marchapril2021 - 38

AIRFIELD MAINTENANCE
AUTHOR Mauri Vapola

Sensor Technology's
One-Two Punch:

IMPROVING WINTER MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS
AND MEETING ICAO GRF REGULATIONS

AS WE all know, even a little bit of inclement winter
weather can have a significant impact on airport
operations and traveler safety. Whether a massive
international airport that sees thousands of arrivals
and departures every day or a smaller airfield with
just one runway, safety and efficiency of operations
are the primary concerns for airports of all sizes.
From ice, snow and frost to standing
water and the presence of chemicals on
the runway, it's crucial that airport
decision-makers are equipped with
the meteorological data and runway
condition information they need to
prepare for, respond to and ultimately
mitigate the impact of winter weather.
With runway maintenance being
a top priority during the snow and
ice season and the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global
Reporting Format (GRF) regulation
going into effect later this year, airport
managers will soon be required to report
conditions and contaminants on each
third of the runway.
In order to effectively alleviate
the impact of winter weather while

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MAURI VAPOLA

Mauri Vapola is a Solution Manager at
Vaisala, with extensive experience in
engineering, meteorology, and aviation.
Today, he leads Vaisala's runway condition
reporting initiatives and is an expert on
GRF and related matters.

simultaneously remaining in compliance
with the upcoming GRF requirements,
forward-thinking airports are turning to
advanced sensor technology to monitor
snow and ice, as well as assess and report
runway conditions in real time.

Leveraging Sensors
to Improve Winter
Maintenance Operations
According to ICAO, inspectors can
manually assess the runway surface state
using their own senses to determine if it's
safe for a plane to land or take off. The
presence of standing water, snow, ice or
slush can make it difficult for planes to
take off or land safely, however, manual
observations face great challenges in
making measurements consistent and
comparable. Unfortunately, manual
assessments, or friction measurements
currently in use at many airports, can
be far less representative of the actual
surface state than leveraging sensor
technology to measure specific runway
conditions.
Assessing and measuring specific
runway conditions is critical to airport

38 \ AIRPORTBUSINESS / MARCH/APRIL 2021

safety because the impact of weather on
runway, taxiway and apron area surface
conditions cannot be directly derived
from the atmospheric environment
alone. For example, pavement surface
temperatures can substantially vary
from the temperature of the air, and the
concentration of chemicals present on
the runway can affect whether ice will
begin to form on a runway surface. No
matter how responsible and experienced
an inspector might be, determining
the runway surface temperature, the
type and amount of contaminant and
the concentration of chemicals present
remains nearly impossible without
sensor technology providing insight
into changing conditions.
Employ ing advanced sensor
technology - like runway sensors
or mobile sensors on f leet vehicles
surveying the runways - to develop
an in-depth under stand ing of
potentially deteriorating conditions
empowers decision-makers with more
representative, objective, consistent
and accurate information than a
manual assessment ever could. With
more reliable data, airports can better
manage winter maintenance operations,
determining when and where to deploy
maintenance teams, which snow and
ice removal equipment and materials
are necessary before and during a
winter weather event and whether to
temporarily close runways or completely
cancel flights.



marchapril2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of marchapril2021

The $7 Million Man
Industry Update
A New Normal in Airport Parking and Transportation
The Rise of Robots
Boarding Bridges the Holistic Way
A Brave New World
The Trouble with Tribal Knowledge
Doing it Right: Public Sector FBOs
Reconstructing One of New England's Longest Commericial Service Runways
Designing a Modern Lighthouse
Sensor Technology's One-Two Punch: Improving Winter Maintenance Operations and Meeting ICAO GRF Regulations
Caution: Closure Ahead
marchapril2021 - 1
marchapril2021 - 2
marchapril2021 - 3
marchapril2021 - 4
marchapril2021 - The $7 Million Man
marchapril2021 - Industry Update
marchapril2021 - 7
marchapril2021 - 8
marchapril2021 - 9
marchapril2021 - 10
marchapril2021 - 11
marchapril2021 - A New Normal in Airport Parking and Transportation
marchapril2021 - 13
marchapril2021 - The Rise of Robots
marchapril2021 - 15
marchapril2021 - 16
marchapril2021 - 17
marchapril2021 - Boarding Bridges the Holistic Way
marchapril2021 - 19
marchapril2021 - 20
marchapril2021 - 21
marchapril2021 - A Brave New World
marchapril2021 - 23
marchapril2021 - 24
marchapril2021 - 25
marchapril2021 - The Trouble with Tribal Knowledge
marchapril2021 - 27
marchapril2021 - 28
marchapril2021 - Doing it Right: Public Sector FBOs
marchapril2021 - 30
marchapril2021 - 31
marchapril2021 - Reconstructing One of New England's Longest Commericial Service Runways
marchapril2021 - 33
marchapril2021 - 34
marchapril2021 - 35
marchapril2021 - Designing a Modern Lighthouse
marchapril2021 - 37
marchapril2021 - Sensor Technology's One-Two Punch: Improving Winter Maintenance Operations and Meeting ICAO GRF Regulations
marchapril2021 - 39
marchapril2021 - Caution: Closure Ahead
marchapril2021 - 41
marchapril2021 - 42
marchapril2021 - 43
marchapril2021 - 44
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