42 Using Total Lightning Data to Optimize Airport Shutdown Costs

Monday, 13 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Mark Hoekzema, Earth Networks, Germantown, MD; and M. Stock, J. Lapierre, M. Mehallow, and C. Merrill

Handout (451.5 kB)

Airport closures due to lightning threats total over $30 billion each year. These costs are mostly burdened on the major air carriers. Determining the optimal threat parameters to trigger closures could save the airlines billions of dollars each year. Using the Earth Networks Total Lightning network data for 2014 – 2019, statistical analysis was done on lightning occurrences at 10 major U.S. airports with varying geography. Theoretical closures were tabulated for varying trigger radii and lightning free “all-clear” windows. These data were then used to calculate the frequency of closures, the amount of closure time and probabilities for subsequent “hits” in the airport “strike zone.” The data shows there are optimal radii and all-clear intervals that will limit lost time due to evacuations and re-deployments and subsequent re-evacuations due to short all-clear windows.
- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner