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Over the River and through the Crowds


Standards Help Keep Travelers Safe and in the Spirit This Season

It's beginning to look a lot like…Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice…. And all across America, revelers of every denomination are packing up their treats, turkeys, and toddlers and heading out for the holidays. Whether via road, sky, or frozen tundra, travelers can make their journeys with safety and ease thanks to the documents and solutions the voluntary standardization community delivers all year round.

According to the 2011-12 Holiday Travel Forecast from AAA, 91.9 million Americans will take trips of at least 50 miles from home this holiday season, with 91 percent choosing automobile travel as their mode of transport. That's 83.6 million folks sharing the nation's busy highways, bridges, and toll plazas.

Holiday-goers hoping to make it to Grandma's before the ham hits the table may want to consult local news stations for traffic updates before heading out. Most use camera-equipped helicopters to survey and broadcast any serious snarl-ups on area thoroughfares. To assure that these whirling birds are wired properly and effectively, SAE International published SAE AS 50881D-2010, Wiring Aerospace Vehicle. This standard covers all aspects of wiring and optical cabling in aerospace vehicles, from selection through installation, and applies to helicopters as well as manned and unmanned airplanes, lighter-than- air vehicles, missiles, and external pods. SAE International is an accredited standards developer and member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Once a gridlock-free route is chosen, drivers can cruise along with the assurance that the road beneath them is up to the task, no matter the traffic volume. ASTM C1272-11, Standard Specification for Heavy Vehicular Paving Brick, from ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International, specifies characteristics of brick intended for use as a paving material in areas with a high volume of heavy vehicular traffic. I-95, anyone?

A long day's journey into night can turn into a long and expensive trip to the gas pumps. Every year more American drivers are choosing hybrid or electric vehicles to save money on fuel - and shrink their environmental footprint. The ANSI Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP) is paving the road to mass U.S. EV deployment, with its launch and activities in 2011, a Phase 1 standards and conformance roadmap soon to be released, and more meetings and progress slated for 2012.

On the global stage, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a number of documents to help get electric vehicles on the streets around the world. IEC 61851-1 Ed. 2.0 b:2010, Electric vehicle conductive charging system - Part 1: General requirements, applies to on-board and off-board equipment for charging electric road vehicles at standard AC supply up to 1,000 volts and DC up to 1,500.

If the holiday road is a little too long and winding for some voyagers, flying is the way to go. AAA estimates that 5.4 million people will travel by air during the year-end period of 2011 - millions of those in cold climates, which can be conducive to dangerous aircraft icing. To assure all those planes get safely aloft when icing conditions exist, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed ISO 11075:2007, Aircraft - De-icing/anti-icing fluids. This standard defines the requirements for fluids used in the removal and prevention of ice, snow, or frost on exterior surfaces of main line and regional civil transport airplanes on the ground.

AAA's forecast lumps all other modes of holiday travel into "other," as the numbers of people taking trains, buses, ships, and other vehicles are much smaller than for cars and planes. But perhaps the smallest group among them is Americans reaching their holiday destinations via snowmobile! In many areas of Alaska outside the major cities, snowmobile is the best means of wintertime transport over frozen rivers, lakes, and fields. To assure these arctic cats can be properly controlled by their human drivers, SAE International released SAE J 92-2010, Snowmobile Throttle Control Systems. This SAE Recommended Practice is intended to provide the minimum acceptable criteria for snowmobile hand throttle control systems, including freedom of movement, strength, and material.

However you travel this season - or if you choose to stay cozy in your own home - ANSI wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday and a joyous new year.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]