (52.8 ft x 6.9 ft) â¢ Recommended launch pad/area dimensions (Length x Width) = 60 ft x 30 ft to allow safe distance (approximately10 feet) between launcher and on-site operators. The UAS launch pad, should be designed to support the most demanding UAS and launch system as well as provide safety zones for UAS operators and launch personnel. Unmanned aircraft retrieval systems associated with pneumatic or hydraulic launch vehicles may include a hardpacked surface with or without a net system, a skyhook system, or horizontal landing on runway or another similar surface. The preferred recovery system should cause minimal impact to the unmanned aircraft and be located near the UAS operations area. Recovery design specifications are dependent upon the operational requirements and size of the UAs likely to operate at the airport. Sample recovery system dimensional criteria (Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, 2018) and considerations are as follows: â¢ Runway recovery: o Hard packed, paved, gravel or dirt o Less than 1000 feet required o Belly landing may damage unmanned aircraft based upon runway condition and approach speed â¢ Skyhook recovery (an unmanned aircraft with a hook on its wing is caught on a taut cable attached to a vertical boom):
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 42 o Stowed dimensions (Length x Width x Height in feet): 19 ft x 7.2 ft x 6.25 ft o Deployed dimensions (Length x Width x Height in feet): 28.75 ft x 17.5 ft x 58 ft o Operate off airport or segregated from other critical airfield facilities. o Skyhook recovery is bulky and could damage vehicle o UAS vehicle could miss target, thus greater safety area required. â¢ Net recovery: o Off airport or segregated from other airport facilities o Net recovery is bulky and could damage the aircraft o Dimensions will depend upon type of vehicle supported. Typical size (Length x Height): 25 ft x 40 ft Dimensions provided are based upon typical weight and wingspan of average unmanned aircraft likely to use this launch and recovery system. As unmanned aircraft and launch equipment become larger, the size of the launch pads must also increase in both size as well as pavement strength. Using these types of launch and recovery systems on airport property will require segregation of facilities from manned aircraft operations as well as coordination with users and air traffic control. Specific procedures should be instituted to limit interaction of unmanned aircraft launch and recovery with critical airport and aircraft activity, and safety areas should be established and marked for unmanned aircraft launch and recovery infrastructure. Further, the hydraulic and pneumatic launchers have machinery that implies a higher cost. It can be argued that this is an increase in the UAâs operational cost and not isolated to the launch system. Horizontal UAS Takeoff and Landing: Horizontal launch of small UAs requires a longer runway than traditional manned aircraft due to power limitations needed to achieve required lift. This is one of several reasons why UAS tend to have longer wingspans than typical aircraft, which maximize lift and fuel efficiency during flight. FAA Test Center and DOD data shows that conventional runways are likely to be used by fixed wing aircraft with maximum takeoff weights greater than 6,000 pounds. Unmanned vehicles at this weight and above have the engine power to reach critical airspeed needed for horizontal takeoff. Runway length, width, safety area and separation criteria will all be impacted by critical unmanned aircraft design and visibility standards. UAs larger than 55 pounds are still approved only for research and development. Therefore, in the near term, UAS runway use will likely be limited to unmanned aircraft landings only. However, as the size and propulsion systems of UAs become greater, use of conventional runways to support domestic and international operations is expected. Vertical/Horizontal Takeoff and Horizontal Landing: Aircraft that can support vertical takeoff and horizontal takeoff and landing is referred to as a tiltrotor. A tiltrotor is an aircraft that is equipped with powered rotors mounted on rotating engine pods either at the ends of a fixed wing or mounted on the fuselage. This type of aircraft has the flexibility to operate in various environments where traditional horizontal takeoff and/or landing is not possible. In other words, a tiltrotor type aircraft/UAS can operate like a typical fixed wing aircraft or helicopter.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 43 The tiltrotor drone platform consists of a combination of traditional fixed wing aircraft and helicopter designs. Â For airports that support tiltrotor operations, existing runways and taxiway infrastructure are primarily used. However, the runway length requirements are much shorter than fixed wing, horizontal takeoff aircraft/UAS only. Preferred runway use for tiltrotor UAS will depend upon wind conditions, runway capacity, aircraft operational specifications, and runway traffic patterns and operating requirements. A sample tiltrotor aircraft with maximum takeoff weight of less than 12,500 lbs, a wingspan of 65 feet and approach speed of less than 91 knots would likely fall under FAA AAC and ADG of A-II Small. Assuming visibility of not less than 1-mile, FAA AC 150/5300-13A, Change 1, runway design requirements would be as follows: Table 7 : Runway design standards for A-II small aircraft design criteria not less than 1-mile visibility (FAA, 2014) Parameter Design Criteria Runway Length Depends upon Aircraft Operating Criteria Runway Width 75 feet Runway Shoulders 10 feet Blast Pad Dimensions (Width x Length) 95 x 150 feet Crosswind Component 13 knots* Runway Safety Area (Width x Length) 150 x 300 feet Runway Object Free Area (Width x Length) 500 x 300 feet Approach and Departure Runway Protection Zone (Inner Width x Outer Width x Length) 250 x 450 x 1000 feet *Dependent upon operating characteristics of aircraft Since tiltrotor aircraft have the flexibility of both vertical takeoff and landing when necessary, another option is to design UAS helipad facilities to support both tiltrotor type UAS as well as single and multirotor vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAS. The DOD, Department of Army and FAA do not provide specific guidance related to tiltrotor UAS dimension requirements. Although FAA AC 150/5390-2C, Heliport Design, specifically states that dimensional criteria provided are not for multirotor aircraft, it is possible to determine likely dimensional needs by combining safety and separation criteria from multiple sources. Suggested tiltrotor takeoff and landing pad dimensions are provided as follows. Note, depending upon the type of UAS, propulsion requirements and payload, additional safety separation standards may be required. o Tiltrotor Operating Pad Proposed Dimensions: o Takeoff and Landing Area (TLOF)
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 44 ï§ Width = critical aircraft wingspan + 10 feet ï§ Length = critical aircraft total length + 10 feet o Final Approach and Takeoff Area (FATO) ï§ Width = 1.5 critical aircraft wingspan + 10 feet ï§ Length = 1.5 critical aircraft total length + 10 feet o Safety Area Dimensions = Depending upon size and engine wake turbulence, at least 20 feet between FATO and safety area perimeters. The siting of tiltrotor VTOL facilities must consider visibility, instrument operations, turbulence, communications, access, obstructions and electromagnetic impacts. In the short-term, due to limited data on potential impacts, segregation of tiltrotor VTOL facilities can be useful. VTOL: VTOL UAs, such as quadcopters, are currently the most common commercial UAS on the market. These UAs are used for a variety of applications including survey, emergency management, traffic management, photography, and training. due to the flexibility of their operations. Larger VTOL UAs, currently being tested, resemble manned helicopters and are often referred to as drone helicopters. Suggested design and dimensional recommendations are provided by the FAA helicopter and DOD UAS helipad design criteria. Areas defined for unmanned vehicle VTOL operations should include a TLOF based upon design load and dimensional requirements of the unmanned aircraft as well as the FATO, safety areas, and parking positions. Manned GA helipad dimensional requirements are outlined in Figure 2-2 of FAA AC 150/5390-2C (FAA, 2012) , which includes detailed measurements.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 45 Figure 3 : Manned GA helipad dimensions (FAA, 2012) The siting of a helipad whether for manned or unmanned aircraft must consider: visibility, property requirements, obstructions, turbulence, access, communications and electromagnetic effects. Depending upon use and design, dimensional protocols provided by the state-approved emergency management services may be used. A summary of approved protocols established by National Fire Protection Association and Emergency Management Services is provided as follows: â¢ Limited UAS helipad TLOF: 50 ft x 50 ft â¢ Limited UAS helipad FATO: 75 ft x 75 ft â¢ Standard VFR and IFR Helipad TLOF: 100 ft x 100 ft â¢ Standard VFR and IFR Helipad FATO: 150 ft x 150 ft Note: limited refers to the minimal size allowed to safely support emergency helicopter operations. 22.214.171.124 Aircraft Movement Areas Other airfield facilities to consider for UAS integration include taxiways, parking and movement aprons. Navigational aids, signage, and markings are critical for the safe movement of both manned and unmanned aircraft within the airport operating area. Further discussion of navigational aids is provided under support facilities. At airports that currently support UAS activities, operations are segregated from manned aircraft. Further, UAS operators must give right of way to larger manned aircraft. However, given testing and planned aviation industry improvements in communications, navigation and aircraft design, segregation of operations in the long-term will no longer exist. Taxiways: As noted, taxiway dimensional requirements are based upon the undercarriage and landing gear configuration of the most demanding aircraft regularly using the taxiway. Based on approved UAS weight and dimensions, the largest UAs in the short-term that would likely use airport facilities would fall within Taxiway Design Groups 1A or 1B. Thus, according to dimensional criteria provided in Section 5.9.1 and Table 7, taxiway width of 25 feet plus 10-foot shoulders would be needed. Further, assuming that most UAS that would regularly use taxiways have wingspans between 49 and 79 feet (ADG II), a separation of 66 feet between taxiway centerline and fixed or movable objects can be useful. However, DOD recommends widths between 40 to 75 feet due to overall size, undercarriage and UAS wingspans. If an airport is a joint-use airport which supports a variety of governmental and commercial research, taxiway widths should range between 35 and 75 feet depending upon critical UAS design requirements (e.g. landing gear configuration, and wingspan) as well as potential manned aircraft use. Civil/Commercial UAS Aprons: Apron requirements are based upon the size and mix of aircraft regularly using the apron. Aprons should be designed to support future expansion without major alteration of existing infrastructure and disruption of existing apron use. Aprons include aircraft movement areas, aircraft parking, as well as ground service roads. UAS aprons should also include service roads, launch and recovery and potentially UAS Mobile Operating Vehicle parking facilities. Apron parking needs are based upon peak hour transient and based aircraft demand, aircraft dimensions, as well as wingtip and service equipment (i.e. fueling and aircraft ground vehicle) clearances. A simplistic calculation for determining aircraft apron parking needs is Â½ transient peak hour operational demand + peak hour âbasedâ aircraft multiplied by aircraft parking design and
