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Optimizing the Use of Electric Preconditioned Air (PCA) and Ground Power Systems for Airports

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As demand for air travel grows, airport-related emissions are increasing and airports are challenged to reduce associated environmental impacts. In response, expanded regulatory programs and global climate protection initiatives are being developed that require the aviation industry—including U.S. airports—to implement new, clean technologies and to modify operational practices to reduce emissions.

One effective option for reducing the emissions associated with aircraft auxiliary power units (APUs) and diesel-powered gate equipment is to convert to electric PCA and electric ground power systems, collectively referred to as “gate electrification systems.”

The TRB Airport Cooperative Research Program's ACRP Research Report 207: Optimizing the Use of Electric Preconditioned Air (PCA) and Ground Power Systems for Airports provides guidance in identifying and understanding factors that contribute to the use or non-use of gate electrification systems (electric preconditioned air or PCA and electric ground power systems) and ways that airports and airlines can optimize the use of the systems.

This research includes case studies at a variety of types and sizes of airports in different climates; an evaluation of how weather and climate impact utilization; the use and impact of other available ground power and PCA units; consideration of aircraft hardstand operations; and airport and airline practices for optimal equipment utilization.

The work includes additional resources: the ACRP 02-76 Ground Power and PCA Example Utilization Tracking Methodology and the Self-Assessment Checklist.

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Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Optimizing the Use of Electric Preconditioned Air (PCA) and Ground Power Systems for Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25623.

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142 pages | 8.5 x 11
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/25623
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