The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain, as represented by the Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), has selected for their turn-key project, airport systems innovator Cavotec to supply and integrate a range of environmentally friendly ground service equipment for remote aircraft aprons at Bahrain International Airport, in a deal worth more than EUR 30 million.
“By selecting these advanced in-ground systems BAC has made a significant step to automate their operations and further consolidate their place as a state-of-art airport. Having started in the late 1960’s Cavotec has decades of experience in this market and is well known as a manufacturer and complete systems integrator. In financial terms, this is one of the larger projects in our 40-year history,” says Ottonel Popesco, Cavotec MSL CEO.
The product and technological scope of the order is especially broad. With 18 of Cavotec’s pre-conditioned air (PCAir) systems forming the centrepiece of the project, Cavotec will also deliver and install pop-up units, transformer sub-stations, 400Hz power supply systems, a Vacuum Evacuation System, a blue water supply system and a potable water supply system. The installation work is due for completion in February 2011 with a subsequent operation and maintenance period for one year.
While the Cavotec PCAir system itself is a new and ground-breaking system, the concept draws together proven and tested engineering expertise from, among others, Alfa Laval, Atlas Copco and Fladung. For the other systems covered in this deal Cavotec is cooperating with companies such as Siemens and Roediger. The well-known company Dar Al-Handasah, one of the world’s leading international consultancies in the airport market, was appointed to handle all contractual and technical specifications surrounding this multi-layered order.
The Cavotec PCAir system expands dry compressed air to cool parked aircraft. Pilots often run on-board auxiliary power units (APUs) to cool aircraft. These APUs can burn between 200 and 600 litres of fuel per hour, generating pollution at airports and consuming costly fuel that could be used to fly aircraft – not cool them on the ground.
The Cavotec PCAir system supports airports in creating APU-free aprons, providing the dual benefits of reducing pollution and reducing costs. This makes the PCAir system beneficial to all airport constituencies: airlines, airport operators, and communities surrounding airports.
This order is a key element of the Bahrain Airport’s USD 4.7 billion expansion programme designed to cater for the projected growth in passenger and freight numbers. The expansion, planned over the next 30 years, will triple passenger capacity to 27 million a year. Two new terminals will be opened in the next four years as part of the expansion.
The Bahrain Airport Company is wholly owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holdings, the investment arm of the Bahrain government, and is responsible for Bahrain International Airport and its related services.
BAC’s long-standing commitment to ‘green’ technologies and the environment has driven systems selection for this project. BAC’s proactive stance on this advanced project comes as interest intensifies ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference being held in the Danish capital Copenhagen. The conference, which runs from December 7 to December 18, will seek to establish new agreements for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to replace the Kyoto Protocol. While estimates put the aviation industry’s contribution to green house gas emissions at around two percent of global emissions, the industry is already taking voluntary steps to reduce this level. BAC’s initiatives are a prime example of these efforts.
“Responsible environmental stewardship is a key aspect of the [Bahrain International Airport] expansion programme. These technologically advanced systems allow us to improve efficiency and environmentally friendly practice throughout aircraft operations while simultaneously increasing the comfort of our passengers. These are all key aspects that are very much in keeping with what will be one of the world’s most advanced airports,” says Bahrain Airport Company CEO, Dr. Osama Al Ali.
Bahrain’s expansion programme will see the creation of 110 aircraft stands, including 87 with contact gates. Bahrain International Airport currently hosts 42 airlines and is home to Bahrain’s Gulf Air and Bahrain Air.