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 46 separation criteria. At airports where aprons support large, medium and small aircraft, apron parking needs would further be refined to consider the peak hour fleet mix. This methodology may be used to determine apron parking requirements for anticipated UAS demand. Military UAS Aprons and Facility Needs: If an airport is a joint use facility, DOD apron requirements must also be considered. Although the US Air Force and Army have slightly different apron parking requirements as outlined in UFC 3-260-01, an estimate of likely UAS parking needs may be developed assuming based and transient UAS/Drone activity. Based upon design information provided in the DODâs UFC 3-260-01, additional apron area may be needed to accommodate various support facilities such as: â¢ âJet Blast Deflectors are used to reduce the impacts of jet blast on structures, equipment and personnel in addition to reducing noise and fumes related to jet engine operations. See UFC Airfield and Heliport Planning and Design Manual, Appendix B, Section 8 for more information. â¢ Line Vehicle Parking relates to the requirements for parking mobile station assigned and squadron assigned vehicles and equipment. See UFC Airfield and Heliport Planning and Design Manual, Appendix B, Section 12 for more information. â¢ Utilities including, but not limited to: o Storm water runoff collection system, including inlets, trench drains, manholes, and pipe o De-icing facilities and de-icing runoff collection facilities o Apron illumination o Fire hydrants o Refueling facilities o Apron edge lightingâ (DOD, 2008) The Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all use âblockâ dimensions for aircraft parking. The parking blocks are roughly based upon the overall length of the aircraft, aircraft wingspan or rotor- wing length. Service points and an interior taxiway are provided between the blocks as well as a perimeter or peripheral taxiway to support aircraft movements. Separation between parking blocks is double the parking block width, and the peripheral taxiway width is at a minimum the same width as most demanding aircraft wingspan or rotor-wing length.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 47 A sample block parking orientation is provided in Figure 4. In addition to aircraft apron facilities, other pavement areas include: â¢ Warm-up pad (holding apron) â¢ Unsuppressed power check pads â¢ Arm/disarm pad â¢ Compass calibration pad â¢ Hazardous cargo pad â¢ Alert pad, and â¢ Aircraft wash rack (DOD, 2008) Whether commercial, GA or military, all apron expansion plans and movement areas must be designed to considered Air Traffic Control (ATC) line of sight criteria. Although FAA Air Traffic division currently designates UAS like âbirds,â expanded use of UAS at airports both on the ground and in the terminal area airspace will ultimately require ATC to monitor UAS like a conventional aircraft. Thus, it is essential for all aircraft movement areas on the airport to be visible to the controllers in the ATC cab. Also adding airfield markings and signage to identify areas where military and UAS activities will be operating should avoid accidental incursions and conflicts between manned and unmanned aircraft. Ultimately a well laid-out apron minimizes runway incursions and effectively expedites aircraft services. Additional guidance related to apron planning and design can be found in Appendix 5 of AC 150/5300-13A, Change 1, AC 150/5360-9 and AC 150/5360-13. Holding Pads: Airport operators that support UAS activity indicated that some UAS require additional time on runways or taxiways to allow the onboard computer and operator to establish coordinates, navigation and communication systems. As a result, UAS operations may negatively impact airfield capacity. Airport operators also suggest installation of UAS holding bays. Holding bays typically are used as standing space for aircraft awaiting clearance and are typically located adjacent to the taxiway serving the runway end. Holding bays must be located outside of the runway obstacle free zone, precision obstacle free zone, and runway safety areas as well as to avoid interference with the instrument landing system or other navigational aids. Holding bays can support multiple aircraft and should include clear entrance, aircraft movement and parking as well as exit markings. Holding bays should be designed to provide adequate taxiway wingtip clearance as well as clearance between parked/standing UAs and those in route to the Figure 4: Sample Navy and Marine Corps 45 degree parking (DOD, 2008)
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 48 runway. Again, like taxiways, dimensional criteria should be based upon the most demanding unmanned aircraft likely to use the facility. 126.96.36.199 Airfield Pavement Commercial UAS currently approved weigh less than 55 lbs. whereas the largest military UAS currently in service has an operating weight of less than 40,000 lbs. As a result, most airport pavements, except for small airports catering to aircraft less than 12,500 lbs, will be able to support all current UAS activity. Airport pavement strength must be designed to support the heaviest aircraft or family of aircraft that regularly use an airportâs runways, taxiways, taxilanes and/or apron areas. In the case of UAS, depending upon the type of launch and recovery platform and support facilities, the pavement will need to not only support the unmanned aircraft but the launch and recovery equipment, mobile operations center, and other facilities needed to support UAS operations. If UAS will use a turf or grass strip or compacted dirt apron area, then the dimensions of these areas must comply with turf runway design guidance outlined at the beginning of this section and in 150/5300-13A, Change 1. These regulations are based on the requirements of manned aircraft and not the safety margins unique to UAS. Until additional research is conducted on UAS specific airfield requirements construction guidance for turf runway and apron area should follow FAA AC 150/5370-10H, Standard Specifications for Construction of Airports, to accommodate both the unmanned aircraft as well as launch, recovery, UAS operating and support equipment, as well as airport emergency equipment. 188.8.131.52 Airfield Summary Table 8 summarizes specific physical infrastructure based upon type of UAS size and activity. The dimensions are based upon estimates of the type of UAS. The DOD UAS recommendations and the FAA airport dimensional standards are based on manned aircraft. Therefore, this table is designed only to provide a first step for future testing and research to establish UAS specific design standards. Table 8 : Suggested UAS design standards DOD UAS Recommendations Small UAS Ultralight/Light Sport/Small Aircraft Platform UAS Medium and Large Unmanned Aircraft Platforms Weight (in lbs.) 4.5 to 55 55 to 12,500 >12,500 Length (ft.) <15 15<60 >60 Wingspan (ft.) <9 9<79 >79 Mission Speed (Knots) <65 65<174 >86 UAS ARC Code A-I, A-II C-II D-IV Visibility >1 Mile > 1 Mile > Â¾ mile
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 49 DOD UAS Recommendations Small UAS Ultralight/Light Sport/Small Aircraft Platform UAS Medium and Large Unmanned Aircraft Platforms Airport Infrastructure Launch and Recovery Requirements Pneumatic/Hydraulic Launch 52.8 x 6.9 feet NA NA Runway Recovery <1000 feet NA NA Net Capture (Length x Height) 25 x 40 feet NA NA Skyhook Recovery (Length x Width x Height) 28.75 x 17.5 x 58 feet NA NA Launch Pad Dimensions (Length x Width) 60 x 30 feet 200 x 100 400 x 200 Conventional Runway Launch and Recovery Length based upon aircraft operating criteria adjusted for elevation, temperature and slope Width: 100 feet NA Length based upon aircraft operating criteria adjusted for elevation, temperature and slope Width: 100 feet Length based upon aircraft operating criteria adjusted for elevation, temperature and slope Width: 150 feet VTOL Launch: Fixed Wing 1600 x 100 feet (correct length for elevation and temperature) 1200 x 75 feet (correct length for elevation and temperature and width for landing gear) 1600 x 100 feet (correct length for elevation and temperature and width for landing gear) 6000 x 150 feet (correct length for elevation and temperature and width for landing gear) Rotary Wing (TLOF) 50x50 to 100 x 100 feet 50 x 50 feet (depending upon overall 100 x 100 feet or critical UAS rotor diameter 100 x 100 feet or critical
