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ER T A W M R O T S 9 T SE R A O C P T W R N I E A SHO M G E IN G C A N N A A L M A B D : R P A R Z A AC H D G ACT R I N I B C AND C AT E B A L A N GR

RTN N D PA ITH A M S , M E SHA

I A DEL

ERS


A DELICATE

BALANCING ACT


WLOCATION

United States C L IENT

Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) SERVIC ES

Stormwater Planning, Modeling and Management


AC RP : BAL ANCI NG AI RP O RT STO RMWATER A ND B I RD HA Z A RD MA NAG E ME NT

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A

irports across the United States are required to manage the quantity and quality of stormwater on-site while safeguarding aircraft operations. However, many stormwater management options, such as stormwater detention ponds, can attract a diversity of birds creating potential aviation wildlife hazards. In addition, airports are often faced with conflicting federal, state, and local stormwater and wildlife management regulations and guidance. Given these vital issues, research was needed to develop a user-friendly tool to assist airports in making decisions that balance both stormwater and wildlife hazard management.

In 2012, GS&P—as part of a team led by Environmental Resource Solutions (ERS)—was awarded a contract from the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) to develop a bird strike risk analysis and stormwater management decision tool that would enable airports to methodically and critically assess their wildlife hazard risk against existing and proposed stormwater management facilities. “Airports are challenged with implementing required stormwater best management practices [BMPs] while maintaining safe aircraft operations in accordance with FAA regulations,” says senior environmental engineer Melanie Knecht. “Our overarching goal “Our overarching goal for this for this project was to provide project was to provide airport airport operators with the tools to make informed decisions that operators with the tools to make best address the needs of their informed decisions that best particular airport, while also address the needs of their particular meeting federal, state and local regulations related to stormwater airport, while also meeting federal, and wildlife hazard management.”

state and local regulations related to stormwater management.”

MELANIE KNECHT, SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER


GLOBALLY, WILDLIFE STRIKES

HAVE KILLED MORE THAN 250 PEOPLE AND DESTROYED OVER

220 AIRCRAFT SINCE 1988. T H I S R E P R E S E N T S A D R A M AT I C INCREASE IN THIS TYPE OF INCIDENT OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS. PART OF THIS UPSURGE CAN BE

ATTRIBUTED TO ENVIRONMENTAL LEGI S L ATI O N THAT RES ULTED I N SUCCESSFUL POPULATION RECOVERY F O R G E E S E , P E L I C A N S , E AG L E S

A N D OT H E R W I L D L I F E .

INCREASED AIR TRAVEL

IS ALSO A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR.

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SHOWCASE 9

Since the "Miracle on the Hudson" incident in 2009, bird strikes are more high profile than ever.


IDENTIFYING THE “WHAT-IFS”

AC RP : BAL ANCI NG AI RP O RT STO RMWATER A ND B I RD HA Z A RD MA NAG E ME NT

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The ACRP is an FAA-funded, airports of different sizes and activity levels and with applied-research program that devel- differing amounts of available data. ops near-term, practical solutions to Based on extensive research, user input and direction problems faced by airport operators. from the ACRP project panel, the team developed its final During its annual solicitation of bird strike risk analysis and stormwater management research needs for airports, the ACRP decision tool. The proactive tool allows users to review identified a desire to better under- the bird strike risk associated with an existing or planned stand how airports should deal with BMP and identify ways to reduce risk via alternative BMP wildlife when developing stormwater design characteristics or bird strike mitigation measures. management facilities. “Selecting BMPs that mitigate wildlife risk can be difficult GS&P approached Environmental because each airport is unique,” says Lengel. “Our tool addresses this by including airport-specific information Resource Solutions to partner on a response to the problem statement such as bird observation data, bird strike data, and airport by pairing ERS’s expertise on wild- operations in the bird strike risk calculations.” Another challenge was addressing the inherent ambilife hazards to aircraft with GS&P’s stormwater management skills. guity of some of the requirements, as well as the non-linear “ERS’s role was on the bird-hazard and non-quantifiable data available. management side, and looking at the “We contended with the various ‘what-if’ questions, different species to determine which which could be endless,” were hazardous and why. GS&P’s work was more on the stormwater BMP side explains John Lengel, execuand managing the FAA requirements,” tive vice president of GS&P's notes senior environmental engineer Environmental Services market. Devon Seal. “We asked ourselves: What if The ERS/GS&P team identified there is a naturally occurring several key objectives as they prebody of water that pared for the project. The first step attracts wildlife “We contended with the was to review bird hazard managenearby? What if the ment and stormwater management airport is next to a various 'what-if' questions, regulations and provide guidance heavily treed area? which could be endless... documents and relevant research Since it’s impossiSince it's impossible to noting any ambiguities or potential ble to predict every conflicts. Next, the team identified potential situation predict every potential airport stormwater management that exists outside situation that exists outside options and assessed their potential of airport grounds, effect on wildlife behavior, specifically we had to do a fair of airport grounds, we waterfowl. Using this analysis, they amount of brainhad to do a fair amount of developed a matrix for the likelihood storming to cover as brainstorming to cover as and severity of bird strikes across a many eventualities variety of stormwater design sce- many eventualities as possible.” narios and built a draft tool using as possible.” aviation safety management systems (SMS) framework. The team then JOHN LENGEL, conducted two airport case studies EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, to obtain input from initial users and to learn how the tool performed at ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES


