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Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings (2023)

Chapter: Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26913.
×
Page 31
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 3 - Synthesized Survey Results." 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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23   C H A P T E R 3 As part of the study process, an online industry-wide survey was developed and administered to gather data from airports of varying sizes and in different locations regarding the airfield apron markings used at their airport(s). The survey was constructed in modules to enable survey participants to skip any modules not applicable to their airport. The modules are: • Module #1—Terminal Gate Area Markings, • Module #2—Taxilane/Apron Markings, • Module #3—Aircraft Hardstand Markings, • Module #4—Deicing Apron Markings, • Module #5—Airside Roadway Markings, and • Module #6—Helicopter/eVTOL/Electric Aircraft Markings. The survey was disseminated through several channels in an effort to gather as many responses as possible. Specifically, the following actions were taken to gather feedback from a broad range of airports: • Personal dissemination of the survey via e-mail and LinkedIn by multiple members of the study team to their professional networks • Posting the survey on the main page of the AAAE HUB webpage • AAAE and ACI-NA shared the survey with applicable committee members in their organization. The survey was initially disseminated on February 28, 2022, and was closed on April 1, 2022. In total, 81 responses were received when the survey was open. However, it should be noted that multiple responses were received from some airports, and some survey responses did not include the name of the airport. In total, the following 61 airports responded to the survey: • Large-Hub Airports – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) – Miami International Airport (MIA) – John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, NY) (JFK) – Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) – Denver International Airport (DEN) – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) – Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) – Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Orlando International Airport (MCO) – Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) – Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) Synthesized Survey Results

24 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings – George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, TX) (IAH) – Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) – San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) – Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) • Medium-Hub Airports – Kansas City International Airport (MCI) – Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) – John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH) – Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) – Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (CLE) – Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) – Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) – Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) – Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) – San Antonio International Airport (SAT) – Will Rogers World Airport (Oklahoma City, OK) (OKC) • Small-Hub Airports – Spokane International Airport (GEG) – Colorado Springs Airport (COS) – Blue Grass Airport (Lexington, KY) (LEX) – Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) – Tucson International Airport (TUS) – Lehigh Valley International Airport (Allentown, PA) (ABE) – Atlantic City International Airport (ACY) – Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) – Tulsa International Airport (TUL) – Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) • Non-Hub Airports – Texarkana Regional Airport (TXK) – Golden Triangle Regional Airport (Columbus, MS) (GTR) – Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO) – Tri-Cities Airport (Blountville, TN) (TRI) – Fort Smith Regional Airport (FSM) – Trenton-Mercer Airport (TTN) – Lebanon Municipal Airport (LEB) – Evansville Regional Airport (EVV) – Sheridan County Airport (SHR) – Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport (RKS) – Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) – La Crosse Regional Airport (LSE) – Quad Cities International Airport (Moline, IL) (MLI) – Abilene Regional Airport (ABI) – King County Airport/Boeing Field (BFI) • General Aviation Airports – Spirit of St. Louis Airport (Chesterfield, MO) (SUS) – Republic Airport (Long Island, NY) (FRG) – San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI) – Orlando Executive Airport (ORL) – Council Bluffs Airport (CBF) – Raleigh Executive Jetport (TTA) – Music City Executive Airport (Gallatin, TN) (XNX)

Synthesized Survey Results 25 Figure 2 shows the distribution of survey responses by airport hub size/classification. The first question in the survey asked respondents to identify their role as it relates to air- port apron/ramp survey markings. Approximately 78% of the survey respondents identified themselves as personnel involved in airport operations/safety (approximately 51%) or airport leadership/executive (approximately 27%). The distribution of survey responses to this question is shown in Figure 3. The subsequent sections of this chapter discuss the responses received for each module of the survey. Figure 2. Survey respondent distribution by airport hub size/ classification. Figure 3. Role distribution of survey respondents.

26 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings 3.1 Survey Module #1—Terminal Gate Area Markings The first survey module focused on terminal gate area markings, which include aircraft lead- in lines, stop lines, GSE markings, and other markings located in the vicinity in which aircraft park adjacent to commercial service terminal facilities. The initial question in the module asked respondents to identify which common terminal gate area apron markings are present at their airport. The results are shown in Figure 4. Over 90% of airports that responded to the question reported that they have the following markings on their terminal apron: • Lead-in lines (100%) • Stop lines (96%) • Aircraft safety zone/envelope (95%) • Gate designation markings (91%) The share of respondents that reported the use of other common terminal gate area markings identified in the survey was below 75%. Question 8 in the module asked respondents to identify whether they believe that their ter- minal gate area markings provide consistent and clear visual indicators to pilots and ramp Figure 4. Percentage of respondents who identified common terminal gate area markings.

Synthesized Survey Results 27 personnel. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree,” the average rating was 4.2 for pilots and 3.73 for ramp personnel. This indicates that airports generally believe that their terminal gate area markings are less sufficient in providing consistent and clear guidance to ramp personnel than to pilots. On this same question, airports generally indicated (via a 3.62 rating) that apron markings in the terminal gate area could be improved. However, it should be noted that the majority of the ratings were in the “agree” or “neither agree nor disagree” category. Additionally, approximately 46% of airports reported that their terminal gate markings are not standardized across all the gates at their airport, as shown in Figure 5. Most air- ports reported that the variations are a result of airline preferences/standards related to gate markings. Airports also reported using a variety of materials to aid in the establishment of their terminal gate area markings. The most common materials identified by airports are the standards pro- vided by the airlines, as shown in Figure 6. Figure 5. Standardization of terminal gate apron markings. Figure 6. Standards used to establish terminal gate area markings.

28 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings Respondents also identified a number of challenges related to terminal gate apron markings. The challenges identified most frequently were: • Maintenance/upkeep of markings, and • Lack of standardization. Several airports mentioned that the maintenance/upkeep of the markings can be problematic because of the multitude of markings to be maintained. The standardization of gate markings was also identified as a challenge, with many survey respondents mentioning that the lack of standardization across gates creates confusion, poses a challenge for paint crews, and can make fleet/gate changes difficult. 3.2 Survey Module #2—Taxilane/Apron Markings The second survey module focused on taxilane/apron markings, which include taxilane center- lines, non-movement area boundary markings, apron control markings, apron entrance point markings, and other markings located on commonly used taxilanes or apron areas. The initial question in the module asked respondents to identify which common taxilane/ apron markings are present at their airport. The results are shown in Figure 7. Over 90% of the airports that responded to the question reported that they have the following markings on their taxilane/common-use aprons: • Taxilane centerline markings (100%) • Non-movement area boundary markings (91%) Figure 7. Percentage of respondents using common taxilane/ apron markings.

Synthesized Survey Results 29 The share of respondents that reported the use of other common terminal gate area mark- ings identified in the survey was below 51%. Question 17 asked respondents to identify whether they believe that their taxilane/apron markings provide consistent and clear visual indicators to pilots. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree,” the average rating was 4.22. This indicates that airports generally believe that their existing taxilane/ apron markings provide consistent and clear guidance to pilots. Airports also reported using a number of marking techniques to enable aircraft of various sizes to use the same taxilane/apron area by following different taxilane centerlines. These mark- ing techniques are: • Different colors for taxilane centerline markings (four airports), • Different colors for the outlines of taxilane centerline markings (three airports), and • Different patterns (e.g., diamond and dashed) for taxilane centerline markings (nine airports). Additionally, based on the survey results, over 89% of airports reported using FAA AC 150/5340-1M (FAA 2019) for taxilane/apron markings. The most common challenges identified by airports with respect to taxilane/apron markings were standardizing and marking taxilanes for different sizes of aircraft. 3.3 Survey Module #3—Aircraft Hardstand Markings The third survey module focused on aircraft hardstand markings, which include lead-in lines, stop lines, aircraft safety envelopes, and other markings located in hardstand areas. The initial question in the module asked respondents to identify which common aircraft hardstand markings are present at their airport. The results are shown in Figure 8. Over 89% of airports that responded to the question reported that they have the following markings on their hardstand apron(s): • Stop lines (92%) • Lead-in lines (89%) Figure 8. Percentage of respondents using common hardstand markings.