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 50 DOD UAS Recommendations Small UAS Ultralight/Light Sport/Small Aircraft Platform UAS Medium and Large Unmanned Aircraft Platforms size of UAS and mission) UAS rotor diameter Launch and Recovery Safety Areas Approach Runway Protection Zone (RPZ) (IW x OW x L) Clear Zone (CZ) Range Width ranges from 200 feet to 3000 feet CZ Lengths between 200 feet and 3,000 feet 500 x 700 x 1000 feet 500 x 1010 x 1700 feet 1000 x 1510 x 1700 feet Departure RPZ 500 x 700 x 1000 feet 500 x 1010 x 1700 feet 500 x 1010 x 1700 feet Runway Safety Areas Prior to Threshold (W x L) Runway width x up to 1000 feet length 120 x 240 feet 500 x 600 feet 500 x 600 feet Runway Safety Area beyond Departure End 120 x 240 feet 500 x 1000 feet 500 x 1000 feet Runway Object Free Area prior to threshold NA 400 x 240 800 x 600 feet 800 x 600 feet Runway Object Free Area beyond runway end NA 400 x 240 800 x 1000 feet 800 x 1000 feet Runway to Taxiway Separation NA 225 feet 250 feet 400 feet Runway to Aircraft Parking Separation Beyond primary surface (1000 to 2000 feet from runway centerline) 200 feet 400 feet 500 feet FATO (Rotary Wing Aircraft) * Varies based upon type and mission 75 x 75feet 150 x 150 feet 150 x 150 feet Safety Area (Rotary Wing) Varies based upon type and mission 95 x 95 feet 170 x 170 feet 180 x 180 feet Taxiway Requirements*:
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 51 DOD UAS Recommendations Small UAS Ultralight/Light Sport/Small Aircraft Platform UAS Medium and Large Unmanned Aircraft Platforms Width 40 to75 feet 35 feet 50 feet 75 feet Safety Area 50 to 75 feet 79 feet 118 feet 171 feet Object Free Area NA 131 feet 186 feet 259 feet Centerline to Fixed or Movable Object 150 to 200 feet 66 feet 93 feet 129.5 feet Apron Parking Recommendations Peak Hour GA UAS Apron Area (SY) Based upon aircraft type and demand ~67 SY ~1,133 SY ~4,245 SY Peak Hour Military UAS Apron Area (SY) Based upon aircraft type and demand ~195 SY ~1,784 SY ~5,960 SY Parking Wingtip Clearance 10 to 50 feet 10 feet 10 feet 20 feet Fueling Clearance 25 to 50 feet 25 feet 25 feet 50 feet Notes: FATO based upon 1.2 RD or TLOF Taxiway criteria based upon taxiway design criteria outlined in AC 150/5300-13A. In the short-term, anticipate that most UAS may fall within Groups 1A and 1B. Proposed taxiway width includes taxiway width and taxiway shoulder width. Sources: FAA AC 150/5300-13A, Change 1; AC 150/5390-2C; ACRP Apron Planning and Design Book; US DOD airfield and UAS design criteria; A3 LLC. 5.9.2 Airport Landside Facilities, UAS and Autonomous Vehicles The landside area is defined as the area(s) of the airport that provide facilities necessary to process passengers, cargo, freight and ground transportation vehicles. Landside facilities may also encompass facilities that may not require direct airside access such as an on-airport industrial park. Landside passenger and user access to the airport and associated parking is a major revenue stream at large general aviation and commercial airports. However, with the growth of autonomous vehicles both on the ground and in the air, demand for on-site parking is anticipated to decrease. Reuse of existing parking infrastructure to support other revenue development needs to be considered as part of not only UAS integration but overall long-term airport development.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 52 UAS landside needs relate to access to UAS facilities in addition to traditional tenant parking and surface access. Long-term landside criteria should also consider the impacts of ground access improvements related to intermodal, autonomous vehicles, personal air taxi as well as other technology. Based on discussions with FAA and other regulatory personnel, ground and air taxi vehicle automation integration is a low priority. However, based upon several industry models, automation and some types of self-driving technology is inevitable. Several car manufacturers including GM, Honda, Ford, Toyota and others anticipate some level of self-driving car technology to be in place by 2020 (Fagella, 2017). Uber, Google, Boeing, Airbus and other UAS manufacturers and operators expect full automation and artificial intelligence to be implemented as early as 2030 based upon current published data (Wyman, 2018). Although no specific infrastructure guidance is provided for UAS, ground automation and other landside development, several international airports (e.g. Singaporeâs Changi International and London Heathrow) (Park, 2018) working with autonomous industry partners have already implemented or are implementing landside infrastructure to support autonomous ground vehicles and baggage handling systems. Landside demand related to UAS is anticipated to include tenant auto parking, access roads as well as additional terminal parking and a pick-up and drop off zone. It is expected that landside design criteria will mimic existing regulatory landside and parking design guidance adjusted to accommodate specific vehicle design needs. Initially, given current personnel requirements to operate a commercial UAS (typically 4 individuals: pilot, launch, recovery and observers (~2), and on-site data management/information technology personnel), parking should support at least one mid-size car, one heavy duty truck and trailer, and/or parking for large mobile transport vehicle. Depending upon the size of the UAS and its mission along with anticipated changes to regulations, parking needs may increase. However, ground demand may also decrease once urban air mobility and UAS air taxi operations become more affordable and convenient. 5.9.3 Hangar, Administration, and Airport Terminal Facilities Additional airport facilities likely needed to support UAS activity include hangars and adjacent apron, administrative space for business operations and remote pilot operating stations and UAS monitoring as well as terminal facilities to support future UAS air taxi and commercial passenger demand. In addition, facilities will be needed to support UAS operators permanently or temporarily based at the airport as well as transient UAS activity. Demand for transient UAS facilities is unlikely in the next 10+ years based upon existing technology, trends and demand. However, the airport sponsor should consider both based and transient UAS needs as part of long-term planning efforts. In addition, the airport sponsor before investing in UAS facility development and/or retrofitting existing infrastructure should carefully evaluate the financial impacts of proposed UAS development on existing operations and revenues, especially since limited funding is available, and evaluate the likely timing and return on investment. 184.108.40.206 UA/Vehicle Storage and Equipment Needs Hangar and equipment storage requirements are based upon customer demand and aircraft design criteria. Conventional and corporate style UAS hangar facilities may also include areas for an administration area, service areas, parts storage as well as UAS storage. Since the needs of UAS operators may vary, i airports can provide land leases and possible financial incentives to support UAS on-airport development. Airports may also want to evaluate opportunities for nearby land
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 53 acquisition to support UAS growth if much of the airport property is either bound by a long-term lease or includes environmentally sensitive parcels. Another option is to develop or retrofit existing facilities to address UAS operator needs and mission. Initially, these facilities could be located near the GA apron or on-airport research facilities. Hangar development apart from the multi-use buildings should be constructed by the actual UAS tenant. 220.127.116.11 Office and Administrative Space Office and administration space requirements are dependent upon the needs of the operator. Some operators may use a Mobile Operations Center (MOC) while others may require a fixed administrative and operational facility. Mobile Operations Center: Mobile facilities are typically used to support short-term research and testing or commercial needs. These mobile facilities could be located on or adjacent to an existing apron or on separate UAS pads constructed to segregate traffic while supporting activity. Like transient hangars, these UAS pads could be leased on a short-term basis. According to companies such as NASC and Peak 3 LLC, MOC trailers are self-contained, field deployable unmanned aircraft command center which include ground control station, as well as unmanned aircraft transport, mobile workshop and ground support equipment. These mobile units are primarily designed to accommodate small UAS activity. According to user data, the average mobile operations center dimensions are: 24 feet long x 8 feet wide and can be towed by a large pick-up truck. These vehicles are climate controlled and are equipped with the following facilities: â¢ Computer workstations â¢ Other workstations â¢ Ground control station and antenna suite â¢ Heads up display â¢ 25 to 30-foot telescopic antenna â¢ Airfield Communications â¢ Unmanned aircraft transport â¢ Mobile maintenance workshop â¢ Internal communications system â¢ Weather Station, WIFI, backup power and external lighting In addition to the MOC, small UAS users sometimes also rent administrative space on the airport typically located within the airport terminal. Average space requirements needed to support an average teamâs data processing, training, and equipment storage needs is approximately 160 to 180 square feet. However, customer demand will drive actual requirements. Fixed Administration Facilities: The size of fixed operational and administrative facility needs is dependent upon the type of UAS platform, number of operations, and personnel requirements. The administrative footprint for UAS operations supporting medium to large aircraft platforms or small âswarmâ type operations proposed by Uber and Amazon require personnel office space, aircraft operations, ground control and communications space, conference rooms, break-rooms and
