GEO 565 Annotated Bibliography.docx - media.wix

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					GIS in Airport Layout Plans
Submitted for Geo 565: Jay L Johnson
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Introduction: In 2006 the FAA set forth the parameters by which they were going to require all
U.S. commercial airports that made us of federal funds to collect and submit the layout of their
airports in a GIS based format. This was not only an effort to have a central database that the
FAA, all airport entities and contractors can access and use but it was part of the FAA’s bigger
plan to implement NextGen. NextGen is the quantum leap the FAA is taking to get away from
paper maps and paper pilot navigation charts and into the next generation of satellite based
navigation. Most infrastructures are based on 2 dimensional layouts, i.e., the footprint of their
facilities. With Airports, there is the 3rd Dimension, vertical space, where aircraft are landing
and taking off. Statistically these are by far the most dangerous part of the flight envelope
because of the slow airspeeds and no room for error. Therefore the areas in the vicinity of
airports and specifically the ends of runways must be kept clear of any and all obstructions both
on airport property and beyond. It is a matter of life and death that the FAA not only knows
about all obstructions, natural and man-made, but has the power and authority to enforce these
Since this is a fairly new requirement in the GIS Application environment, it was more difficult
than I thought to find relevant articles on the subject matter.


Bonanni, Robert, P.E.. AGIS: Benefits for Today and Tomorrow. Airport Magazine,
V21 N5: (2009).

This article was one of the first to be published on the FAA’s new AGIS and hence electronic
Airport Layout Plan (eALP) Program. In fact Mr. Bonanni is a national Resource Engineer
with the FAA and his short article addressed the main reason that the FAA was instituting
this new Federal mandate and how airport authorities could better educate themselves on
the new requirements. He starts the article by explaining the need to enhance safety,
improve accuracy and save money by replacing old paper surveys of an airport environment
with GPS based electronic surveys held in a central database that’s accessible to all. Persons
handling an airport’s Layout Plan or survey contractors are encouraged to 1) visit the FAA’s
new AGIS website to keep up to date and to take the Online, Web-based training 2) Read
the FAA AC’s (Aviation Circulars) AC 150/5300-16A, -17B and -18B and National Geodetic
Survey (NGS) and 3) read the FAA document “A Guide to Airport Surveys” found on the FAA
Maghboul, Ed. Keys to Successful Use of a Geographic Information System. Airport
Magazine, V22 N1: (2010).

Mr. Maghboul’s article uses the example of how one of the busiest and yet most constrained
airports in the U.S., Massport’s Boston Logan airport, put GIS to work for them to increase
productivity, increase vendor revenue and decrease costs. The airport used CADD coupled
with GIS to produce a web-based Common Lease Management System (CLMS) that enabled
Lease Managers rapid access to terminal and hangar footprint information. Then by
inputting the price per square foot lease rate particular to that customer, billing and
revenue information was readily available. Now it was possible to have one employee to
handle all the Lease Management functions instead of dozens. From the success of the
CLMS, Massport has expanded the use of GIS based airport layout to other function decision
makers such as Utilities, Environmental, Security and Safety, Construction and Crisis

Cameron, M. South Carolina Initiates Airport Electrical Study. Airport Magazine, V22
N4: (2010). 24-27.

This article describes the use of GIS Databases and ArcGIS Desktop ver. 9.3.1 in particular,
to plot and record all of the electrical signage, lighting, communications and Navaids at all
of the 43 public airports in the state of South Carolina. The author, Michael Cameron,
however, is a Project Manager for WK Dickson & Co., Inc., a Community Infrastructure
Consulting firm. When the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission (SCAC) contracted the
author’s firm to undertake this project, Mr. Cameron proposed that they involve an electrical
contractor and an electrical engineering firm as well. But Mr. Cameron’s highlight is that his
firm proposed to the client, the SCAC, that the best way to quickly catalog all of the
information at 43 different airports and to keep it arranged in a standardized, usable format
was to use GIS. This idea was not new as the FAA published AC 150/5300-18B (Advisory
Circular) in August 2009 in which the federal agency is introducing airports to GIS
standardization that it expects from them in the future. The author ends the article by
restating that using the GIS electronic medium allows all users of this information to
produce the ArcGIS maps and basemaps of any of the states’ airports and to quickly add to
and edit any of the information in order to keep it current. The old way would have
produced several thick binders that would have been outdated as soon as it was published.

