Key outcomes

  • DIRD and CASA requirements satisfied
  • Aviation risks mitigated
  • Airport development value maximised

In recent years there has been increasing global interest in potential windshear and turbulence impacts of buildings on airport operations and safety.   

The Australian National Airports Safeguarding Framework guidelines detail a range of criteria for developments at or near airports. These criteria are designed to minimise the risk of buildings contributing to accidents and near misses. For large buildings the most challenging guideline is Guideline B, “Managing the risk of building generated windshear and turbulence at airports” (NASF B). This document details a recommended maximum safe windshear criteria, and regions in which this criteria should be assessed. Aviation regulators and airports are also requesting similar assessments in other regions, including Europe and the Middle East.

wind shear image for a development near a runway

Figure 1: CFD modelling of building generated windshear over an airport runway can be used to test compliance with the NASF B guidelines.

For simple building geometries with a large separation from the runway, analytical methods can be used to quickly confirm minimal wind shear impacts. However, for more complex building designs, and for buildings in close proximity to a runway, sophisticated analysis is required.

Streamlines of two different building facades,

Figure 2: Relatively minor changes to the building façade can have a profound effect on the downstream wind profile.

Synergetics employ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to perform this analysis and provide accurate estimates of the wind shear and turbulence during critical wind conditions. These results can then be provide a clear statement of the impact of the building with regard to NASF B. If a proposed building design is non-compliant, the same results can be analysed in detail to determine the cause of the elevated shear levels, and what modifications can be used to reduce the levels, whilst maintaining maximum building value and appeal.Once the building geometry has been constructed, it is a relatively simple matter to assess different design options and wind directions can be rapidly assessed, providing an accurate, cost effective way to achieve compliance.

Synergetics also have experience using CFD to assess terrain induced wind shear and turbulence effects at airports located near complex terrain.