89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Monday, 12 January 2009: 10:45 AM
Lightning warning systems for airport ramp operations
Room 131A (Phoenix Convention Center)
David B. Johnson, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and L. Heitkemper and R. F. Price
Lightning strikes present a significant hazard for airport workers, and most large airports maintain some sort of lighting detection and warning system to guide local decisions for stopping and resuming ramp operations. This presentation summarizes the results of a recent study of lighting warning systems for airports commissioned by the Transportation Research Board's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP).

From an operational point of view, the warning systems need to provide a safe environment for ramp operations, while at the same time minimizing the down time and disruptions to the routine servicing of the aircraft. The study reviewed currently available lightning detection technologies, interviewed airport and airline users of commercial detection systems, and made recommendations for enhancing airport lightning detection systems and optimizing their use for ramp management. The study also made use of NLDN data sets to generate estimates of the typical number, and duration, of lightning-induced ramp closures, and developed operational cost analysis procedures to document the financial impact of these closures.

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