McAllister, Brad. Design/Build Symposium Highlights Challenges for Airports.
Airport Business Magazine, March, 2011.

This is a short summary article at the front of the Airport magazine where the author is
interviewing and quoting Randy Murphy of Grafton Technologies about the FAA AGIS
program. Mr. Murphy states that the AGIS is a “new paradigm in play in terms of airport
layout planning.” There are currently three FAA advisory circulars related to eALP: geodetic
control; imagery; and GIS (geographic information system) data. The eALP, electronic
Airport Layout Plan, gives the end user the power to analyze the data instead of just looking
at a paper map which had very few attributes attached. "With this paradigm shift, the goal
is all about the data," adds Murphy. "The point is, once you have the data, you can do so
much more with it using computers. Used electronically, some of the data has much higher
accuracy because it is not only used for planning purposes, but also for flight procedure
design, engineering purposes, etc." Mr. Murphy also states that being able to use and
manipulate electronic data for planning, design approval and the actual build out phase of
any construction project will make each step flow faster which in turn saves money.
Parrish, C. E., & Nowak, R. D. (2009). Improved Approach to LIDAR Airport
Obstruction Surveying Using Full-Waveform Data. Journal Of Surveying
Engineering, 135(2), 72-82. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9453(2009)135:2(72)

This article in the Journal of Surveying Engineering gets a bit technical as you would
imagine. However following in line with the FAA requirement that Obstacle and Obstruction
clearance is provided for in any airport environment, this was an experiment to see if the
authors/engineers could improve on the capabilities of LIDAR. To illuminate and sense
objects from an airborne platform well enough to satisfy the FAA requirements would relieve
surveyors the laborious task of using field survey and photogrammetric techniques.
Although LIDAR had already been used to do obstruction surveys, the LIDAR had a hard
time detecting small points such as the tops of telephone poles and towers. A new advance
had digitized the waveforms sent out by the LIDAR. Using digitized waveforms and a
different step approach protocol the study group was able to get a 252% increase in the
number of points collected on targets. The team used an Optech, Inc. Airborne Laser
Terrain Mapper ALTM 3100 and conducted tests in Fla. and Madison, WI.

Uddin, W., Gutelius, B., & Parrish, C. (2011). Airborne Laser Survey Specifications
and Quality Management Protocols for Airport Obstruction Surveys. Transportation
Research Record, 2214(1), 117-125.

This is another paper co-authored by Christopher Parrish using LIDAR to conduct Airport
Obstruction surveys. LIDAR has been proven to give great results over the former method
of doing FAA required Obstruction Surveys as noted above. A new obstruction survey is
performed anytime there is a change to the airport’s infrastructure or the surrounding area
of the approach and take-off path or more geodetic control is needed because of changing
navigational aids. The NextGen program initiated by the FAA makes satellite/GPS based
navigation a cornerstone of using 21 century technology for safety and cost savings. To
help accomplish this, the FAA has mandated that airports conducted their Airport Layout
Plans in digital format. Full waveform LIDAR surveys enable the data to produce digital
elevation models and improve GIS mapping. LIDAR is very useful to the FAA AGIS program
in that LIDAR data can be loaded as shapefiles and then easily loaded into the AGIS
software. This article looks at different technical collection specifications that LIDAR can be
implemented in surveying the airport obstruction environment and validating the data and

ESRI. (2003). GIS Solutions for Airports and Aviation

This is more of an informational/promotional brochure generated by ESRI to point the many
benefits of using GIS in the airport environment. Many of these have been touched on in
the other articles such as Airport Layout Planning, Flight Path Safety Planning and Lease
Management functions. A huge concern, especially during the hard economic times, is
revenue generation. Even though airports get to collect Passenger Facility Fees (PFC’s) that
are charged to each airline ticket, the FAA has long ago established that an airport should
be financially self sufficient. This means that an airport must increasingly look for new
sources of revenue from its tenants and stakeholders. GIS can help with not only present
facilities and leases but to investigate new land acquisition and facilities construction such
as parking lots to generate more income. Other areas that are important to an airports
friendly neighbor status not to mention federally required is Noise Abatement and
Environmental Monitoring. GIS makes it possible to produce desktop maps and buffer zone
analysis to comply with federal regulations. This is an attempt to get airport managers to
think about the time saving and revenue generating possibilities of using various GIS

Ho, C., & Romero, P. (2008). Applications of Geographic Information System in
Airfield Infrastructure System Management and Maintenance. Transportation
Research Record, 2052(1), 100-109.