30 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings The share of respondents that reported the use of other common hardstand markings iden- tified in the survey was below 66%. Question 26 asked respondents to identify whether they believe that their hardstand markings provide consistent and clear visual indicators to pilots and ramp personnel. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree,” the average rating was 3.97 for pilots and 3.53 for ramp personnel. This indicates that airports generally believe that their hardstand markings are less sufficient in providing consistent and clear guidance to ramp personnel than to pilots. On this same question, airports generally indicated (via a 3.56 rating) that apron markings in the hardstand area could be improved. However, it should be noted that the majority of the ratings were in the “agree” or “neither agree nor disagree” category. The most common challenges identified by airports with respect to hardstand markings were standardization and marking overlapping hardstands for various sizes of aircraft. 3.4 Survey Module #4—Deicing Apron Markings The fourth survey module focused on aircraft deicing apron markings, which include taxilane centerlines, apron entrance point markings, deicing pad identification markings, vehicle safety zone markings, and other markings on deicing aprons. The initial question in the module asked respondents to identify which common deicing apron markings are present at their airport. The results are shown in Figure 9. Over 75% of the airports that responded to the question reported that they have the following markings on their deicing apron: • Taxilane centerlines (95%) • Deicing pad identification markings (82%) • Vehicle safety zone markings (77%) The share of respondents that reported the use of other common deicing apron markings identified in the survey was below 60%. Question 33 in the survey asked respondents to iden- tify whether they believe that their deicing apron markings provide consistent and clear visual indicators to pilots and ramp personnel. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” Figure 9. Percentage of respondents using common deicing apron markings.

Synthesized Survey Results 31 and 5 being “strongly agree,” the average rating was 3.72 for pilots and 3.76 for ramp person- nel. This indicates that airports generally believe that their hardstand markings are sufficient in providing consistent and clear guidance to ramp personnel and pilots. On this same question, airports generally indicated (via a 3.58 rating) that deicing apron markings could be improved. However, it should be noted that the majority of the ratings were in the “agree” or “neither agree nor disagree.” The most common challenge identified by airports with respect to deicing apron markings is marking the aprons appropriately for aircraft of different sizes. Airports also reported several unique deicing apron marking practices: • Dashed Taxilane Centerlines—Multiple airports reported using dashed centerlines for larger aircraft that use a deicing apron primarily designed for smaller aircraft. • Different-Colored Deicing Apron Markings—The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) reported that all its deicing apron markings are painted green. 3.5 Survey Module #5—Airside Roadway Markings The fifth survey module focused on airside roadway markings, which include vehicle roadway lines, roadway stop lines, boundary lines for secure identification display areas, and other related markings. The initial question in the module asked respondents to identify which common airside road- way markings are present at their airport. The results are shown in Figure 10. Over 86% of the airports that responded to the question reported that they have the following markings on their terminal apron: • Vehicle roadway lines (100%) • Roadway stop lines (86%) Figure 10. Percentage of respondents using common airside roadway markings.

32 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings The share of respondents that reported the use of other common airside roadway markings identified in the survey was below 64%. Question 39 in the survey asked respondents to identify whether they believed that their airside roadway markings provided consistent and clear visual indicators to ramp personnel. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strongly agree,” the average rating was 4.32 for ramp personnel. The most common challenge identified by airports with respect to airside roadway markings is properly marking roadway intersections. Airports also reported several unique vehicle roadway marking practices: • Limited Access Roads. DEN has established limited access routes (LARs), which are restricted to drivers that meet certain requirements. These roads have white roadway striping but are outlined in blue instead of black. • Taxilane Object-Free Area Markings. In areas where painted roadways are not possible because of wingtip clearances, SEA paints a double-dashed taxilane object-free area (TLOFA) boundary marking so that vehicles know the protected area for aircraft using the taxilane. DEN also has a similar marking, which the airport refers to as its fixed or movable object (FOMO) line. • Vehicle Limit Lines. Both SEA and ATL have markings that identify the limits of where vehicles are permitted within the non-movement area. ATL’s marking is a red/white zipper- patterned line and is used in place of a non-movement area boundary marking. The vehicle limit line at SEA is red, and it is outlined on both sides with white paint. However, SEA also uses a non-movement boundary line. 3.6 Survey Module #6—Helicopter/eVTOL/ Electric Aircraft Markings The final survey module focused on helicopter/eVTOL/electric aircraft markings, which include heliport/helipad designation markings, TDPCs, TLOF area markings, FATO area markings, and other related markings. Participation in this survey module was limited, as only 14 responses were received. No airport indicated that is has apron markings specifically for electric aircraft. The initial question in the module asked respondents to identify which common helicopter/ eVTOL/electric aircraft markings are present at their airport. The results are shown in Figure 11. Question 45 in the survey asked respondents to identify whether they believe that their helicopter/eVTOL/electric aircraft markings provide consistent and clear visual indicators to pilots. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “strongly disagree” and 5 being “strong agree,” the average rating was 4.00. 3.7 Summary of Key Survey Findings Based on the results of the survey, the following key findings were identified: • Apron Markings Are Generally Perceived to Provide Less Sufficient Guidance to Ramp Personnel Than to Pilots. Several questions in the survey asked airports to rate the suffi- ciency of various markings regarding whether they provide clear and consistent guidance to pilots and/or ramp personnel. With the exception of the survey module on deicing aprons, airports consistently rated the sufficiency of apron markings lower for apron personnel than for pilots.

