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Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace (2014)

Chapter: Appendix E - Pilot Glare Survey Data

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Pilot Glare Survey Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Pilot Glare Survey Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Page 83
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E - Pilot Glare Survey Data." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22399.
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Page 84

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E-1 Pilot Glare Survey Data A flight crew survey was designed and supported in col- laboration with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to obtain empirical information from pilots on the sources of solar glare and their effects. The methodology, design, analy- sis of results, and recommendations are discussed below. Methodology The survey was hosted online and web links were sent to various commercial passenger airlines and general avia- tion terminals across the country over a period of 9 months between October 2012 and July 2013. The survey was distrib- uted through a variety of sources including airports, airlines, pilot associations, and other aviation professionals. The sup- port of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Air Line Pilots Association in distributing the survey through their e-newsletters was particularly important to increasing the number of responses. Airports with known solar facilities prior to survey responses are listed in Table E-1 below. Most of the selected airports expe- rience a significant annual volume of general aviation (light and business) aircraft carrying private passengers and serv- ing recreational and training flight operations. These general aviation aircraft normally utilize a private passenger terminal operated by any number of companies providing needed ser- vices and facilities. The companies providing such services are commonly referred to as fixed base operators (FBOs). The sur- vey was well supported by FBO managers who posted survey notice flyers in flight crew lounges and planning areas. The responses were evaluated quantitatively and validated against textual comments provided by respondents. Design The 21 question anonymous survey was designed to sys- tematically evaluate the following: • General Experiences with Solar Glare • Airport Solar Energy Facility Awareness • Photovoltaic Solar Panel Awareness and Glare Experience • Safety Concerns and Reporting Actions Results and Analysis General Experience of Solar Glare (Not Necessarily from Solar Panels) There were 383 total survey responses, 32% of which came from pilots based at airports with known solar energy facili- ties listed in Table E-1. Commercial airline pilots were the largest group of respondents (54%) followed by single engine aircraft pilots (26%) as depicted in Figure E-1. Frequency and Sources: Most respondents noticed some form of solar glare occasionally, concentrated during the time periods around sunrise or sunset. In addition to the low angle of the sun at these times, other sources of reflective glare by order of magnitude include water bodies such as lakes and ponds, glass buildings, win- dows, and building roofs. Phase of Flight: Arrival phase of flight had the highest quantitative score for glare observations. However, several respondents provided additional comments that they experi- enced solar glare during both arrival and departure (low alti- tude) phases of flight. These glare observations were assessed as a moderate nuisance and mitigated most often by cockpit shading and sunglasses. Airport Solar Energy Facility Awareness: Only 43% of respondents were aware of existing solar energy facilities at or near the airports where they operate aircraft. Of this sub-group, 66% of respondents identified the facilities as photovoltaic with the remainder being concentrating solar power. Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panel Awareness: Among the group of respondents aware of these solar energy installations, A p p e n d i x e

E-2 26% affiliated solar glare experienced while flying with the facilities at or in the vicinity of the airports while 56% did not affirm that glare came from solar energy cells. The remain- ing 17% of respondents were uncertain. Of the 26% who affiliated glare while flying with solar facilities, 31% listed facilities as concentrating solar power, while 25% listed facilities as solar PV. The remaining 44% were not certain what type of solar facility was present. Solar PV Panel Glare: Generally, 45% of respondents were specifically aware of solar PV facilities at various air- ports. Among these respondents only 9% said they experi- enced glare specifically from solar PV facilities and mostly (88%) during the landing phase of flight. Of this nota- bly small group, most (72%) did not find solar PV glare a nuisance or safety concern. Even fewer have expressed specific safety concerns to authorities regarding solar PV installations. Table E-1. U.S. airports with solar photovoltaic energy facilities. Airport Identifier State Airport Identifier State Bagdad E51 AZ Kahului OGG HI Prescott PRC AZ Kona International KOA HI Phoenix PHX AZ Lihue LIH HI Bakersfield – Meadows Field BFL CA Boston Logan International BOS MA Burbank – Bob Hope BUR CA Hanscom Field BED MA Fresno Yosemite International FAT CA Baltimore Washington International BWI MD Long Beach International LGB CA Charlotte/Douglas International CLT NC Metropolitan Oakland International OAK CA Person County TDF NC Redding Municipal RDD CA Manchester MHT NH San Francisco International SFO CA Albuquerque International ABQ NM San Jose International SJC CA Seneca County 16G OH Denver DEN CO Chattanooga – Lovell Field CHA TN Garfield County (Rifle) KRIL CO Smyrna MQY TN Gainesville Regional GNV FL San Antonio International SAT TX Lakeland Linder Regional LAL FL St. Thomas STT VI Tallahassee Regional TLH FL Burlington International BTV VT Hilo International ITO HI Source: HMMH Figure E-1. Survey respondents by aircraft types flown.

Abbreviations and acronyms used without definitions in TRB publications: A4A Airlines for America AAAE American Association of Airport Executives AASHO American Association of State Highway Officials AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials ACI–NA Airports Council International–North America ACRP Airport Cooperative Research Program ADA Americans with Disabilities Act APTA American Public Transportation Association ASCE American Society of Civil Engineers ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials ATA American Trucking Associations CTAA Community Transportation Association of America CTBSSP Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program DHS Department of Homeland Security DOE Department of Energy EPA Environmental Protection Agency FAA Federal Aviation Administration FHWA Federal Highway Administration FMCSA Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration FRA Federal Railroad Administration FTA Federal Transit Administration HMCRP Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ISTEA Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 ITE Institute of Transportation Engineers MAP-21 Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (2012) NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAO National Association of State Aviation Officials NCFRP National Cooperative Freight Research Program NCHRP National Cooperative Highway Research Program NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NTSB National Transportation Safety Board PHMSA Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration RITA Research and Innovative Technology Administration SAE Society of Automotive Engineers SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (2005) TCRP Transit Cooperative Research Program TEA-21 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (1998) TRB Transportation Research Board TSA Transportation Security Administration U.S.DOT United States Department of Transportation

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 108: Guidebook for Energy Facilities Compatibility with Airports and Airspace describes processes to plan, develop, and construct energy production and transmission technologies at and around airports. The guidebook emphasizes aviation safety practices in order to help ensure a safe and efficient national air system while still helping to meet U.S. domestic energy production needs.

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