Development of a Web-GIS for aircraft obstacles: A case of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda
Otim, Epila Thomas
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Airspace protection and obstacle clearance are vital to airport and aircraft operation safety (Changa & Hwangb, 2013; de Barros, 2013; Litsheim & Xiao, 2009). Global statistics indicate that approach and landing phases are most prone to aviation accidents, accounting for approximately 65% of all accidents (Pacheco, Fernandes, & Domingos, 2014; Regional Aviation Safety Group, 2017). During such phases of flight, the proximity between aircraft and obstacle is greatly reduced. Therefore obstacle detection is very significant with respect to aircraft operation safety (Kamiya et al., 2009). This project was undertaken to extend the accessibility of aircraft obstacle data to data consumers through the exploitation of open source geospatial software and technology in the design, development and implementation of a prototype Web-GIS. This was to be achieved through the creation of a spatial multi-user database in which obstacle data was stored and content served through a GIS server to intranet or internet clients. The data adopted in the study was derived from Entebbe, a typical international airport located in the developing world. The tool was found to be able to provide the data consumers that lacked expert knowledge of GIS a platform wherein they could access, analyse, visualise and understand the data in a web browser interface. This therefore eliminated the need for additional software thus minimising expenses. In conclusion, the Web-GIS has demonstrated a pragmatic solution to enhancing the access of spatial obstacle data to relevant data consumers via the web through the adoption of open source geospatial software and technologies. It is noteworthy to indicate that due to data limitations, the Web-GIS only displays the obstacle situation as of November 2014, inclusion of currrent data could enrich the content. Additional recommendations would involve the inclusion of other web processing services that could determine obstacle proximity to movement areas.