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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26913.
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Page 1
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Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26913.
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Page 2
Page 3
Suggested Citation:"Summary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26913.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

1   Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings In the absence of comprehensive guidelines related to standards for apron/ramp markings, airports have worked with their specific stakeholder groups (airlines, ground crews, etc.) to develop unique apron/ramp marking practices that meet their operational needs. Con- sequently, variations are seen in apron/ramp markings at airports across the United States. These variations occur in numerous apron/ramp areas, including terminal gate aprons, taxilanes, hardstands, deicing pads, airside roadways, and other apron areas found in the non-movement area. The primary objective of this synthesis is to document variations in apron/ramp marking practices at airports that are part of the FAA’s National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems (NPIAS). The synthesis includes a review of industry publications and guidelines materials related to apron/ramp markings (i.e., a literature review), an industry survey, and case examples/interviews with multiple airports and other industry stakeholders. Different types of apron/ramp areas (e.g., terminal gate, hardstand, taxilane, and deicing) were considered during every phase of the synthesis effort. As part of the literature review, both domestic and international/non-U.S. publications related to apron/ramp markings were reviewed. The results of the literature review were then used to inform the content of the industry survey, which received a total of 81 responses from 61 airports. The survey was disseminated through the AAAE, ACI-NA, LinkedIn (social media), and the professional network of the synthesis team. Because the survey was dissemi- nated electronically, a specific survey response rate could not be established. Finally, the results of the industry survey were used to complete multiple case examples documenting unique apron/ramp marking practices at NPIAS airports. Additionally, interviews were completed with A4A, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Airport and Ground Environment group to ascertain the airline perspective on this topic. The results of the synthesis effort were leveraged to establish the following observations related to the variations in apron/ramp marking practices at NPIAS airports across the United States: • Comprehensive Industry Guidelines Are Lacking. While a variety of materials on apron/ramp markings at airports have been published, none of the guidelines are com- prehensive. Consequently, airports may use material from a variety of sources in estab- lishing their apron/ramp marking practices. • Consistent Terminology Is Lacking. Different publications use different terminology when referring to various apron/ramp markings that have the same (or a similar) focus. For example, the aircraft safety envelope marking is referred to by the terms in the following three publications: – ACRP Report 96: Apron Planning and Design Guidebook: aircraft safety envelope (Ricondo & Associates, Inc., et al. 2013) S U M M A R Y

