Michael Baker International Helps Improve Airport Safety with First-Ever Engineered Material Arresting System (EMAS) in Georgia

Michael Baker International has provided design and construction administration services for the first Engineered Material Arresting Systems (EMAS) in the state of Georgia which opened at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport (PDK) in Atlanta earlier this month. EMAS technology can prevent an aircraft from overrunning the runway by using lightweight material designed to decelerate the speed of the aircraft on the runway. EMAS is used in cases where excess land is not available, such as the Runway 3R-21L at PDK.

PDK, a county-owned, public use, general aviation airport in Atlanta, has three runways but only one concrete-paved runway that is more than 4,000 feet. Runway 3R-21L is 6,001 feet long by 100 feet wide and is the primary runway for most corporate tenants at the airport. EMAS technology was designed and implemented to improve safety for flights using this runway.

“I don’t know of any other firm that could have provided the ingenuity, experience and dedication needed to complete this one-of-a-kind project,” said Mario Evans, C.M., Airport Director for DeKalb-Peachtree Airport. “Michael Baker continues to impress with their ability to face challenges and provide the best solutions for the flying public.”

Michael Baker provided preliminary and final design, construction administration, bidding support, EMAS design study coordination and stakeholder and community engagement for the project.

“We are proud to have the opportunity to design the first EMAS-equipped runway in the state of Georgia,” said Joseph Snyder, Senior Project Manager for Aviation in Michael Baker’s Norcross, Ga., office. “Using creative solutions and working with the stakeholders, our team successfully designed and managed the construction activities required to complete this complicated and high-profile project for one of the busiest corporate reliever airports in the country.”

Michael Baker was able to identify challenges early in the project and contribute to opening the redesigned runway safety area and fully functioning relocated localizer prior to the busy holiday season and the Super Bowl, which will be held February 3 in Atlanta.  Over 1,000 corporate aircraft are expected to utilize this runway during the Super Bowl weekend.