Synthesized Survey Results 33 • Marking Consistency Is a Concern for Airports. Multiple airports identified concerns related to a lack of consistency for markings in certain apron/ramp areas. This concern was identified more frequently for terminal apron gate area markings. Several airports indicated that they would like to see apron/ramp markings standardized across the industry. • Challenges with Marking Areas for Aircraft of Different Sizes. Many airports stated that they have found it challenging to mark aprons for aircraft of different sizes. This challenge occurs when the airport or apron is primarily designed for aircraft of a certain size, but larger aircraft must use the area from time to time. Airports have also used a number of unique marking practices related to this challenge, including different patterns, different colors, and different colors for outlines. • Maintenance of Markings. A general concern identified by multiple airports related to apron/ramp markings is their proper maintenance and upkeep. Several airports indicated that they struggle to keep up with the maintenance of apron/ramp markings, and the addition of markings could require additional resources. • Airports Use a Variety of Materials and Stakeholder Input to Establish Their Apron/ Ramp Marking Scheme(s). While airports generally reported that they use the guidelines in FAA ACs to establish their apron/ramp marking scheme(s), they also use guidelines from a multitude of other industry resources (e.g., ICAO, ACI, and A4A) and stakeholders (e.g., airlines) to establish the apron/ramp marking scheme(s) for their airport. However, several airports did report that they have adopted unique marking schemes not identified in industry materials. • Multiple Airports Have Adopted Unique Marking Practices. The survey results show that multiple airports have adopted unique apron/ramp marking practices that are not consis- tently used at other airports in the United States. For example, multiple airports use different marking schemes (e.g., different patterns, colors, or outline colors) to identify taxilanes that should be used by larger aircraft. Future research could provide an opportunity to standardize these practices within the airport industry. Figure 11. Percentage of respondents using common helicopter/ eVTOL markings.

34 Airfield Apron and Ramp Surface Markings 3.8 Comparing Current Marking Practices to the FAA Advisory Circulars In general, the airports that completed the survey reported that they use the marking guide- lines in FAA ACs. However, multiple airports have established unique apron/ramp marking practices that are not discussed in FAA ACs. Some specific examples are • Terminal gate apron markings associated with aircraft parking positions, GSE, and under- ground facilities (e.g., fuel hydrants) • Different colors, patterns, or different-colored outlines to designate taxilane centerlines to be used by different sizes of aircraft • TLOFA or FOMO markings • Different colors for marking deicing pads and hardstands to accommodate aircraft of different sizes • Surface-painted signs to communicate information to ramp personnel and pilots (e.g., max wingspan, max weight, and roadway signs) • Unique vehicle roadway marking practices (e.g., vehicle limit lines or different patterns, out- lines, and colors) • Emergency ingress/egress routes from buildings • Use of turn, power, and alignment markings for pilots • Marking pedestrian walkways on aprons While many of these markings are not covered in FAA ACs, many are discussed in various international guidance materials, including those published by ICAO, ACI, and UAF&FA, and domestic guidelines provided by A4A (SG 908). However, some current apron/ramp marking practices identified through the industry survey are not discussed in any of the current guideline materials that were reviewed as part of this study. The relationship between FAA guidelines, other domestic and international guidance materials, and current industry practices are summa- rized in Figure 12. In practice, airports are developing unique marking solutions not discussed in existing guideline materials. Current Apron/Ramp Marking Practices Other Domestic and International Guidance Materials Materials FAA Guideline Figure 12. Relationship between guidance materials and current practices.

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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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