Kenton County Airport Board, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport


Hebron, KY


Stormwater Engineering

Kenton County Airport Board, operator of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), has been significantly expanding the airport’s air cargo operations and modernizing its commercial airport facilities. When DHL developed a new 50-acre aircraft apron expansion and Concourse C was replaced with an expanded pad for deicing aircraft, it triggered the need to modify and expand the capacity of CVG’s existing spent aircraft deicing fluid (SADF) management system.

storage basin and new gravity and force main
increase in pump station flow capacity
areas oft eh airport monitored real-time for flows and deicer concentrations

Everything Old is New Again

When Gresham Smith conducted a detailed evaluation of CVG’s existing stormwater and deicer infrastructure and operations, we discovered the capacity of the equipment and current processes were not being fully exploited. To maximize the use and value of CVG’s existing assets, the team recommended integrating new system components with existing system components to expand capacity and increase flexibility. This would not only result in a more sustainable design, but also allow the client to expend less capital on certain aspects of the project.

a diagram explaining how Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport’s deicing system works

Incorporating New System Components

Designed by Gresham Smith, the new system components included a 6-million-gallon storage basin with a paneled, floating cover system to eliminate open-water surfaces, new gravity and force main conveyance piping, the upsizing of three existing stormwater pump stations, new electrical service, an emergency generator and the relocation of existing aboveground tanks.

a box with a screen showing live flow rates

A Touch of Sophistication

The team also combined online monitoring technologies with a more sophisticated and site-specific programmed control system. This combination provides operators with real-time information, alarms, and both automated and operator-driven control of pumps and new valves. The new system will provide a much greater ability to prevent overflows and overloads during large storm events.

Taking on the Winter

Designed and constructed in time for the looming winter, the fast-track project not only met the client’s aggressive schedule, but through an innovative design approach and the careful sequencing of construction was executed without disruption to either commercial or air cargo service. Linking “blue sky” ideas with operations and maintenance realities on the ground, the newly modified system at CVG is adaptable for future expansions of airport operations.