Detroit Metro Airport ground run up facility wins award

ACEC_GRE_panel The American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan(ACEC/M), awarded the Detroit Metro-Wayne County Airport Ground Run-up Facility an Engineering Merit Award. ACEC/M presented their 2013 awards for engineering and surveying excellence during the association’s 48th annual Engineering and Surveying Excellence Awards ceremony on February 23  in Detroit. The awards recognize outstanding Michigan engineering and surveying projects from the past year. The ACEC/M Engineering & Surveying Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding efforts of professional design firms to solve clients’ needs through exceptional projects, and offers the opportunity to showcase the year’s best engineering and surveying achievements to an audience of peers, clients and decision makers at all levels.

About the Project

After aircraft engine maintenance and repairs at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, airlines regularly “run-up” aircraft engines for testing before aircraft are returned to service. The testing requires airlines to run engines up to full power for periods of time ranging from a few minutes to an hour, generating noise up to the equivalent of an aircraft take-off throughout part or all of that time period. The noise from the engine run-ups is dispersed into the communities surrounding the airport. Because engine run-ups are typically performed late at night or during the early morning hours, the noise generated from the engine run-ups is even more invasive to the airport’s neighbors. The Wayne County Airport Authority, the owner and operator of Detroit Metro Airport, completed the FAR Part 150 noise compatibility study in 2009. One of the recommendations from this study was the construction of an enclosure or hush house to minimize the noise impacts to nearby residences during aircraft engine run-ups.

This project included the design and construction of a ground run-up facility with an enclosure and apron that can accommodate all aircraft up to a Boeing 747-8. Aircraft as large as a Boeing 757 will be able to turn around under their own power inside the facility while the few larger aircraft using the facility will require tugs to position the aircraft properly for an engine run-up. The three-sided enclosure structure is 310 feet long by 290 feet wide, with 42-foot-high walls that are lined with 2,000 noise-absorbing acoustical panels. The total area of the facility includes 25,000 square yards of Portland cement concrete pavement. Noise from engine run-ups will now be directed upward rather than outward into the local communities. Prior to the construction of the enclosure, run-ups were performed at designated open areas adjacent to the airport’s runways.

To learn more about the project, contact Robert Koller, at or (734) 953-2571.