Air carriers and airports are concerned with the potential hazards of lightning. Safety policies and practices require that ramp operations be discontinued when the potential for lightning exists. Ramp closures significantly affect all facets of airport operations, including landside, terminal, and airside operations, and the National Airspace System. The severity of these effects could be reduced if current airport lightning-warning systems were enhanced to more precisely identify the periods when ramp closures must be in effect. For example, this could be accomplished by integrating measurements from other weather-observing systems, such as radar, into the lightning-warning systems. Research is needed to determine appropriate methodologies and expected improvements in warning capability.
The objective of this research is to recommend potential improvements to lightning-warning systems for use by airports. To accomplish this objective, it will be necessary to (1) characterize lightning detection and prediction technologies currently in use by airports and air carriers in the vicinity of airports; (2) evaluate the feasibility of improving operational lightning-warning capabilities (e.g., by integrating these technologies with other existing/developing operating weather-measuring systems); and (3) estimate the reduction in direct and indirect operating costs for airlines and airport operators that would result if the improved lightning-warning capability were implemented.
Status: The project has been completed and the final report published.
Product Availability: ACRP Report 8: Lightning-Warning Systems for Use by Airports