Aviation Special Report

Our annual report on aviation trends. Written by Burns & McDonnell experts, these publications focus on issues impacting the industry.

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Technology in aviation is more than a buzzword. It's still changing the world. It continues to change the way airports are planned, designed, built, operated and maintained. From the parking facilities, ticket counters, security checkpoints and concourses/gates to the baggage systems, aircraft ramp services and air traffic/ramp control towers, technology enables progress in speed, efficiency and effective processes. This issue is a glimpse of the airport technology spectrum in action, where we are and where we're headed. See you there!

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Articles In This Issue

The Technology Spectrum: Taking a Broad View

Technology has been a buzzword for decades. Yet it's still changing the world, every day. And it changes the way airports are planned, designed, built, operated and maintained every year.

Prime Time for VFD Systems

Variable frequency drives (VFDs) could eliminate virtually every negative aspect of traditional fuel pump systems. VFDs work by speeding up and slowing down the motor to control the fuel pressure rather than keeping the motor at a constant higher speed and throttling it back with control valves.

Preconditioned Air Systems: Keeping Passengers Comfortable

Preconditioned air (PCA) systems cool and heat aircraft parked at the gate and pre-cool/pre-heat the passenger boarding bridges for passenger comfort during loading and off-loading operations. A life cycle cost analysis study can identify the most economical option for each airport based on number of gates, gate usage schedule, local utility rates, initial capital cost and terminal space availability.

Safety on the Runway

Foreign object debris (FOD) can be anything from wildlife and vegetation to scrap aircraft parts and litter that could be encountered by an aircraft within the airport environment. That definition creates a long list of potential debris to monitor in a large area to keep the flying public safe.

Technology Helps Tame the Tiger

Airport construction projects have as many moving parts as the aircraft that move through the facilities. Successfully managing those projects in the midst of continuing airport operations requires the best in technological tools.

How Smart Is Your Hangar?

Aircraft hangars, by necessity, are large, open buildings. But what if a hangar could keep its functionality while reducing operational costs? The latest hangar designs aim to do just that.

Envisioning the Future

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is poised for substantial upgrades as US Airways and American Airlines prepare to become the world's largest airline.The construction for Terminal B began in the late 1950s, and the complete Terminal B/C complex opened in 1970. It was renovated in 1998 to add new food and retail outlets and to add a 25,000-square-foot US Airways Club, but little modernization has occurred in these terminals in the past 15 years.

Complex Models Help Build Strategies

Most major airports must actively manage spent aircraft deicing fluid (SADF) and stormwater runoff. But the way they do it is unique to each facility. The recovery, collection, conveyance, storage and treatment of SADF and stormwater can be accomplished in several ways.