Ground Run-Up Enclosure (GRE)

Airplane by noise blocking wallIn 2002, San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport opened the airport’s Ground Run-Up Enclosure (GRE) — the first in California, which reduces noise from engine maintenance by approximately 17 decibels. The GRE began operation in July 2002. The thee-sided structure, located near the center of the airfield, encloses a 325-by-264 feet rectangular area and is large enough to accommodate Boeing 747 aircraft. It is made of sloping zinc-coated steel “Noiseblotter” panels, creating walls that range from 19 to 40 feet in height.

The $4.2 million facility is used for testing engines, which must be operated at full power, after routine maintenance or repairs. Not only does the “GRE” reduce engine noise, but it also allows airlines to test engines in a wider range of wind conditions than is possible on an open field. Oakland is the fourth airport in the nation to build a GRE. Other installations are in Chicago, Portland and Indianapolis. All have been built by Blast Deflectors, Inc. of Watsonville.