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How can airports maintain safe, efficient ground handling operations through winter?

Blog post   •   Dec 14, 2017 11:08 GMT

Heated plates ensure that our hatch pits remain operational in snowy conditions.

As many passengers in Europe experienced first-hand this week, weather and climate have significant impacts on airport operations. Harsh weather conditions cause millions of dollars of damage each year, and cause severe service disruption. The build-up of snow, ice, and slush affects aircraft access to runways, and risks disrupting ground handling services on aprons. While the weather cannot be controlled, airports do have solutions available to mitigate its impact.

In Sweden, where winters are characterised by significant snowfall, and limited daylight hours, Stockholm Arlanda Airport has installed 40 Cavotec 400HZ power hatch pit systems to minimise disruption to aircraft servicing.

The hatch pits are engineered for the harsh, cold conditions of Swedish winter. They are fitted with heating plates both in the steel chamber and on the cover, which prevents snow and ice build-up on the hatch pit cover and surrounding area.

If water resulting from snow melt enters the steel chamber, it is pumped from the chamber into the apron drainage system, ensuring a dry environment for the hatch pit mechanism and related cables. Moreover, the heating prevents ice from freezing the cover plate to the steel frame which ensures serviceability and hatch cover access. 

Cavotec is a leading manufacturer of in-ground airport systems that ensure safe, efficient and reliable powering and cooling of aircraft. Learn more about the benefits of in-ground systems and discover Cavotec’s broad range of in ground solutions here.

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