Sustainability Assessment of Alternative Snow-Removal Methods for Airport Apron Paved Surfaces

Airport facilities, as entities offering public or private services, need to evaluate the energy consumption and global-warming potential of different types of snow-removal systems employed during winter operations. This study assesses the energy demands and environmental impacts of operating heated pavement systems (HPS) for airport apron snow-removal applications. Using a hybrid life-cycle assessment methodology, several systems currently used for snow removal on airport apron paved surfaces including hydronic heated pavement systems using geothermal energy, hydronic heated pavement systems using a natural gas furnace, electrically heated pavement systems, and conventional snow-removal systems (CSRS) were evaluated and compared in this study. Based on the system models assessed, HPS applications in airport paved apron areas are a viable energy and environmental option to achieve ice- and/or snow-free pavement surfaces without using mechanical or chemical methods. Conversely, this study revealed that CSRS methods typically require a relatively higher energy demand and produce relatively more greenhouse gas emissions compared to HPS during the operation phase, under the conditions and assumptions considered in this study. HPS operations were also determined to have a greater advantage during a snow event with a relatively smaller snow rate and longer snow duration.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 67p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01641086
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FAA/TC-17/34
  • Contract Numbers: 12-C-GA-ISU
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 17 2017 9:32AM