Editor's Note

The Transportation Research Board (TRB), under the Airport Cooperative Research Program, has commissioned a research team to conduct a comprehensive GSE survey that is now underway in the United States.

The objectives of this survey are twofold, and split into corresponding phases, as described on TRB’s website:

  • develop a tutorial that describes GSE operations and identifies potential strategies to reduce emissions from powered GSE for use by GSE owners and operators
  • conduct a representative inventory of powered GSE at airports, helping the industry assess the contribution of GSE to air quality impact at airports

This study has been funded through the TRB under FAA sponsorship and began in June. CDM has been selected as the research agency to conduct the project. A panel of industry representatives has been put in place to oversee the research. To accomplish this ambitious task, CDM will contact various industry groups, including airports, airlines, GSE manufacturers and FBOs.

When it comes to compiling a national inventory of equipment, John Pehrson, P.E., principal air quality engineer at CDM, explains that it will include direct contact with fleet owners as well as surveys to collect data.

CDM is looking to collect sample data from airports of varying size and climate zones throughout the country. The information collected will be aggregated to create a national picture of GSE numbers and types throughout the country.

“It’s our intent to collect the information, and identify it as being a large-hub airport, or a medium hub, small hub, or a no-hub, and what kind of climate it’s in,” he says. “Hopefully that gives us enough information that we could then come up with a statistical linear regression on converting our sample inventory into a national inventory.”

Participation Needs

“We are doing this in anticipation that the information will be useful to a whole bunch of folks, including the owners and operators,” Pehrson says. “We appreciate any information they can give us and any data they want to provide, we definitely look forward to reviewing.”

He adds, “We hope to start talking to the owners and see if there is a way that we can obtain this information and record it in a manner so that they feel comfortable actually providing it to us. There’s some sensitivity as to how much of their personal information gets out into the public, and we are sensitive to that and would like to avoid providing that much detail.”

The project is expected to span 18 months, concluding in December 2011. The more information that can be gathered from the survey, the better resource it could prove to be — and the more benefit it will provide to the industry as a whole. A survey such as this has been a long time coming, and the potential benefits are undeniable.

For more information, contact John Pehrson P.E., principal air quality engineer at CDM, at (949) 752-5452 or PehrsonJR@cdm.com.

As always, thank you for reading!

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