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 54 bathroom facilities. Separate hangar facilities would house unmanned aircraft maintenance, vehicle storage, and equipment. Depending upon needs, administrative and command control facilities could be housed above or within large hangar facilities or in an adjacent building. 18.104.22.168 General Aviation and Commercial Terminal Facilities GA and commercial terminal facilities may be impacted by unmanned and autonomous short, on- demand air transportation that is currently being tested by companies such as Uber, Boeing, Airbus, Kitty Hawk as well as countries including the US, China, Dubai, Israel, New Zealand, and Norway. Approved commercial operations are expected to be in place by 2025 (Smart, 2018). While there are concerns that on-demand air transportation may take traffic away from airports, it is more likely that airport facilities to support mid and long-haul operations will remain strong. However, ultimately existing landside and airside facilities will likely need to be reconfigured to support not only new self-driving land and air vehicles but also the growth of electric passenger aircraft and large UAS cargo operations. Various airport management and governmental staff described expansion or construction of a larger GA terminal facility to support UAS air taxi and GA activity. With the Uber air taxi model passengers would not be required to pass through security before using the service. Therefore, a process to separate secured and non-secured airport users is needed. Another option includes retrofitting existing landside facilities, such as a parking garage, to support expanded ground and air unmanned vehicles. However, control of aircraft on the landside without modifications to various air traffic control procedures needs to be evaluated. Therefore, airport sponsors can work with stakeholders including local authorities and FAA flight standards to address potential opportunities and issues related to UAS integration. For additional information on stakeholder engagement, refer to the ACRP 03-42 Airports and UAS, Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Vicinity of Airports Guidebook. 5.9.4 Support Facilities Support facilities at an airport encompass a broad range of functions to ensure the smooth, efficient, and safe operation of the airport. Support facilities typically assessed as part of master plan update include: airport rescue and firefighting facilities, airport maintenance, fuel storage, aircraft maintenance, deicing, and ground circulation, access and parking. These facilities support both manned and unmanned aviation demand and will automatically be addressed, if required, as part of an integrated master plan update. These facilities can support UAS demand with little to no modifications. Nonetheless, due to the nature of UAS and supporting technology, additional infrastructure is needed. The need for support facilities will vary based on a number of factors including approach, departure and missed approach procedures, airport/ATC airspace and ground maneuvering, aircraft priority and communication procedures, demand, project justification, environmental review and airport compliance related to infrastructure development as well as facilitating and maintaining airport security and funding. To identity needed support facilities, airport sponsors should coordinate plans with FAA personnel at the UAS Integration Office, Airport District Offices and at Flight Standards as well as working with state DOT aviation representative and local DOD personnel if applicable.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 55 22.214.171.124 Communications Infrastructure UAs are tethered (virtually) to ground-based links which may be widely distributed geographically. These ground-based links are used for vehicle control, monitoring, and air traffic communications and are, to varying degrees, vulnerable to jamming, spoofing, and interference. To prevent loss link due to poor communication or intentional theft of UAS controls, a system of high-integrity, secure data links between the aircraft, the ground control stations, and air traffic facilities is needed. Securing mobile and wireless communication networks is an ongoing challenge for effective unmanned aircraft integration as well as other critical communication technologies. Therefore, the type and level of security applied to communications links will depend on the vehicle type, potential lethality (determined by size, speed, and proximity to manned aircraft and population centers), intended operations, and flight environment. The encryption integrity level will be defined in certification requirements (DeGarmo, 2004, pp. 2-21). Due to these issues, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 under Section 374, now requires the FAA, NTIA, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to work together to provide recommendations to Congress regarding whether UAS operations should be permitted to use the current aviation spectrum and the establishment of other spectrum frequencies to support UAS (Kestleloo, 2018). The current FAA policy requires that the UAS operator monitor the on-site ATCT frequency during operations and call the ATCT, on a landline, upon initiation and completion of operations. This allows the ATCT to issue Notices to Airman (NOTAMs) as well as provide information to manned operators regarding UAS activity in the area. If an airport is not equipped with an ATCT, the UAS operator must monitor the Unicom Frequencies. According to FAA Airports Integration personnel, it is up to the UAS operator to look out for manned aircraft operations and defer airspace to them if there is a conflict (Williams, 2018). UAS operators should only monitor rather than interact on the ATC or Unicom Frequencies because of concerns about âflooding the system.â Therefore, in addition to monitoring the airport ground stations used by manned aircraft, UAS operators should use a separate frequency that doesnât interfere with manned or emergency management operations. The FAA Technical Center is currently leading the research on frequency overload and UAS communication needs for safe integration.29 Thus, airport infrastructure to accommodate secured communication/control and backup power systems will be needed to accommodate UAS activities. At the time of this writing, several companies provide secure communication platforms for tracking, storing, sharing, and flight data management as well as other tools to support UAS operations. Some of these firms include: Skyward, Kitty Hawk, FreeWave and U-Team (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, 2018). The costs of these services vary depending upon the type of equipment and facilities needed to support UAS operations. To support increased communications and power generation needs, larger conduits should be used to support additional cable communication needs in addition to back up power and communication systems. Although larger aircraft may be equipped with a collision avoidance system, small UAS are not and are still difficult to see especially in low light conditions. Ground-based airfield and airspace sensors could assist both manned and unmanned vehicles and operators in identifying and avoiding proximate traffic. However, such a solution needs to be sensitive to cost, power and siting requirements, and accuracy.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 56 126.96.36.199 Navigational Aids, Lights and Markings Although commercial UAS operations may only be flown during visual flight rules (VFR) conditions and require a chase plane or ground spotter, BVLOS or instrument flight conditions are being tested at the various UAS test sites. As part of FAAâs planned upgrades to the NAS, it is expected that UAs, like manned aircraft, will be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) systems along with on-board sensors to provide on-airfield situational awareness. The type of navigational aids required to support UAS activity will depend on whether the unmanned aircarft is manually operated or autonomous. Traditional visual NAVAIDs such as runway end identification lights, approach lighting systems, lighted signage and even wind cones may not be needed to support autonomous UAS activity since guidance will rely less on visual aids and more on radio frequencies and airport mapping (i.e., AGIS). However, since regular use of autonomous UAS is not anticipated within the next 10 years, sponsors have time to obtain funding and install additional airfield lighting, signage and markings along with meteorological and magnetic equipment that will support both manned and unmanned aircraft operators. Markings include the addition of specific UAS hold lines on the apron movement areas and taxiways to limit accidental runway incursions and wake turbulence impacts as well as provide for greater visibility. Also, if GA aprons support UAS commercial activity, the aprons should include markings, lights and signage to alert manned operators of UAS activity. 188.8.131.52 Meteorological Facilities UAs are lighter, slower, and more fragile than their manned counterparts and consequently are more uniquely sensitive to certain meteorological events such as surface/terrain-induced (boundary layer) winds, turbulence, icing, extreme cold, and precipitation. Small UAs and those having a light wing load are especially sensitive. Therefore, installation of additional wind cones, segmented circle(s) and magnetic wind rose near or adjacent to the UAS operating areas would also be needed to support safe operations. Because of limited sight distance associated with UAS activities and the need for sense and avoid technology to be added to these aircraft to support BVLOS operations, use of the magnetic wind rose will be key to allowing UAS navigational and other sensors to be accurately configured prior to operations. 184.108.40.206 Physical and Data Security Infrastructure The design and operation of UAS present unique security challenges for users, ATC and airports. The variety of UAS as well as their missions can make secure control of UAS flights challenging. In addition to airport physical security requirements to prevent unauthorized access to critical facilities, UAS introduce some additional requirements. Security requirements of the ground control station, data link infrastructure, vehicle and even the data must be a fundamental consideration in system design and operational policies and procedures of UAS (DeGarmo, 2004). Along with UAS control facilities, redundant and alternate systems for communication infrastructure must also be considered. Thus, site development for fixed UAS facilities as well as pads for mobile operating centers should integrate additional security and safety systems to protect cable, power and other critical utilities.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 57 220.127.116.11 UAS Geofencing and Counter-UAS Technology Geo-fencing and similar technology limit where UAS may fly based upon the installation of specific built-in software, firmware and GPS tracking to avoid entry into controlled or protected airspace. This type of technology does not require on-site facilities to operate but could be supported by improved airport surveys and the availability of detailed GIS data. As previously discussed, technology vendors are again contacting airports proposing to demonstrate or install their UAS detection and countermeasure systems. Since the FAA has not authorized any specific technology, and unauthorized UAS countermeasure systems can cause a variety of problems, airport sponsors should contact their local FAA Airport District Office before pursuing any agreements or testing. 