Reaching for the sky

Edmonton International airport recently made a huge investment that will create the largest airport-based solar farm in the world.

Airport City Solar is set to dramatically transform the west side of the airport site, create jobs and bring in a potential new power source for airport operations and the Edmonton Metro Region.  GREEN NEWS Edmonton 2020

An agreement with Europe-based Alpin Sun will see the company develop a 627 acre, 120 megawatt solar farm. All available information shows this will be largest development of its kind at an airport anywhere. The new solar farm reflects the airport’s ongoing commitment to economic development and diversification, along with its core value of being dedicated to sustainability.

Airport City Solar is expected to begin construction in early 2022 and be operational by the end of that year. The project will bring in an estimated US$169m in foreign direct investment to the Edmonton Metro Region. Power generated by Airport City Solar will feed into Fortis Alberta and airport distribution systems.

Aircraft heater breakthrough

Absolute Combustion International and Edmonton International airport have successfully completed a three year test to commercialise a faster and more efficient portable diesel aircraft heater. This heater significantly outperforms standard heating technologies on metrics ranging from fuel consumption and safety to extreme cold weather durability. The partnership reflects the airport’s commitment to supporting innovation and supporting Alberta’s technology sector, according to the co-founder and CEO of Absolute Combustion International.

“Our incredibly strong partnership with Edmonton International airport, which worked with us every step of the way, and support from organisations like Alberta Innovates, have allowed ACI to make the challenging quantum leap from research to commercialisation. This success is proof that Alberta has the infrastructure needed to help companies create technologies that will have an international impact,” commented Koleya Karringten.

Designed to withstand northern winters, the ACI-SM1000 heater can operate at -50ºC temperatures and bring the cabin of a Boeing 737 from -30ºC to 20ºC in half an hour. This is a major improvement over conventional systems which typically take over one and a half hours to accomplish the same task. The technology’s unique design results in a 50-70% reduction in diesel fuel usage and requires no assistance from the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit to quickly heat the aircraft on the tarmac.


Joint effort to help Albany

Plug Power, a provider of hydrogen engines and fuelling solutions enabling e-mobility, along with and Charlatte America, a manufacturer of battery-powered electric airport ground support equipment that is deployed throughout Europe and the US, have delivered fuel cell-powered electric cargo tugs for use by FedEx at Albany International airport.

The ground support vehicles were built by Charlatte America and operate using Plug Power’s zero emission ProGen hydrogen engines. The ProGen-powered tugs are currently in operation at the Albany International where they see service transporting FedEx packages from the sorting facility to delivery aircraft. Performance and reliability data were collected during the winter months, when temperatures can drop as low as -10º F. The Charlatte America electric GSE vehicles require less maintenance than internal combustion-powered equipment and are designed to support the ongoing market trend towards the electrification of mobile assets.

The addition of Plug Power’s ProGen hydrogen fuel cell technology enables the cargo tugs to tow up to 40,000 pounds without stopping, for a period of up to four hours; moreover, the refuelling process just three or four minutes. These zero-emission vehicles also operate with a high energy efficiency that is put around 45%. Predictably, the wear and tear on the vehicles is lower, thereby reducing maintenance demands such as oil changes, brakes and starter replacements. Consequently, these vehicles permit lower operational costs coupled with increased levels of productivity.

AAR Mobility Systems awarded $10.8m pallet order from US Air Force

AAR, an independent provider of aviation and defence aftermarket solutions, has been awarded a US$10.8m order from the US Air Force for the production of 463L cargo pallets.

The cargo pallets will be manufactured at AAR’s Mobility Systems business unit in Cadillac, Michigan.USAF Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock

“AAR continues to provide this crucial, strategic asset to the US Air Force to ensure it meets its worldwide operational requirements,” said Lee Krantz, Senior Vice President, AAR Mobility Systems. “As a trusted source, AAR is proud to provide the 463L pallet to the U.S. Armed Forces, its allies and other US Government agencies.”

The 463L USAF design uses a lightweight balsa wood core that continues to provide unmatched strength-to-weight performance and reliability compared to alternative commercial pallet designs.

The pallets are designed to be loaded and off-loaded on a variety of military and commercial aircraft.

Self-bag drop facilities for Montréal-Trudeau

Canada’s Montréal-Trudeau airport, like Toronto airport, is now utilising automated baggage handling from Materna intelligent passenger solutions (ips), and is ready to meet the needs of substantial increases in passenger numbers.

sbd-montrealA total of 16 self-bag-drop kiosks have been in operation at Montréal since November 2018. Materna ips installed the solutions and is also providing operational support for the next three years. For the German IT services provider, this self-bag-drop project in Montréal is another big step in the context of its activities in North America, and in Canada in particular.

The new check-in area in the terminal building at Montréal-Trudeau delivers a much-improved passenger experience, with its 16 new self-bag-drop kiosks, positioned as a self-bag-drop island. Utilising a two-step passenger process, passengers now print a bag tag at a check-in kiosk and move directly to the self-bag drop, decreasing process times tremendously while improving the passenger travel experience. The new self-bag drop system fits perfectly into the airport environment and its design has won compliments.

Materna ips took just ten weeks to implement this passenger processing project.

