Unusual structure at an airport
April 15, 2005 7:41 PM   Subscribe

What is this three-walled structure seen at the edge of an airport taxiway? I have seen these at more than one airport. They do not have any building attached. The configuration would suggest sound shielding, but I cannot figure out the purpose. See this satellite view (thanks to Google Maps) of the one I see most often, just south of the A concourse at Mitchell Field in Milwaukee.
posted by yclipse to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
 
That looks huge, but when I flew ElAl, they had us identify our baggage in a similar structure, but only about fifteen feet across. Some sort of a "blast shield"?
posted by michaelkuznet at 7:46 PM on April 15, 2005


It's probably a noise abatement structure used during engine tests. See this article for more details about one in Tampa.
posted by ..ooOOoo....ooOOoo.. at 8:18 PM on April 15, 2005


MKE Runway Map (PDF)

While that structure is not labelled, it's right next to the fire station, which might give a clue.
posted by smackfu at 8:19 PM on April 15, 2005


That airport does have a noise abatement structure as ooooooo suggests. Not confirmation since they don't give the location, but probably what it is. From here:
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN October 8, 2002 - A Ground Runup Enclosure (GRE) facility opened today at Milwaukee County's General Mitchell International Airport. The massive, three-sided, hangar-like structure (also called a "hush house") will reduce by 75 percent the amount of noise from aircraft engine maintenance runups, using aerodynamic design and sound absorbing material. Mitchell is only the fifth airport in the nation to employ this advanced technology to reduce noise for airport neighbors.
posted by smackfu at 8:28 PM on April 15, 2005


Heh, that's a pretty smart hack towards cutting down runway noise. At first I thought it was a pistol range but didn't make sense that it would connect directly to the runway. Good call smackfu!
posted by furtive at 8:31 PM on April 15, 2005


I thought of sound shield, but was thinking that would belong at the end of the runway. My guess was just a place to keep runway deicing materials handy. Of course if they run the engines up for tests, a shield is a great idea.
posted by Goofyy at 9:19 PM on April 15, 2005


Almost certianly a runup enclosure.

After maintenance on the engine, they need to make sure they work before attempting takeoff. However, this is very loud. So, they taxi the plane into the enclosure, chock it down, and run the engines up. The walls deflect the sound upwards.

Chicago O'Hare has one on the scenic pad (PDF map here) -- it's a large one, because of the United Airlines 777 and 747s that are serviced at O'Hare.
posted by eriko at 10:51 PM on April 15, 2005


Heh, that's a pretty smart hack towards cutting down runway noise. At first I thought it was a pistol range but didn't make sense that it would connect directly to the runway. Good call smackfu!
Well, I did learn to shoot on a combination landing field pistol/rifle range in Wisconsin (and no, I'm not kidding)
posted by substrate at 5:28 AM on April 16, 2005


When the remarks section for the airport says "DEER & WOODCHUCK ON AND INVOF ARPT.", of course there's gonna be some shootin' going on! Deer season had hunters all over Greensburg-Jeannette. Better that way than propeller hamburger, I think.

They skeet shoot on airports in Colorado, apparently. (Scroll to the bottom.)
posted by tss at 6:55 AM on April 16, 2005


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