18.104.22.168 Fuel Storage and Handling Unmanned aircraft use a variety of fuel systems based upon the engine propulsion system, aircraft type (aircraft fixed wing, rotary, and lighter than air), mission, weight, heat management, operator, and flight range requirements and auxiliary power requirements. Current propulsion systems are based upon different types of internal combustion engines which may use gasoline, 100LL, JP-8, Jet A, and kerosene. Other potential energy sources include electricity, solar energy via photovoltaic cells, hydrogen, methanol and energy mechanics. On-board fuel storage includes batteries, fuel tanks and capacitors. Coordination with UAS operators will be needed to determine the most efficient fueling systems. Although existing UAS engines, especially larger commercial or military drones, are still driven by internal combustion engines and fossil fuels, alternative fuel systems are in development. These systems include alternative reciprocating engines fueled by biofuels, Jet A or other clean fuel systems; electric engines which use batteries, electric fuel cell, or photovoltaic system, and hybrid systems which includes a combination of both traditional fuel and battery backup. (Gonzalez, Leo, & Navarro, 2014) Depending upon the type of fuel requirements, expansion of the existing fuel farm or construction of a new fuel farm may be needed to support UAS traffic as well as additional types of fuel including electrical, kerosene, and JP-8. In addition, special permitting will likely be required especially if UAS operators plan to provide their own fuel storage. Growth in electric and hybrid unmanned aircraft engines will require charging stations to be located either adjacent to parking aprons or a designated fueling area could be developed to support manned and unmanned operations. This would allow all fueling facilities to be centralized and permitted at one location. If a centralized facility is warranted by manned aircraft operations, space should be set aside to accommodate future UAS fueling needs. In the next 5 to 10 years (short-term), a centralized charging station for ground vehicles as well as small UAS may be sufficient to accommodate UAS demand, assuming similar technology. However, this will depend upon the type and level of UAS demand likely to be supported at that airport. For example, at Sebring Regional Airport which already supports UAS activity, its two electrical charging stations adjacent to the terminal facilities are currently sufficient to support ground vehicle electrical demand as well as UAS demand for the next 3 to 5 years according to forecast demands.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 58 22.214.171.124 Emergency Planning An Airport Emergency Plan is required for all airports certified under Title 14 CFR Part 139Â§ 325. Airport operators should reference the FAAâs guidance under FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 150-520- 31C, âAirport Emergency Planâ. For all other airports, even if an AEP is not required, a standalone UAS Emergency Plan would improve the overall safety of routine UAS operation at the airport and promote a safety culture. Refer to Volume 1 Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Vicinity of Airports for information on developing a UAS Emergency Plan. Airports that serve scheduled and unscheduled air carrier/charter activity under 14 CFR Part 139 are required to provide onsite firefighting facilities and equipment based upon critical air carrier aircraft length and number of daily departures. If UAS military and/or civilian activity is anticipated, ARFF personnel should be trained on fire suppression and emergency management related to UAS activities. In addition, alternative fire suppression agents should also be available due to the varying types of fuel that could be used by UAS. UAS and Airport Operational Guidance The mix of unmanned and manned operations within an airport environment will require some specific operational requirements to maintain safe operations. Therefore, this section evaluates existing unmanned, manned and ATC procedures such as segregation, and types of operational guidance needed to support the introduction of UAS into the uncontrolled and controlled airport environment. In addition, unmanned and manned fleet mix and types of activity should also be considered. Critical UAS operational concerns such as air traffic and ground control procedures (i.e., segregation of operations), right of way procedures, see and avoid procedures, communication procedures, data management needs, and security needs should be considered. In addition to airport infrastructure, various operational studies and procedures should be coordinated/implemented to safely support UAS and manned aircraft operations at an airport. These include establishing specific airspace and ground operations procedures, communication requirements, safety and security criteria, minimum operating standards, emergency safety procedures. Further, emergency plan requirements associated with UAS should be included in the Airport Emergency Plan requirements (FAA AC 150/5200-31C) and training exercises. GA airports, who are not currently required to have an emergency plan, should develop an integrated emergency and operational manual to address UAS and manned aircraft needs. The operational studies and procedures should be coordinated with on and off airport stakeholders including law enforcement and medivac personnel, federal, state and local regulatory agencies, regional air traffic control, local community, and other interested parties. For more information, Appendix Section 10 identifies documentation and procedures based upon discussions with FAA, airport managers that support UAS operations, and UAS manufacturers and users. Alternative(s) Development Based upon the findings of the forecast and facility requirements sections, alternatives are created to address identified needs. In addition to infrastructure needs, UAS alternatives should address operational, communication and safety/security requirements needed to safely integrate UAS with manned operations at a public use airport. The following provides suggested guidance on how to effectively develop alternatives related to UAS integration:
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 59 â¢ For an airport master plan, UAS launch and recovery infrastructure needs could be integrated into the airfield alternatives. UAS launch and recovery, apron, and support facilities should be considered as part of the airportâs long-term development plan. Evaluating both manned and unmanned needs simultaneously will allow for more efficient and cost-effective options to be considered. Although UAS operations are currently segregated from manned aircraft, ultimately manned and unmanned aircraft will use the same airport airfield facilities. â¢ Alternative development within a UAS planning document will focus on development needed to support UAS forecast operations. However, review of existing and planning airport development either through discussions with airport staff and/or review of previous planning studies is needed to create options that are reasonable and flexible to support continued airport growth. â¢ The timing of development within each alternative option should be based upon operational triggers provided by the forecast and facility needs assessment. Due to a variety of limiting factors (i.e., communications, size and speed of commercial UAS, altitude limitations, and facility needs), segregation of manned and unmanned facilities and operating procedures will likely be the norm for the foreseeable future. â¢ However, as technology evolves and the dissimilarities between manned and unmanned aircraft decrease, airport infrastructure will be designed to accommodate both types of operations. This assumption is supported by FAA, DOT, and the UAS industry. Thus, airport alternative options should be developed to consider dual use of potential infrastructure to support manned and unmanned activity. â¢ Given that the UAS industry is rapidly evolving, alternatives that preserve future flexibility are preferable. This includes evaluating potential reuse options for existing facilities as well as designing infrastructure and other airport facilities that could serve multiple aeronautical uses. â¢ UAS alternatives analyses should account for potential environmental impacts (e.g. noise), land use and zoning implications, grant assurances and funding issues, stakeholder and public input, compliance with community comprehensive planning efforts, as well as other factors that may be particularly unique to the airport. If new approach and departure procedures are associated with a proposed UAS development alternative, noise and land use impacts should also be considered. Airport Compliance Public use airports must remain compliant with both federal and state requirements to remain eligible for funding and maintain safety. Federal airport compliance requirements and policies are outlined in FAA Order 5190.6B. Although UAS related capital improvements funding is not currently available, public use airports, must comply with both federal and state grant assurances to remain eligible for federal and state grants and loans needed to finance traditional airport planning, environmental and infrastructure improvements (FAA, 2014) (FAA, 2014). Given recent changes in the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act and industry growth, it is expected that some level of federal and state funding may become available to support UAS airport integration within the next 5 to 10 years. Therefore, airports can consider the potential impacts of UAS activity
