American Society of Civil Engineers

A Preliminary Survey of Ground Service Equipment Running Times and Its Implications for Air Quality Estimates at Airports

by Shashi S. Nambisan, (Professor of Civil Engineering, UNLV Transportation Research Center, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4014 E-mail:, Joanna Kajkowski, (Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., 1050 East Flamingo Road, Suite S210, Las Vegas, NV 89119), and Ranjit Menon, (Miner & Miner, Inc., Consulting Engineers, 4701 Royal Vista Circle, Fort Collins, CO 80528)
Section: Session 4B: Advances in Airport Modeling and Simulation, pp. 144-152, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: The 2020 Vision of Air Transportation: Emerging Issues and Innovative Solutions
Abstract: It has been estimated that the Ground Service Equipment (GSE) accounts for approximately sixty percent of the total emissions at McCarran International Airport in the Las Vegas (Nevada) metropolitan area. Factors affecting emissions from GSE include the length (time) of operation, ambient environmental conditions, fuel used, etc. One key factor affecting the length of operation of GSEs is aircraft size. This paper presents the results of a preliminary survey conducted of the actual operational times of GSE for various types of aircraft at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada. Further, the paper compares these results with the current default GSE input parameters of the Emissions and Dispersion Modeling System (EDMS). The surveys at McCarran International Airport show that several of the observed engine running times of the GSE do not correspond with the default input values of the EDMS Model. The default values used by EDMS are significantly higher than those observed in the field. Therefore, the use of default data would lead to erroneously high results from the emissions model. Although these results are based only on observations in Las Vegas, the significance of this finding is that the use of default input data in the EDMS for GSE operations results in higher than actual estimates of emissions. Thus, individual airports may wish to conduct an analysis of the actual times of operation of the GSE used at their airports for use as inputs to the EDMS and for other air quality studies.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Air quality
Airports and airfields
Equipment and machinery