April 12, 2024


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What Is A Trench At An Airport

What Is A Trench At An Airport When we think of airports, we often picture bustling terminals, airplanes, and control towers above ground. However, what lies beneath the surface often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Airports rely on drainage systems to manage stormwater runoff effectively, ensuring safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness throughout their operations.

Interior and Exterior Airport Drains

What Is A Trench At An Airport
What Is A Trench At An Airport

Airport facilities, whether private, county, municipal, international, military airbases, or heliports, require drainage systems in various crucial areas, including:

Interior Airport Drains:

  • Hangars
  • Maintenance bays
  • Taxiways
  • Storage bays
  • Terminals
  • Control towers
  • Restrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Shower facilities
  • Emergency services
  • Pedestrian tunnels/walkways
  • De-icing areas
  • Hangar overhead doors
  • Cargo bays
  • Doorways
  • Bus stops
  • Taxi stands

Exterior Airport Drains:

  • Runways
  • Aprons
  • Fueling areas
  • Parking lots
  • Access roads
  • Bridges
  • Pedestrian walkways
  • Aircraft parking stands

While aesthetics are considered in public facilities’ drainage systems, safety and efficiency are paramount for airports. Proper drainage is essential to redirect water away from paved surfaces, preventing issues that can compromise safety, operational efficiency, and budget.

Safety First

What Is A Trench At An Airport
What Is A Trench At An Airport

Surface drainage is directly tied to traffic safety, both vehicular and pedestrian. Accumulated water can lead to hydroplaning, endangering aircraft, vehicles, and pedestrians. Airport drainage systems must provide efficient surface drainage to ensure safe passage during rainfall. Drain dimensions and grate open areas must be capable of handling maximum expected water flow.

Airport trench drain grates must withstand frequent and extreme stress due to heavy traffic. These grates come in various load classes (A to F), depending on the traffic load. For airports, load class F grates made of materials like cast iron, steel, or ductile iron are ideal. Secure grate locking mechanisms are crucial to prevent shifting, which could lead to safety hazards.

In pedestrian areas, grates should be ADA compliant and heel-friendly to ensure safety. Material options include plastic, iron, steel, and bronze, with non-slip designs available. Some grates feature decorative designs to blend with public spaces while meeting safety and functionality requirements.

Grates must be flush with the surface to prevent tripping hazards. Grate locking devices, such as locking bars, bolts, and hooks, effectively secure grates in place.

Efficiency Matters

What Is A Trench At An Airport
What Is A Trench At An Airport

Airports face drainage challenges based on facility design, and considering future expansion during drainage system installation can save on construction costs and downtime. Airport construction can alter local weather patterns, affecting drainage in surrounding areas. Proper drainage design considers contour maps of the airport and adjacent areas to optimize water flow.

Proper drainage provides operational safety, efficiency, pavement durability, pedestrian safety, and waterfowl hazard management. Inadequate drainage can lead to costly damage, air traffic hazards, hydroplaning, waterfowl hazards, erosion, pavement issues, and pedestrian obstacles.

Corrosion-resistant, durable materials are essential for airport drainage systems, ensuring longevity and cost-effectiveness without compromising safety or efficiency.

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Consider Trench Drain Systems

What Is A Trench At An Airport
What Is A Trench At An Airport

One option for airport applications is the 3000 Series™ by Trench Drain Systems, capable of handling up to 3,000 gallons per minute (GPM). Constructed from pultruded chemically resistant fiberglass, these pre-sloped channels include steel frames for durability. Lightweight channels allow for quick installation and easy connection to standard 8” PVC piping. Various grate options meet Class B – F load ratings. Grate lockdown devices and catch basins complete this efficient system.

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Installation Benefits of the 3000 Series™:

  • Quick and efficient installation
  • Durable, chemically resistant materials
  • Easy connection to standard PVC piping
  • Versatile grate options