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 60 on the following airport compliance requirements to ensure that proposed integration does not negatively impact future airport operations and funding. 5.12.1 Airport Grant Assurances As part of the UAS analysis, planners should present recommended development to the public and airport stakeholders for input. It is also critical, as part of a plannerâs due diligence, to evaluate proposed UAS infrastructure and operational improvements as they relate to specific federal and state grant assurances. Public airport owners, sponsors, other airport representatives or organizations are obligated because of accepting federal or state funds to maintain and operate their facilities to comply with specific conditions (i.e. grant assurances). The duration of these obligations is dependent upon the life of the project or airport facility, the type of recipient and other conditions as outlined within the grant assurances. As it relates to UAS, several federal grants assurances provided in FAA Order 5190.6B at a minimum must be reviewed (i.e., Grant Assurances 19, Operations and Maintenance; 22a, Economic Non-discrimination; 22h, Airport Safety and Efficiency; 23, Exclusive Rights, 24; Airport Fee and Rental Structure; 25, Airport Revenues; 27, Use by Government Aircraft; and 29: Airport Layout Plan) in addition to state and local assurances. Compliance with grant assurances, especially at small airports which rely on federal and state funding for airport maintenance and infrastructure improvements, is critical to the long-term longevity of an airport. Thus, planners and other representative and advisors to the airport should carefully consider the impacts of proposed development as it relates to existing airport state and federal obligations. Planners should also review current state and local statutes and ordinances as they relate to UAS to avoid incompatibility with local and regional requirements. A further description of federal grant assurance requirements as they relate to UAS is provided in Section 6.5.3 Funding and Grant Assurances, and section 7.7 PDT Master Plan Capital Funding Sources and Programs 5.12.2 Environmental Compliance Typically, when considering environmental factors as part of an airport master plan, the planner and environmental specialist should use the guidance provided in FAA Order 5050.4, NEPA Implementing Instructions for Airport Projects and the associated Desk Reference. As part of any planned improvements at an airport, including UAS, environmental due diligence and evaluation is required to determine potential impacts, consider alternatives and identify minimization and mitigation strategies. UAS activities may introduce additional environmental impacts particularly noise. Proposed launch and recovery infrastructure may require new approach and departure procedures which in turn could result in new aviation noise exposure. Also, depending on UAS power sources, new waste streams (for example used batteries) may be generated. These issues should be considered when planning UAS facilities. Finally, even if federal funding is not used to fund proposed UAS infrastructure, NEPA review will be required for federally-obligated airports. Federally obligated airports are required to update their ALPs to show proposed infrastructure and updated ALPs must be submitted to the FAA for review. Approval of the ALP is a federal action and therefore compliance with NEPA is required.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 61 There are three levels of NEPA review: categorical exclusion (CATEX), environmental assessment (EA), and environmental impact statement (EIS). Airport sponsors coordinate with the FAA to determine the appropriate level of review in accordance with the current versions of FAA Orders 5050.4 and 1050.1 Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures. Many of the proposed UAS projects may qualify for a CATEX. Chapter 5 of FAA Order 1050.1F lists the types of projects for which a CATEX may be appropriate provided the project would not involve extraordinary circumstances. For example, a proposed UAS hangar may be eligible for a CATEX per paragraph 5-6.4. Categorical Exclusions for Facility Siting, Construction, and Maintenance âf. Federal financial assistance, licensing, Airport Layout Plan (ALP) approval, or FAA construction or limited expansion of accessory on-site structures, including storage buildings, garages, hangars, t-hangars, small parking areas, signs, fences, and other essentially similar minor development itemsâ (FAA, 2015). For additional information, refer to ARP SOP 5.1 â Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) CATEX Determinations. 5.12.3 Land Use and Zoning Compliance Land use on and adjacent to airports are governed by federal and state legislative codes and grant assurance requirements, which apply to UAS. According to FAA Grant Assurance 21 and Title 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) Â§ 47107 (a) (10), the airport sponsor and local municipality should adopt zoning requirements that ârestrict the use of land adjacent to or in the immediate vicinity of the airport to activities and purposes compatible with normal airport operations, including landing and takeoff of aircraftâ (FAA). Concerns about privacy and safety have limited UAS flights over people and populated areas. For this reason, UAS operations over unpopulated areas (i.e., agricultural and pasture) are preferred. Operations over the industrial areas may also be allowed. However, discussions with industrial users prior to initiating UAS activity should be done to mitigate any issues as well as establish operating and emergency management procedures in case of lost link. Further, with development of personal air vehicles and air taxi services, airport zoning requirements are expected to expand to incorporate Urban Air Mobility approach and departure requirements as well as mitigate obstructions to air navigation. Facilities Implementation Plan The facilities implementation plan shows how the airport sponsor will implement the planning recommendations, where manned examples serve as a valuable framework for UAS planning and integration. The plan may be complex (e.g., implementation plan for a large scale master plan update) or simple (example, implementation plan for a limited UAS planning study). As with any proposed airport facilities implementation plan, UAS improvements can be scheduled based upon planning activity levels/demand triggers rather than specific years. Although the activity forecasts show demand based upon key years, development is not based upon a specific year but rather airport activity and capacity. Years are used merely for statistical purposes and to classify forecast demand into short-term (0-5 years), mid-term (5-10 years) and long-term (10-20 year) timeframes for planning purposes. Airport infrastructure and capital improvements are driven by critical aircraft operating requirements, aircraft operational demand, technology, and safety and regulatory requirements. Activity based triggers ensure that an airport can support forecast demand. These demand triggers are used to identify the timing and justification for various airport capital improvements projects.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 62 Traditional timing for airport capacity and activity-based development based upon the NPIAS guidance are as follows: â¢ 60 percent airport capacity triggers planning and environmental projects â¢ 80 percent airport capacity triggers project design and permitting â¢ 90 percent airport capacity triggers project construction These activity levels may be applied unless a substantial change in the type or level of activity warrants immediate action. For example, a general aviation airport becomes certified under 14 CFR Part 139 to support scheduled or large unscheduled commercial traffic. Due to socioeconomic and technological factors, activity level projections become less reliable beyond the first 5 to 8 years. UAS improvements may also be triggered by changes in regulations. Since airport UAS regulatory guidance is currently limited and is expected to remain so for the near future, near term scheduling could be focused upon forecast demand and projects to safely integrate UAS activity. Projects needed to support UAS airport integration include obtaining a COA and development of a UAS Operating and Procedural Manual. These steps ensure that operations remain coordinated and documented for airport specific procedures. The COA is typically renewed every 5-years unless a significant change in UAS or manned activity occurs or there is a substantial change in the airportâs infrastructure or airspace. The UAS Operating and Procedure Manual can also be revised upon renewal to reflect current conditions. A COA can be pursued for both airports with and without a tower that intend to support substantial UAS activity including training associated with a college or university, use by law enforcement, and emergency management services as well as to attract manufacturing, maintenance and other UAS related businesses to the airport. Several general aviation and non-hub regional airports view UAS operations and businesses as an opportunity to improve revenue and expand economic and educational opportunities in their communities. However, it is important to note that it can take up to 2 years for an airport to obtain a COA; therefore, it is important to be aware of alternative methods (including agreements, coordination, and LAANC) in the meantime. Other tasks that would facilitate safe integration of UAS operations within the airport environment include, but are not limited to: â¢ Conduct a safety risk assessment and create a safety management system for UAS; â¢ Update airport minimum standards; â¢ Create secure communication documentation related to UAS including lost link procedures and apply for frequency request from the FCC; â¢ Coordinate frequency acquisition and use with an ATC; â¢ Perform AGIS survey of airport property, create eALP and upload data to FAA database to assist with airspace and navigational support as well as obstruction identification; and â¢ Conduct airspace obstruction studies and remove obstructions in conjunction with new operational procedures and infrastructure development. Refer to Subsection 5.16, Next Steps, for more information on these projects. Since the UAS industry is still in its infancy, airport management should focus on near term (2-3 years) and short-term (5 years) suggested improvements. Proposed future development should be
