14.1 In Search of Effective Ramp Management Balancing Lightning Safety with Operational Efficiency

Thursday, 26 January 2017: 3:30 PM
Conference Center: Skagit 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Wiebke Deierling, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Steiner, K. Ikeda, J. L. Bewley, M. Robinson, A. Klein, V. Klimenko, and R. Bass

Lightning poses a threat to outdoor workers servicing gate-side aircraft.  For safety reasons, people are brought inside whenever thunderstorms dwell directly over an airport.  The halting of outdoor work (i.e., ramp closure), however, causes air traffic delays.  This study examines the risk of outdoor people exposed to lightning threats and the causality and magnitude of traffic delays due to ramp closures (as opposed to other reasons).  The propagation of airport delays incurred from lightning-induced ramp closures through the national airspace system is investigated by means of air traffic simulations.  These simulations enable exploration of opportunities to minimize operational inefficiencies while maintaining outdoor personnel safety.  Monetary valuation of the safety risks and air traffic delays allows balancing personnel safety and operational efficiency from an economic perspective.  Results will be presented from exploring an economic balance framework and examining impact and cost tradeoffs in search of a “most effective” lightning ramp management operation that balances both efficiency and safety.

This research is supported by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the FAA.

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