2 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings – A4A SG 908: Recommended Apron Markings and Identification: aircraft safety zone (A4A 2017) – ACI World—Apron Markings and Signs Handbook (3rd Edition): stand safety line (ACI World 2017) Inconsistency in terminology has the potential to create confusion for airport, airline, and ramp personnel, as well as other industry stakeholders. • Airports Are Working with Stakeholders to Establish Apron/Ramp Marking Schemes. The study results show that airports are working with their local stakeholders to estab- lish their apron/ramp marking practices. However, this collaboration does not typically include modeling marking practices after those used at other airports. During the case example/interview process, airports were asked if they modeled their apron/ramp marking practices after those at other airports, and they generally indicated that they did not. • Airlines Have Different Standards for Terminal Gate Apron Markings. The study shows that airlines have different standards related to the layout of terminal gate apron markings. Some individual airline standards are different from those set forth in A4A SG 908. Additionally, some airlines have different requirements related to wingtip and building clearances. This creates challenges related to standardizing markings in the terminal gate apron area while maximizing the limited amount of apron space that airports have. • Ground Support Personnel Are an Important Audience for Apron Markings. The results of the industry survey show that airports generally believe that their apron/ramp markings are less sufficient in providing consistent and clear guidance to ground support personnel than to pilots. This highlights the importance of considering ground support personnel in the development of apron/ramp marking schemes and identifying ways to communicate the meaning of the markings to this audience. Additionally, based on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Ground Damage Database (GDDB), approximately 61% of ground damages are caused by ground service equipment (GSE) (Suidan, Cicetti, and Fleming 2021), which further emphasizes the importance of ground support personnel as a key audience. • Airports Are Concerned About Marking Consistency. Multiple airports stated that they are concerned about the lack of consistency in apron/ramp markings in certain areas. This concern was identified more frequently with respect to terminal apron gate area markings. Approximately 46% of respondents to the industry survey reported that terminal gate area markings at their airport are not standardized. Several airports indi- cated that they would like to see apron/ramp markings standardized across the industry. • Marking Aprons for Aircraft of Different Sizes Is Challenging. Multiple airports stated that they have found it challenging to mark aprons for aircraft of different sizes. This chal- lenge occurs when the apron is primarily designed for a certain size of aircraft, but larger air- craft must use the area from time to time. Consequently, airports have developed a number of marking practices (e.g., different colors for centerlines, different colors for centerline outlines, and different marking patterns) to communicate to flight crews the markings that are applicable to their aircraft. • Airports Use a Variety of Resources and Stakeholder Input to Establish Apron/Ramp Marking Scheme(s). While airports typically stated that they use the guidelines provided in FAA Advisory Circulars (ACs) to establish their apron/ramp marking scheme(s), they also identified a multitude of other industry resources that they use as guidelines [e.g., ICAO (Inter- national Civil Aviation Organization), ACI, A4A, and others] and stakeholders (e.g., airlines) to establish their apron/ramp marking scheme(s). However, multiple airports did report that they adopted unique marking schemes not defined in the industry guidelines materials. • Maintaining Markings Is Important. The proper maintenance of apron/ramp markings is important and can be resource intensive. This can make it challenging for airports to

Summary 3   add apron/ramp markings and maintain them. In the case examples, some airports identified the use of thermoplastic markings as a way to reduce maintenance requirements. • It Is Important to Communicate Wingspan Restrictions with Markings. Pilots do not typically know the Airplane Design Group (ADG) of the aircraft they are operating. Con- sequently, airports should consider communicating surface-painted wingspan restric- tions in feet (e.g., “Max Wingspan 120 ft.”) instead of using ADGs (e.g., “ADG III and Below Only”). Le Bris (2017) recommended a similar practice related to temporary air- field signage. • Pilots Prefer Lead-In Lines That Extend to the Taxilane Centerline. Pilots generally prefer lead-in lines for terminal gates to extend to the taxilane centerline. This reduces the amount of judgment a pilot must exercise when positioning the aircraft for parking. • Charts Need to Be Published by Flight Data Providers to Update Their Charts Based on Input from Airports. Many airports stated that it is important to work with Jeppesen, Lido, and other flight data providers to ensure that their publications are properly updated to denote any unique apron/ramp marking practices used at the airport. This will improve flight crew awareness of the airport’s unique apron/ramp markings. Airports may also choose to undertake other coordination/safety promotion activities (meeting with airline pilots, establishing safety working groups, and so on) to improve awareness of the airport’s apron markings. • Marking Congestion Needs to Be Reduced. Based on an interview with A4A, marking congestion is a concern for airline personnel. They indicated that an abundance of markings can create confusion for both pilots and ground crews that may result in errors (e.g., using the wrong lead-in line). They recommended that airports work with their airline partners to prevent an overabundance of apron markings that could create confusion. As part of this study, many stakeholders indicated that they would be in favor of updating guidelines related to airfield apron/ramp markings. Future research on apron/ramp markings would be helpful if it brought together industry stakeholders to have collaborative discus- sions related to this topic. This research could also look into ways to increase the familiarity of airport apron/ramp markings with ramp personnel.

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In the absence of comprehensive guidelines related to standards for surface apron and ramp markings, airports have worked with their specific stakeholder groups (such as airlines and ground crews) to develop unique apron and ramp marking practices that meet their operational needs. Consequently, variations are seen in apron and ramp markings at airports across the United States.

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Synthesis 122: Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings documents airport apron and ramp marking variations at U.S. airports.

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