Date of Award
Master of Science
Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering
Ice and snow impacts on transportation infrastructure systems add significant costs to the American economy in the form of snow removal, damaged pavement and lost productivity due to travel delays. Due to environmental and logistics concerns associated with traditional pavement deicing strategies, the use of heated pavement systems (HPS) at airports are continually gaining attention as a desirable alternative. The main objective of this research was to examine the financial viability of installing HPS at aprons and ramps for different categories of airports. The apron is the busiest part of the airport where vehicles and airplanes share the same space. Snow removal operations are challenging and time consuming for the ground staff involved as they are exposed to rough weather. In addition, due to immense activity and asymmetric (skewed) geometric designs, small sized snow removal equipment (SRE) is used in aprons. These factors together contribute to delays. In order to study the feasibility of HPS, two economic analysis techniques, the Net Present Value (NPV) and Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) were employed. The required data for economic analysis were collected through airport site visits, email surveys, government websites (Bureau of Transportation Statistics and Bureau of Labor Statistics), reports, etc. The costs incurred due to melting snow by hydronic heated pavements and its potential benefits were calculated and compared with the operating costs of conventional snow removal methods under specific case scenarios. Due to the inherent uncertain nature of weather-related delays, an in-depth sensitivity analysis (SA) was carried out to represent contrasting scenarios. It was found that HPS, despite the high installation costs, may be economically viable at commercial airports. The feasibility depends on the size of the airport in terms of operations and area of installation. As the heated pavement technology continues to evolve with time, especially with the use of renewable energy sources and advanced construction methods, their benefits are far likely to outweigh the existing high initial installation costs.
Anand, Pritha, "Assessing the energy and financial viability of heated pavement systems for airports" (2015). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 14748.