An Aerodynamic GRE for the Ages

The Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport (OWA) has a unique tenant originally associated with auto racing that built a well-established air cargo company called Kalitta Air.

Existing conditions for engine run-up procedures were challenging airport operations and causing safety concerns, property damage, and blowing foreign object debris.

The Challenge: Finding a location on the airport to perform full-power engine testing with safety being the number one concern.

The Solution: Install a ground run-up enclosure (GRE) large enough to hold B747 aircraft for testing the engines and control the intense prevailing winds.

Years of GRE discussions, a wind analysis study, and proper authority decisions determined the best location for the five-story structure.  The facility aerodynamics are designed to provide a stable air flow environment suitable for engine testing, even when there are challenging wind conditions.  The GRE was built due to safety concerns of large engine run-ups in open spaces at varying locations on the airport.  Leadership of Kalitta, the airport, and the FAA determined a ground run-up enclosure was the best option.

BDI was awarded the project under Kalitta Air, LLC., to provide the design and supply of the GRE and supervise the installation.  The project was completed January 2024.

This article was originally published by Blast Deflectors, Inc.


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