The team developed a brochure that describes wildlife hazard issues relative to stormwater management at airports.

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SHOWCASE 9

BIRD STRIKE RISK ANALYSIS 1

IDENTIFY BIRD SPECIES, HISTORY OF STRIKES AND OBSERVATION DATA

2

IDENTIFY EXISTING BIRD MITIGATIONS

3

DEFINE INITIAL STORMWATER BMP CHARACTERISTICS

4

REVIEW INITIAL RISK AND IDENTIFY ADDITIONAL BIRD MITIGATIONS

5

DEVELOP PROPOSED BMP OPTIONS AND REVIEW RESIDUAL RISK


Each airport is unique, making the selection of BMPs that mitigate bird strike risk difficult. The tool addresses this by including airportspecific information such as bird observation data, bird strike data, and airport operations in the bird strike risk calculations.

DEVELOPING AN EASY-TO-USE, ACCESSIBLE TOOL

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Since ACRP does not support web-based tools, Designed on various tabs in the Excel spreadthe tool needed to be in a downloadable format sheet, the tool allows users to enter different that users could install on their computers or categories of data—for example, bird data and open with software that would be available stormwater BMP data—on separate tabs for to any airport user. The clarity. This serves to simplify the inputs, team chose to design the and helps users understand the flow of the tool in Microsoft Excel tool. Each tab includes “hot buttons” that to allow users to enter facilitate navigation through the tool by allowing users to go from one step to the information—such as FAA strike data and stormwater next, access relevant additional resources, design criteria—into an and go back to the main menu. Drop-down Excel spreadsheet. While lists simplify the selection of tool inputs, this solution presented while risk analysis steps are numbered some challenges in develand color-coded for oping the logic behind the “We explored various options and additional clarity. tool, the research team “Once the tool was ultimately decided on Excel because utilized the unique attriready, the team visited it's widely used across the board.” butes of Excel to make the specific airports to discuss tool more user friendly. their stormwater BMPs DEVON SEAL, “ACRP desired a tool and walked through the SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEER that could be downloaded data-collection process and easily disseminated, with them,” says Lengel. so it had to be a program that most people have,” “I think it left the team with a whole new awareness explains Seal. “We explored various options of the wildlife issue. It was quite interesting to see and ultimately decided on Excel because it’s the number of bird strikes that occur and how they affect the airport environment.” widely used across the board. Users aren’t expected to see or modify the tool, but they The Excel-based tool was also introduced need to have Excel 2010 or a later version to to stakeholders through outreach materials, use the application.” webinars and presentations designed for airport personnel, wildlife regulators, stormwater regulators, and the general public at aviation-associated conferences and committee meetings.


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SHOWCASE 9

Providing airports with an opportunity to streamline their decision making with confidence, the bird strike risk analysis and stormwater management decision tool fosters interaction between airport industry practitioners and environmental regulators, while helping them reach implementable solutions that meet their respective objectives and missions. Lengel comments on the project’s success: “The old saying goes, ‘If you’ve seen one airport, you’ve seen one airport.’ I am proud of our team’s ability to synthesize the unique attributes, identify common elements, and develop a risk assessment approach applicable to all airports across North America where no similar tool exists today.”

TE A M

PIC John A. Lengel, Jr., p.e., env sp PM Devon E. Seal, p.e., env sp PP Melanie C. Knecht, p.e., env sp


.GRE S WWW

HA M S

MI

M/S TH . C O

H OWC

AS E


Showcase 9 - ACRP: Balancing Airport Stormwater and Bird Hazard Management  

Showcase is Gresham, Smith and Partners' annual collection of employee-submitted projects, reviewed and selected by an external panel of jud...

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