Airports are a lot of open space that could get put to good use. For example, in some areas the wind from the jet blast could be collected to make electricity. Solar? Admittedly you'd have to make the panel assemblies pretty rugged. Photobioreactor banks churning out biodeisel? It would have to be low, it would have to not pose a major danger to aircraft, and rugged enough to withstand jet blast. Crashes are rare, but it would have to be safe enough that it wouldn't rip open fuel tanks and such.
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 16803 posts, RR: 57 Reply 2, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10997 times:
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Isn't there a golf course for servicemen somewhere between the runways there?
Guys hitting golf balls around turbofan engines? Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
In Sioux City (and probably other places) there are farm fields in the airport.
I'm kinda surprised. I mean, who wants a crop that was grown in jet blast? I guess cotton...
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1): That would probably be pretty difficult since that would be rather inconsistent.
Not really. There's a stretch of freeway in Detroit with turbines that spin as the traffic passes and they make some electricity. You'd need batteries to store it up but such a system could power the terminal, or at least help.
I like the idea of laying solar panels flat on the ground. At least in sunnier places.
atcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 665 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10934 times:
Well, in many places it's not really possible. In the US, airfields have to abide by FAR part 77 - Objects Affecting Navigable Airspace. The regs say that for every seven feet from the runway edge (sides), there can be an obstruction one foot tall, fourteen feet can have a two foot obstruction, and so on. The full details can be found in part 77.23 and 77.25 if you're interested. However, this is really meant for necessary airfield equipment, like power stations, NAVAIDS, fire stations, terminals, antennas, etc. Also for buildings, freeways, antennas, etc. within certain distances of an airport and what type of lighting they require (beacons, strobes, etc.)
It is important that in the event of an aircraft emergency, the airfield have plenty of open space around the runway so that if the aircraft were either not able to make the runway, overshoot the runway, or slide off the runway, the aircraft will have an unobstructed (and therefore, safe) skid to a stop. This is why many airports are required to install an EMAS pad, or Engineered Materials Arresting System, if there is not enough distance between the runway threshold and the airport boundary or obstruction -- 200 ft in the US as defined by FAR part 77.25.
If you want to use solar panels, it would be far safer (and probably more efficient) to install them on the roof of the terminal, parking decks, auxiliary buildings, etc. But putting panels with "rugged assembly" would be potentially hazardous to an aircraft out of control and off of the runway. You're very right when you say it's a waste of space, but it's designed for safety. And having grass is an adequate cushion for an aircraft making an emergency landing. They also avoid vegetation and ponds near the airport to prevent wildlife from interfering with operations.
I hope that answers your question. It's a big waste of space, but it's done so with safety in mind
atcsundevil From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 665 posts, RR: 1 Reply 7, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 10836 times:
Quoting Airport (Reply 6): I brought up this idea in a thread a while back, and it didn't seem like people cared much enough to answer... I still think the benefits could very well outweigh the costs.
Windmills At The End Of Runways? (by Airport Apr 14 2010 in Civil Aviation)
Putting a windmill 200-500 feet from the end of the runway is against FAR part 77. It would also potentially obstruct the ILS glideslope. Airports are the way they are for a reason. Alternative energies are a great thing, but they can't be anywhere near the runways or on the airfield because it puts aircraft in danger.
chrisjw From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 114 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 10631 times:
The airport I fly out of (A little Class D) grows corn in all the spare land not used by the airport (although future plans for growth will cut down a lot of it). I think they do it to gain a little pocket change that is compounded by some government subsidies for corn.
mayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 9157 posts, RR: 14 Reply 10, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10195 times:
Well, SLC has Wingpointe golf course on the south end of the airport. The north end of the airport used to have grazing land. Matter of fact, a guy I used to carpool with told me that land belonged to his uncle and was leased to the airport. He was allowed to graze his cattle there but I believe they are not there, any longer. Those areas were fenced off from the runways and the rest of the airport.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
Hopefully not while the airport is open! Instead of black tire streaks, they'd be red! And somewhere in there you'd find some very flat man with an even flatter bicycle. I wish this park was open when I was in Berlin a few months ago! I would have liked to meander around the airfield for a while. It's an interesting use of the space. I've been through the terminal when it was still open and it truly is an incredible piece of architecture and history.
falstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 5670 posts, RR: 29 Reply 14, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 9765 times:
Quoting nclmedic (Reply 12): I loved this shot - great idea and a really nice environment in a prime Berlin spot. This is something everyone can enjoy, and preserves one of the great pre-WWII airports.
I am happy to see it being used like that too. I was there in 08, while it was still in use and what a neat old airport it was. What is going on with the terminal buildings?
2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 982 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day ago) and read 9618 times:
They do in fact do something useful with airports - they safely land planes there; with the emphasis on safety.
I've seen a few airports with alfalfa (hay) around or between runways. Its a perfect crop in that the ground is flat - and the crop does not extend higher than a foot, and you can drive across it without destroying it. Bales of hay if left in the field during baling are a rather soft obstacle as well.
I would not agree with beans or many other crops where the ground is deep plowed into furrows at the start of the planting season. That would make it difficult for emergency vehicle access if needed.
Jetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2660 posts, RR: 37 Reply 17, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day ago) and read 9591 times:
OKC sells it's grass off as hay. I think it is quite embarrassing when they are done mowing but have not piled the large hay bails in the trucks yet to be sold off. Looks like you are landing on a farm. But, what do I know? I say it's a good way of adding extra revenue to the airport, normally grass is cut down and just left there. Might as well get some money out of the deal?
DocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 16803 posts, RR: 57 Reply 18, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day ago) and read 9583 times:
Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 3):
If you want to use solar panels, it would be far safer (and probably more efficient) to install them on the roof of the terminal, parking decks, auxiliary buildings, etc. But putting panels with "rugged assembly" would be potentially hazardous to an aircraft out of control and off of the runway.
OK, what if we replaced the flat grass with flat solar panels?
Look at DEN. They have solar panels, on the ground, around the airport property. I know there is one solar farm near the main terminal, and there is another solar farm that was just recently built north of the UA hangar.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
Not only would most of that be against the rules, but it would also cost way to much to do. IMHO we need to worry about getting nicer airports in the US(LGA,JFK T2/3 LAX T3/6 etc) before we waste money(sorry but thats how it is) on extra things.
"Oh look at the sUGAr falling out of the sky! Look at the sUGAr falling out of the sky!" LM 1922-2011 Go Dawgs! G.A.T.A.
SNAFlyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 86 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (2 years 12 months 22 hours ago) and read 8584 times:
If you're looking at decommissioned airfields, somewhere along the lines of Tempelhof is Irvine's "Great Park". A pleasant and environmentally friendly way to preserve the heritage of the former Marine Corps station.