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 63 evaluated given operator demand, new technology, safety, funding, liability and anticipated sponsorâs return on investment. A sample airport implementation plan based upon UAS civil, commercial and military demand is illustrated in the following sections. Note, that the implementation plan for each airport will vary based upon the type and levels of manned and unmanned demand in addition to existing infrastructure and long-term airport goals. Phase I (year 0 to year 5) Proposed short-term airport strategies associated with UAS could include: â¢ Obtain COA including development of UAS Operating and Procedure Manual â¢ Initiate safety risk assessment study and implement safety management system for UAS integration â¢ Prepare secure communications documentation and frequency request â¢ Perform AGIS Survey and either update existing airport layout plan to show UAS infrastructure needs or create an eALP along with needed support documents. â¢ Complete a Part 77 Airspace obstruction study and mitigation plan (7460 process if needed) â¢ Conduct a UAS and airport business and economic study â¢ Environmental documentation associated with any new UAS facilities â¢ Add pavement markings, lighting and signage to designate areas where UAS activities, including launch and recovery, on the airport will occur â¢ Work with ATCT to establish procedures for coordination between manned and unmanned operations Phase II (year 5 to year 10) As the UAS industry continues to grow and technology matures, the impacts and needs related to supporting UAS activity are anticipated to be more transparent. To support continued development, the following projects could be considered for Phase II. â¢ Renew COA and UAS Operating and Procedure Manual as needed â¢ Prepare UAS development site and expand utilities including secure data lines to support new UAS infrastructure â¢ Upgrade entire airport communications system and data network â¢ Install back-up power systems and expand existing electrical vault(s) to support expanded power needs â¢ Implement design plan to retrofit or design new landside access and parking plans â¢ Design multi-use holding pads to support both UAS and manned aircraft operations â¢ Install electric and liquid UAS fuel systems Phase III (year 10 to year 20) Proposed airport long-term development needs are difficult to forecast because of the predicted high growth of UAS, leaps in technology, unknown regulatory requirements as well as other
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 64 unknown factors. Therefore, the capital improvements included in Phase III are a âbest guessâ of likely needs considering the current regulatory environment and UAS industry development. Proposed development may include: â¢ Expand and improve vehicle access â¢ Renew COA and UAS Operating and Procedure Manual as needed â¢ Prepare site and construct additional UAS hangars and administration/operations facilities â¢ Design and construct new GA terminal building and apron facilities or retrofit existing commercial terminal and relocate passenger terminal facilities â¢ Expand airport fuel facilities and upgrades â¢ Construct Access road and parking improvements â¢ Add air and ground vehicle charging stations Financial Feasibility Analysis A financial feasibility analysis is conducted to demonstrate if an airport can fund the proposed projects. Funding for UAS projects is currently limited. At the time of this writing, capital improvement funding for UAS related airport projects is not available nor can UAS operations and demand be used in conjunction with manned aircraft to support other airport infrastructure improvements (e.g. runway extension, taxiway or apron construction, and navigational aids) Discussions with FAA personnel revealed that UAS activity and infrastructure are not eligible for AIP funding. Internationally, neither ICAO nor EASA have offered any guidance on UAS infrastructure types and funding that countries should consider applying to UAS and airport integration . Likewise, it is assumed that Passenger Facility Charges (PFC), at commercial service airports, may not be used to fund UAS infrastructure. UAS infrastructure is also not eligible for statesâ funding via their designated aviation funding systems. However, given federal administrations support of UAS and aerospace development, approval of AIP and PFC federal funding for UAS related airport capital improvements may occur within the next 5+ years based upon guidance highlighted in the 2018 Reauthorization Act as well as various Congressional requests. In the meantime, alternative sources of funding must be considered. For example, Cape May recently was awarded a US Commerce Grant to support UAS development within Cape May County. Also, certain short-term projects including the AGIS survey and airport obstruction analysis, based upon previous discussions FAA, may be eligible for some level of federal funding even if related to UAS in some way. Other documentation including a safety risk assessment and environmental documentation, although potentially eligible for FAA funding, is questionable. Other potential funding sources for UAS infrastructure include: â¢ Federal and state economic funding to support aviation related development (US Commerce Grant); â¢ Academic or FAA Technology Center research grants; â¢ Industry participation (public private partnerships), â¢ US DOD funds; and â¢ Local government investments.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 65 Sample capital improvement programs associated with UAS integration into a general aviation, small commercial and international airport are provided in Section 11 while there are also some examples of the use of infrastructure funding in Section 12. Airport Layout Plan The airport layout plan set is a graphical representation of planned airport development. Although FAA and state DOT grant funding for UAS planning and infrastructure is not currently available, proposed UAS development can be incorporated into the airport layout plan set. Since an ALP update is done as part of the airport master plan process, the cost of adding data and additional sheets to the set will be minimal. The following ALP sheets should include proposed UAS infrastructure: â¢ ALP â¢ Data Sheet â¢ Area Plans â¢ Airport Airspace Drawing â14 CFR Part 77, â¢ Inner Portion of the Approach Surface Drawing (if a UAS runway is proposed) â¢ Airport Land Use Plan However, if a UAS planning study is done independently, the cost of updating the airport ALP to show primarily proposed UAS development may be cost prohibitive and not very useful in the long- term. Rather, as highlighted in the following âNext Stepsâ, section updates to the ALP including UAS development should be included as part of an ALP update study, airport master plan update or as part of AGIS and eALP development. Airport Readiness Steps Upon completion of the initial UAS planning study, whether as part of an integrated master plan or as a stand-alone study, the airport sponsor may need to take additional actions to support UAS integration. The following is a list of next steps. The timing of these steps is dependent again on need and available funds. Airport sponsors should individually evaluate potential UAS use case scenarios to identify potential costs, benefits, barriers to operations, liabilities, and airport stakeholder and community acceptance. 5.16.1 Obtain an UAS COA As a public entity, an airport sponsor can apply for a COA from the FAA to support UAS activity at the airport. A COA is issued by FAA Air Traffic Control to a public operator for specific UAS activity. The public entity must submit a completed application. A sample of a completed application is available on the FAAâs website at https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/service_units/systemops/aaim/ organizations/uas/coa/. Once the application is filed, FAA performs a comprehensive review and imposes any provisions as part of the approval for the safe operation of UAS within the airspace. According to the FAAâs website, approval is usually obtained within 60 days. Once the airport sponsor obtains a COA, it
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 66 must renew the certification at least every two to five years unless major changes in operations are required. As part of obtaining a COA, a UAS Operating and Procedure Manual is developed that includes information outlined in the application process (e.g. contacts, operational description, performance and procedural characteristics, and flight crew requirements.) as well as emergency operations and accident response, security procedures, employee training and use, and memorandums of understanding. 5.16.2 Conduct a Safety Risk Assessment and Develop Safety Management System FAA encourages 14 CFR Part 139 certified and non-certified airports to implement a Safety Management System (SMS) Program which includes safety risk assessment and management plan. According to the FAA Airportâs SMS Desk Reference, safety risk management (SRM) consists of âstandard set of processes to identify and document hazards, analyze and assess potential risks and develop appropriate mitigation strategies.â SRM includes conducting Safety Risk Assessments for triggering events. Adding or introducing UAS activity could be construed as a triggering event. Therefore, airports may wish to consider conducted a Safety Risk Assessment to facilitate integration of UAS. Refer to Managing and Engaging Stakeholders on Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Vicinity of Airports for guidance on integrating UAS safety within a SMS program and ACRP Report 131, A Guidebook for Safety Risk Management for Airports, for guidance on SRM and safety risk assessments. The LAANC system, according to FAA, is merely a temporary measure as part of integrating UAS into the NAS. Based on the experience of Golden Regional Triangle Regional Airport, airports which complete an independent safety risk assessment and create a safety risk management plan that addresses UAS and manned operations will not be required to participate in the LAANC system. At Golden Triangle Regional Airport, developing and creating a safety risk management plan specific to the airport has enhanced overall safety and allowed for greater flexibility in handling manned and unmanned operations at the airport. An additional benefit is that the airport has and continues to attract manned and unmanned businesses to the airport. 5.16.3 Prepare Secure Communications Documentation and Frequency Request Currently, FAA does not recommend that UAS pilots use the same communication frequency as manned aircraft pilots and the FAA ATC. Its concerns include UAS pilot limited training on radio communication procedures, radio static and confusion, over-capacity of the system, as well as the âlack of sufficient frequency spectrum necessary for the UAS control and air traffic control (ATC) communications links compounded by the need for protected frequenciesâ (Henricksen, 2008, p. iii). Generally, commercial small UAS âuse unlicensed bandwidths of 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz, unlicensed 900 MHz, and UHF [ultra-high frequency] bands for communication. But, UAS operators must comply with national regulations applicable for operation of other technologies in these bands.