Avfuel spreading the word about sustainable aviation

After business aviation industry’s Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel trial event held earlier this month at California’s Van Nuys airport, Avfuel is continuing the discussion over its use at the Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference this week in San Antonio, Texas.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based fuel provider delivered 6,200 gallons for the Van Nuys event, the first time the fuel was available to operators at a business aviation airport. It was also the first time Avfuel distributed the fuel, which was produced by Gevo.Avfuel

“Our team was eager to help facilitate the supply needs for the day and make our new product available to operators for a limited time,” said Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s Manager of Alternative fFels. “We’ve worked extensively on the logistics of procuring SAJF, and how to properly blend it, test it and store it, so to see it put into use was a major milestone.”

At the S&D show, Avfuel had a separate booth dedicated to the fuel, and Sawyer was on hand to answer any questions about it. “We’re keen to discuss the product with attendees, educate them on the product and its viability for use, and hope to walk away with some commitments,” he said.


JBT acquires LEKTRO

JBT Corporation has announced that an agreement is now in place for the acquisition of LEKTRO, the

manufacturer and supplier of all-electric towbarless tow and pushback vehicles for the

business jet and commercial aviation market.

“We are excited to be part of JBT,” commented Eric Paulson, owner of LEKTRO. “Together, our companies will provide customers a global sales and support presence, a much broader portfolio of products and services and deeper engineering capabilities for future product development.”

LEKTRO’s family of all-electric towbarless vehicles is deemed a useful complement to JBT AeroTech’s

expanding line-up of diesel tow tractors and other GSE products that include de-icers, cargo loaders, beltloaders, mobile stairs, pre-conditioned air carts, and ground power units.

Located in Warrenton, Oregon, LEKTRO will join with JBT AeroTech’s GSE business unit to

provide a useful range of aviation solutions.

“LEKTRO’s reputation for great customer service and products that are easy to operate, easy to maintain, and highly reliable makes it an ideal fit for JBT AeroTech,” notes Dave Burdakin, EVP and President of JBT AeroTech.

With the leadership at LEKTRO remaining unchanged, the focus on products and service is set to continue under the aegis of JBT.

A sustainable future at Van Nuys

Van Nuys airport has just hosted “Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability,” a day-long event devoted to the use and awareness of sustainable alternative jet fuels. These include the latest formulations of jet fuel that come from renewable and sustainable sources.

Van NuysLos Angeles City Council member Nury Martinez and Los Angeles World Airports executives, including LAWA’s Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint, joined a consortium of general aviation and business aviation advocates to promote the use of SAJF as part of a shared commitment to combating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from jet fuel.

The airport thus becomes the first general aviation airport in the US to offer SAJF on a trial basis, serving as a model for other general aviation airports.

For the event, each of the participating FBOs purchased 4,000 gallons of SAJF, demonstrating the business aviation industry’s commitment to the development and adoption of SAJF.

ATS honoured in Business Excellence Awards

Airport Terminal Services’ Vancouver team has been named a top finalist in the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards. The awards recognise distinguished Richmond businesses in ten different categories and received over 200 nominations. ATS was one of the top three finalists in the “New Business of the Year” category.

The award criteria are to honour a new business that is achieving outstanding business
performance and shows promise for continued growth. ATS began ground handling operations in September 2017 and were quickly achieving customer objectives and YVRAA safety metrics. Final construction was completed on new office space including training room, employee facilities, operations control room and management offices in October. This investment was deemed to have shown ATS’ commitment to growth and employee engagement at Vancouver International airport.ATS

“The YVR team continues to make us proud,” says Sally Leible, ATS President and CEO. “To see our YVR team, led by Managing Director, Parv Bal, grow and develop a young operation and consistently meet KPIs while showing continuous improvement in employee morale and retention is an impeccable achievement. We have the perfect trifecta in YVR with a collaborative customer in WestJet and supportive team with YVR airport. We are thrilled the Richmond Chamber of Commerce was able to recognise and reward this phenomenal accomplishment.”

On the right scent

On November 27, 2018, the TSA opened the application period for companies to submit their application to become a CCSF-K9 provider. GK9PG received notification on December 7 that its Operational Implementation Plan met all of the programme requirements. With this Letter of Approval, the company’s CCSF-K9 Teams that have successfully completed the required Third-Party Certification will begin operations for GK9PG’s established clients immediately.

CanineBased on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, 100% of everything that travels on a passenger aircraft inside the US must be screened. This is not a new requirement; however, more recent changes to the International Civil Aviation Organisation security standards removes the distinction between passenger and cargo operations. This shifts the screening requirement to all cargo transported via commercial air transportation. As a result, Homeland Security and the TSA have established the Third-Party Canine Screening or 3PK9 program to create and monitor Certified Cargo Screening Facility – K9 (CCSF-K9). Under this programme, private sector canine companies will be able to provide TSA-certified cargo screening canine teams to assist in meeting these new requirements.

3PK9 Teams are third party or private sector explosive detection canine teams. Each team comprises one canine handler and one assigned canine that must pass an annual TSA certification. 3PK9 Teams conduct cargo screening under 49 CFR part 1549. 3PK9 teams perform cargo screening operations as CCSF-K9s once they have been certified by TSA approved certifying organisation.

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