This paper in the Transportation Research Record illustrates how the use of GIS instruments
such as PDA’s and Laptops that are easily carried by maintenance personnel can greatly
increase the speed of inspections of pavement, runway, lighting and facilities. Inspections
for FOD (foreign object debris) on runways are a daily safety procedure. While these
personnel are out there looking for objects on the runway that can cut aircraft tires (Air
France Concorde crash) or get sucked up into the engine intakes, they also take
measurements of pavement friction, braking and skid resistance. They also take readings
of the condition of pavement itself. To have these readings recorded in a GIS format adds
to the accuracy of the reports. The authors use several instances at world airports where
GIS capabilities are increasing the efficiency and lowering costs for the operators. It also
adds to their ability to project and plan for improvements in facilities such as terminals,
gates, fuel and other utilities and parking lots.

FAA. Airports – GIS News. V2, Issue 1. (May 2009)

This is an FAA generated newsletter to anyone, airport employees, FAA members and
contractors that are beginning to use the AGIS system. It covers several topics including
the introduction of the guidance paper “A Guide to Airport Surveys” to help mitigate some of
the early and repeating problems users have in collecting data and entering it into the
system. It gives the latest expectation on when the Online Training Program, AGIS-
Integrated Distance Learning Environment (AGIS-IDLE) will launch, first quarter of 2010. In
my other reading on the FAA AGIS website, it appears that the AGIS-IDLE was shut down in
April 2011 due to an “unexpected critical maintenance issue.” No word if it’s back online
now. The Newsletter then has a section for “Tech Tips” where it instructs you how to use
the Data Mitigation Tool (DMT). The DMT is used to convert the legacy data or airport
surveys into the new FAA AGIS format. It discusses Survey Submission and File Testing
Tools and then upcoming Training Conferences and AGIS Support links.
ESRI. (2010). Enterprise GIS Takes Off at Phoenix Sky Harbor International

This is an article that was posted in Esri library touting the GIS use in the day to day
functions of the Phoenix (PHX) Sky Harbor International airport. In 2007 the Phoenix
Aviation Dept. an Esri geospatial business partner to develop an enterprise-class information
system for use by PHX employees. The crux of the program was that it had to be able to be
accessed, inquired and be able to download data and maps to over 200 different non-GIS
technicians to help them in their respective positions. Maintenance personnel, Lease
management, operations as well as planning and administration staff could access indoor
and outdoor maps, send new data and take pictures with co-referenced GIS/GPS metadata
to update the system on the fly. They could also generate trouble tickets for things like
broken taxiway lights to alert maintenance or missing data so that GIS verify personnel
could respond. The PHX system consists of ten servers including a redundant failover
system and a geodatabase with 300 feature classes. It blends with previous CADD
drawings to provide interior floor plan data and aerial photography and digital orthophotos.

Other References:

Esri Aeronautical Solution—Airports GIS Package

An Esri product package that enables an airport GIS employee or contractor to conduct an
airport layout plan with built-in QC checks that conform to the FAA standards for AGIS. Website. Airports GIS and Electronic Airport Layout Plan (eALP). 2011

This page under the website gives a quick explanation of the overall FAA Airport
GIS Program and then it provides links to the Advisory Circulars (AC) that are the official
technical requirements for collecting and submitting data into the GIS Database. Next it
provides a Training Block which includes written and short video clips presentations to teach
airport employees how to register an account and navigate within the FAA AGIS website.
The FAA has also setup a 3 Level training Program, AGIS- Integrated Distance Learning
Environment (AGIS-IDLE) for not only FAA but non-FAA students as well. If you complete
all 3 Levels of Training then you are awarded a Certificate of Completion. Website. FAA Airport Surveying - GIS Program. 2011

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