â (Radio Division, TEC, p. 7). Radio communication is key to safe integration into the NAS. UAS use radio communications for air traffic control, UAS command and control including sending commands (uplink) and downloading data (downlink), and to support the sense and avoid function (Radio Division, TEC, p. 6) which will become even more critical when UAS operate beyond line of sight.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 67 The FCC under 47 CFR Part 87 is responsible for aviation radio services which include aircraft and ground radio stations. Ground radio stations include two types: 1. The aeronautical and fixed service are stations used for ground-to-air communications associated with aviation safety, navigation or preparation of flight, and 2. The Radionavigation Service consists of stations used for navigation, obstruction warning, instrument landing and measurement of altitude and range (FCC, 2017). To support UAS activity some airport operators use mobile communication systems on the airport. These airports obtained specific frequencies from the FCC for the mobile communication systems to be used as ground communication systems. Other airports have added an additional frequency via application to the FCC to their existing Automated Weather Observing Systems or ASOS ground stations. Lastly, others require UAS operators to coordinate with on-airport air traffic control and monitor the manned frequencies. These operators typically already have obtained specific operating frequencies to support their UAS operations to avoid impacting existing airport ground stations and aircraft station frequencies. Thus, next steps could include a task to prepare FCC Form 605, âQuick-Form Application for Authorization in the Ship, Aircraft, Amateur, Restricted and Commercial Operator, and General Mobile Radio Servicesâ (FCC, 2017). 5.16.4 Complete an Airport Geographic Information Survey, Update existing ALP or develop Electronic Airport Layout Plan Other steps include updating the existing airport layout plan and/or completing an Airport Geographic Information Survey (AGIS) and an electronic airport layout plan (eALP) to facilitate integration of UAS at an airport. With the integration of NextGen, the FAA is moving toward widespread use of Airport Geographic Information System Data (AGIS) which involves the collection of various spatial data (i.e. survey, global positioning system (GPS), sensors, computer aided drafting and design data (CADD) and imagery) for specific airport and off airport facilities, referred to as attributes, in order to create an electronic database of airport and contiguous natural and manmade objects (e.g. railroad lines, rivers, runway coordinates, roads, and antennas). This survey data, which is outlined in FAA Advisory Circulars 150/5300-16A, 17C, and 18B, is used to develop satellite-based approach and departure procedures as well as manage the National Airspace System. AGIS survey data will assist airports, FAA, and State DOT in identifying potential obstructions to air navigation and assist in the development of airport airspace procedures for both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. In addition, several researchers and aviation/aerospace universities are evaluating using AGIS data to improve UAS situational awareness within the airport environment, especially given remote aircraft limited visibility and increased use of automation and sensors for âsense and avoidâ maneuvers both in the air and on the ground. AGIS survey data could be used in conjunction with UAS equipped ADS-B or other system to provide UAS operator and airport ground control UAS location and situational awareness. Academic research associated with the FAA Test Centers and with the FAA ASSURE Team on using AGIS data to support semi and full-autonomous UAS activity within the airport environment is currently ongoing. An electronic ALP (eALP) converts the AlP paper files and data to an electronic format that is uploaded to the FAAâs AGIS system. Benefits of an eALP is that it provides one source for multiple ALP data, provides engineering level accuracy, assists in identifying existing and potential obstructions to air navigation, provides more detailed airport and nearby facility data, and allows the FAA and other governmental agencies to respond more quickly to airport issues and opportunities.
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 68 An electronic ALP system, although initial costs are higher than a traditional paper ALP, is in the long-term cheaper and data can easily be updated. Although AGIS and eALPs have been mostly limited to large and medium hub commercial airports, the FAA ultimately plans to have all ALPs be transitioned to eALPs. The benefits to airport sponsors and UAS commercial, military, and general aviation users is substantial since it will allow airports to provide critical data needed to support UAS operational changes either under Part 107 or the airportâs COA. It allows the airport sponsor and regulatory agencies to identify obstructions to air navigation, potential conflicts in operations between manned and remotely piloted aircraft, as well as helping to identify the highest and best use of on-airport property. These are just some of the existing advantages of both AGIS and eALPs. Other opportunities will develop as technology continues to grow and evolve. 5.16.5 Conduct an Airspace Obstruction Study As part of the UAS integration process, UAS approach, departure, launch and recovery airspace procedures must be developed in conjunction with the FAA Airport District Office and Flight Standards. This will be an important area of future research as standards equivalent to 14 CFR Part 77 have yet to be established for UAS. Eventually, proposed approach and departure surfaces must be illustrated in the airport layout plan set. It is likely, given the low altitude of UAS operations, that obstructions to air navigation will be identified as part of the ALP and AGIS survey process. Proposed UAS airspace procedures including launch and recovery must be coordinated with FAA Flight Standards and the Airport District Office as well as local DOT personnel. These agencies will evaluate the proposed air traffic patterns, and, if approved, will publish this data to support both UAS and manned operations. As part of this analysis, in accordance with 14 CFR Part 77, existing and potential obstructions to air navigation will be identified and recommendations will be made on how to address the obstruction. All proposed development on an airport as well as off airport development which may exceed 200 feet above ground level are subject to an obstruction evaluation and airspace analysis regardless of federal funding. The FAA Regional Airports Division is responsible for initiating non-rulemaking aeronautical studies, which include: evaluating the effects of construction or alteration on existing and proposed operating procedures; determining potential hazards associated with the proposed construction on air navigation; and identifying mitigating measures to enhance safe air navigation. The first step in this process is to file documentation with the FAAâs Obstruction Evaluation Group through the FAA OE/AAA portal at https://oeaaa.faa.gov/oeaaa/external/portal.jsp. This document will then be sent to one of the FAAâs Obstruction Evaluation Specialists for review. This specialist will either issue a favorable determination or a notice of proposed hazard to air navigation. If development is determined to be a hazard, then adjustments should be made or additional review by the FAA may be requested. Ultimately, the goal of the obstruction analysis is to ensure the safety of aircraft, whether manned or unmanned, and the efficient use of airport facilities and airspace. UAS and Airport Facility and Operations Checklist The following is an updated checklist for highlighting specific infrastructure and operations needs necessary to safely and efficiently integrate UAS operations into a public use airport environment. The checklist is based upon a combination of guidance in the ACRP Report 144, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UA) at Airports: A Primer, FAA airport advisory circulars, orders and guidance, input from FAA Airports and UAS Integration office, UAS operators and airport managers. A
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 69 baseline checklist is provided but should be adjusted to comply with the UAS type and mission as well as airport facilities, capacity and level of service. Table 9 : Baseline UAS integration checklist UAS Design and Performance Criteria MTOW (lbs.) Wingspan/Rotor Length (in Ft.) Body Length (Ft.) Landing Gear Type (Ft.) Main Gear Width (Ft.) Approach Speed (Knots) Airport Design Category Visibility Minima Primary Use/Mission Takeoff Method (Pneumatic Launch, Runway, Vertical Takeoff, other) Recovery Method (Runway, Net, Skyhook, Vertical landing, etc.) Unmanned or Autonomous Operating System Facilities Description Infrastructure or Operational Need(s) Grant Eligible Communication Requirements FCC Frequency ATC Coordination Other Data Storage Requirements UAS Storage (e.g. hangar, stand- alone building)
Incorporating UAS into Airport InfrastructureâPlanning Guidebook Â 70 Apron space Ground based control station Fuel Type Fuel Storage Maintenance Requirements Material Storage Waste Management Special payload accommodations Support Services Needed ARFF and Emergency Response Needs Security and Safety Requirements Potential Environmental Impacts Land use and zoning needs Other Needs Sources: ACRP Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Airports: A Primer; FAA Office of Airports, UAS Integration Office, and FAA Technical Center, BAH and Astrid Aviation and Aerospace LLC 2018 Summary A variety of planning and design documents were considered, and various airport stakeholders were consulted to prepare the planning guidance in this Section. Legislation and guidance are ever evolving as is UAS and aviation technology. Therefore, like the ACRP Report 144, Unmanned Aircraft System at (UAS) Airport: A Primer, which was completed in 2015, some suggestions and guidance may become dated and even obsolete. Thus, airport sponsors and their representatives should continue to not only follow but participate in developing new rules and regulations related to UAS and airport integration.