Monday, 6 December 2010

Airports Don't Have To Be Snowbound

Gatwick, Doncaster and Glagow Airports have experienced runway closures because of heavy snowfalls. These events are unnecessary if investment in available technology is made.

During WW2 several airfields were kept open in foggy weather through the use of the petrol- burning FIDO (Fog Investagation and Dispersals Operation) system which dissipated fog by increasing air temperature adjacent to the runway. Approximately 10,000 aircrew were saved by being able to divert to FIDO-equipped airfields. FIDO is too expensive and unecessary to be resurrected because there is a cheaper, more efficient alternative available.

I'm not suggesting towing old jet aircraft up and down to melt the snow either.

My suggestion is to combine geothermal/groundsource heatpump and underfloor heating technology. Use the large areas of flat grassland around the runways that all airfields have to bury water-filled coils to extract the heat from the ground, the temperature of which stays pretty constant throughout the year, pump it through a heat exchanger and you have warm water to heat the runways directly or a source of energy to generate electrical power. Any summer surplus can be sold to the grid.

Much cheaper and environmentally-friendly than ridiculous wind-turbines. Action this day Christopher Paul-Huhne.


Edward Spalton said...

It's purely from my admittedly decrepit memory but I recall being told that FIDO was short for


which chimes with other military jargon of the era.

Brian said...

Many thanks for that.

Thud said...

Nightime dispersal of freezing fog in Napa using diesel burners and fans is a sight to behold, when it comes to saving the vintage the eco Californians soon forget their principles.

Brian said...

I remember Smudge Pots in the California orchards from first year geography in senior school. We did the Dayaks of Borneo and the Eskimo of Baffin Island among much else that year. Why do those facts and not PINs and passwords stick in one's mind?

Thud said...

Now you mention it,cocoa bean production figures from the gold coast spring to mind.Edysentery?

Brian said...

electronic dysentery - the interweb version of turbocharged verbal diahorrea.