Airport Manager

    Welcome to the Airport Managers Blog, the exciting look into the life of an Airport Manager. Although the blog is primarily about life as an Airport Manager, detailing things about airport life, transportation, and government regulations that affect everyone there will be posts about my life, the things I do in my free time and the things I am interested in. Please feel free to comment on my posts as I’m always open to learning about your view points and what you are interested in.

Other Info

I hope you enjoy my blog and if you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, please feel free to contact me at erick underscore dahl at hotmail dot com.

Welcome to the Airport Managers Blog!

South Dakota winter like no other

In South Dakota you can expect two things about winter: snow and blowing snow, but what happens when you take a state that in some extent relies upon winter recreation for income and there is none of the white stuff.  For the 2011-2012 winter season, South Dakota has seen less than 10 inches of snow well into March.  Only two snow storms have occurred, one prior to Thanksgiving and another just the other day.  At times there have been snow flurries that never required plowing, but now with a full snow storm behind us the ground is white and the second thing about winter in South Dakota is happening.  blowing snow.

In many ways blowing snow is worse than snow.  When you plow snow its moved and no longer an issue, but blowing snow is relentless in its quest to cover everything with a layer of snow.  Drifting and moving like a sand dune blowing snow works its way into everything.  Blowing snow can exist in two main methods. Either as pillow drifts largely disconnected from other pillow drifts or figure drifts which work their way outward from an object or sign onto a surface.  Both occur at the same time and how large the drift gets depends on wind speed, wind direction, nearby obstructions, and friction.

Wind speed and direction play the ultimate role in blowing snow. If wind speed is slow, drifting formations will occur more rapidly where as if winds are fast drifting snow isn’t as readily apparent. If the direction of the wind changes, wind itself can move the drift to a new location or removing it completely.  Think of blowing snow as a leveling force, where any change in elevation will be filled in with snow this can be especially tricky with pillow drifts where as the number of drifts increase in size, the total surface will become covered as the leveling force takes over.

Such is the case in South Dakota, if the snow event wasn’t bad enough the blowing snow that follows will ensure you many hours of plowing the same piece of pavement repeatedly until either the wind changes direction, speed, or the snow turns to ice. But ice is a different story…

posted by AirportManager on Monday, March 05, 2012 | 0 Comments | Links to this post

Part of being an Airport Manager is having a good background in many different subjects and skills in many different areas.  Consultants exist for the purpose of designing and assisting with construction of projects, but before that the Airport Manager sits down and draws the things they believe the airport needs to remain competitive, successful, and more efficient. One of the things I liked most about my job is being able to draw something on paper, follow a project through the process, and eventually see it being built. The same goes for programming computer code. A blank page becomes text, text becomes code, and code can do anything.

I do most of my CAD in TurboCAD and computer code in PHP; however, recently I found a new tool to build with. That tool is Minecraft.  Minecraft is a computer game developed in JAVA that has a retro feeling of the 80’s, the world is composed of blocks, and you can do and build anything in it. This makes it an attractive application because you can plan a project on paper, mine the materials required to build it and you can work with other people in real time to coordinate your projects construction.

Recently the server I play on did a complete server restart with a new map which opened up limitless possibilities. I have always been interested in castles and one of the most symbolic castles is Castle Bodiam in East Sussex England. You can learn more about the castle at:  The world of Minecraft is composed of 1 meter x 1 meter square blocks and with that in mind I found a floor layout of the castle and within PhotoShop laid out what it would look line as a blueprint for Minecraft.

I didn’t realize it was going to be so big; 160 meters across is massive even for a castle so I figured I would build it at half scale. Turns out, the castle isn’t nearly that big as the people from The National Trust were able to supply information about the castle I could use to help me build it. Because the castle would be quite small in a Minecraft implementation I built it at twice the real size, and half the size of the original drawing.
Here is a view looking at the castle from the south looking north at the main gate. I couldn’t tell you how many blocks this took to assemble to this point, but a clue is that half a mountain is missing due to strip mining.

The castle floats in mid air as we look at it from the underside looking north.

Looking up the main stairs towards the main gate. Only thing missing here is He-Man.

To see the scale of the castle this image is of east side looking west. It is important to note that this is only the first floor of the castle. Much of the castle has yet to be built.

From far away you can’t miss the scale of the castle.  It sits floating in mid air.  Since this is an old screenshot and the castle looks very different now I’ll see about getting a comparison shot in the future.


posted by AirportManager on Thursday, February 02, 2012 | 0 Comments | Links to this post


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