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Globally, the demand for Passenger Boarding Bridges is

increasing, supported by the increase in airline traffi c, the renewal and upgrading of old equipment, the extension of existing terminals and the construction of new airports.

7 THE USE OF PRECONDITIONED AIR UNITS (PCAS) WHILE PASSENGERS ARE EMBARKING OR DISEMBARKING FROM AIRCRAFT ON STAND IS WIDESPREAD. WHAT ARE THE PARTICULAR TECHNICAL CHALLENGES THEY BRING TO GROUND SUPPORT OPERATIONS? The main driver in this should be to reduce the workload of the user – the ground handler. The equipment will be built with advanced technology but that should be operating in the background. It should not create more problems than it solves. So with PCAa the technology should be transparent. The ground handler shouldn’t have to need to play with the controls to get the equipment to

may be serving aircraft in diff erent positions. They may also be using a variety of diff erent GSE equipment that is supplied by diff erent manufacturers. So it would be completely ineffi cient for ground handlers to need to be trained and have detailed technical knowledge of very diff erent and complicated systems. It should be as easy to use as possible. We have a lot of fi eld experience in this area because we not only manufacture GSE we also operate our own equipment. The feedback from the fi eld in diffi cult climatic conditions and with carriers who operate very short turnaround times is vital. When bidding for contracts price is still the main factor in the majority of cases but we are starting to see that more people are looking at the total cost of ownership of GSE – the lifecycle cost. Nobody wants to spend more money than they should but you need to consider the fact that you will own and be operating it for 20-25 years. So factors like effi cient power use are very important because three years of electrical consumption could be equivalent to the cost of the equipment. The invertor technology we use with our PCAs automatically adapts the electrical consumption to the temperature, humidity and time of day the equipment is being used in. This makes signifi cant power savings over the life cycle use of the equipment.

9 HOW MUCH EMPHASIS DO AIRPORTS PLACE ON MAKING SURE THE GSE EQUIPMENT THAT IS USED ON THE GROUND IS GREENER? Using PCA units will substantially reduce the impact on the environment – the CO2 footprint of GSE operations. Without this equipment on the ground what happens is that the airline would need to run the auxiliary power unit (APU) on board the aircraft. This uses exactly the same principles and power source as the jet engines on the wings. It is the most ineffi cient way to provide electrical power and air conditioning and results in very big emissions on the ground. That is not just CO2 there are other gases and noise pollution when using the APU is also considerable and

work properly. We are not the best known company producing PCA units because we came relatively late to the market but this has forced us to develop something that is brand new. We don’t have a legacy product that has been around a long time. This is important because modern aircraft are more demanding than those built 20 or 30 years ago.


Airports are so large nowadays that a grand handling company

something you could well do without. Passengers and ground handlers shouldn’t be exposed to that level of noise for hours on end.

Using PCAs enables the airline to not have to switch on the APU during turnaround but still provide a comfortable environment for their passengers.

Francois Mamert, is Marketing Director of ADELTE. Marc Flamme is Aircraft Ground Servicing Manager and Marina Gallach is Airport Design Engineer Manager

May / June 2016 / AF / 33

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