When the wind speeds of a tropical storm
reach 74 mph, the storm is defined as a hurricane when it
occurs in the North Atlantic or the Caribbean. In the
western Pacific Ocean, hurricanes are called typhoons. In
the Indian Ocean region, the term cyclone is used. The
Atlantic Ocean’s hurricane season runs from June 1st to
November 30. However the hurricane season normally peaks
from mid-August to late October. Over the past five decades,
each season averages five to six hurricanes.
These storms often bring great
destruction. When a hurricane makes landfall, it creates a
storm surge that can reach 20 feet (6 meters) in height. The
area covered by a storm surge can extend up to 100 miles
(161 kilometers). Storm surge can travel several miles
inland. Most hurricane related deaths (+90%) result
from the storm surge. The high winds are also
extremely destructive. Hurricanes may spawn numerous deadly
tornadoes. Torrential rains can produce significant damage
through regional flooding and resulting landslides. The
devastating effects of a hurricane can occur many miles
inland from the hurricane's initial landfall.
Airports, airfields, and general aviation operations located
along the coastal areas of the United States have
experienced significant damage from hurricanes and tropical
storms. Damage and destruction to airport facilities,
aircraft, and equipment can wreak
havoc on flight operations and passenger/cargo movement.
Damage caused by high winds is a
primary cause of hurricane-inflicted loss of life, injury,
and property damage. But another significant cause of
damage stems from flooding resulting from the coastal storm
surge of the ocean and the heavy, persistent rainfall.
When this occurs, aircraft
flight operations can be significantly
impaired for extended periods of time. This flight
operations degradation can
cause a negative ripple effect at other airports and
airfields across the United
States and internationally.
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has stated
that for hurricane vulnerable areas, impact-resistant glass
and shutters specifically designed to meet a combination of
impact and continuous pressure from the wind are needed to
protect buildings. Reinforcing windows and doors is an
essential step towards creating a critical barrier to
protect a building from wind, wind-borne debris and water
damage. If a building's windows are breached, a hurricane's
wind can exert pressure on the roof and walls, causing the
collapse of the building. Much of the damage that occurs
from a hurricane results from failure of a building's
windows and doors. These failures can initiate interior wall
failure and even roof failure.
hangars and large warehouse structures, the weakest
structural point is typically large access doors. Large moving
access doors found in aircraft hangars and warehouse loading
docks can easily buckle and collapse under pressure from
high winds. For this reason, heavy, reinforced door
systems are a smart investment for airports and general
aviation facilities located in hurricane prone areas.
In order to minimize damage to facilities, aircraft,
equipment, and injury/death to personnel, airports along or
near vulnerable coastlines must
adequately prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms.
Airport hurricane protection measures and contingency plans
must be supported by reliable, capable equipment and
technologies. Airport management, construction contractors,
and emergency preparedness personnel must be
trained and prepared to properly use this equipment.
Airports from the Forces of Nature
The National Aerospace Organization is hosting a
symposium and exposition on November 15th, 2012 to address
new technologies and innovations for effectively protecting commercial airports
from hurricanes, tropical storms and other common
destructive natural forces. Exciting presentations
will be provided to explain and demonstrate the most
effective technologies, construction innovations, and equipment for
minimizing the destructive forces of nature upon airports
and general aviation.
Event Page for more Information