Public Website to Help Avoid Airport Obstructions

By guest blogger, Marianne Cardwell, subject-matter expert

Over the years, we have had the opportunity to work on a number of airport-related projects. Right now, one of our most exciting aviation-related projects is to develop a public website for the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission (SCAC).

In July 2012, Title 55 of the South Carolina code was enacted. As part of Title 55’s Airport Land Use Notification and Review provisions, SCAC must provide adequate guidance to local airports and municipalities to facilitate an airport land use notification evaluation and comment process. SCAC must develop and provide maps of airport-specific safety zones and land use zones to local jurisdictions owning or located near a publicly-owned airport. Additionally, these jurisdictions must notify SCAC of certain land use changes in these zones and SCAC’s response to these changes.

To meet these requirements, Woolpert is currently working on developing a website that allows the general public to determine whether a new structure they are planning on building would intrude on an airport’s operations. The behind-the-scenes analysis queries a digital elevation model of the entire state to obtain the ground elevation at that structure’s location, then, using the height of the structure provided by the user, determines whether the structure penetrates the protected airspace of the airport. Once the website is in operation, all planning agencies within the state of South Carolina will need to verify that new building permits are compatible with airport operations and safety zones. Planners will log in, enter the requested information and perform the analysis. If the permit is located within an airport’s safety zones, planners will answer a few questions that vary based on the permit’s location.  Once these questions are answered, planners will obtain a preliminary finding indicating that the permit is compatible, incompatible or conditional. SCAC staff will perform the final validation and provide applicants with a summary report.

The website was designed to work on various devices, from desktop computers to tablets. The website was developed using Esri technologies, including ArcGIS Server and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. The dashboard portion of the website, which allows planners and SCAC staff to track applications, was developed using Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC framework.

We had to work with certain limitations. For example, SCAC does not currently possess any extensions for ArcGIS Server. This makes performing raster analysis a bit more difficult, but our staff was able to find a workaround, saving SCAC the cost of an extension.


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