Maintenance Operations Go Green

electric-powered aircraft
Credit: Certified Aviation Services

1.  Green Maintenance Vehicles

Company: Certified Aviation Services

Specifications: Certified Aviation Services (CAS) has begun using electric-powered vehicles as part of its efforts to become more carbon-neutral. For use by interior crews at Los Angeles International and San Diego International airports, CAS has added four Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) that feature an attached hitch for secure transportation of equipment. The GEMs will be rolled out over the course of 2020, and CAS says it hopes to introduce more electric cars throughout its 19 U.S. line stations, including replacing its larger step vans with electric-powered step vans.


fire-extinguishing device
Credit: Lufthansa Technik

2. Eliminating Ozone Hazards

Company: Lufthansa Technik

Specifications: To reduce environmental risks from inspecting aircraft fire extinguishers, Lufthansa Technik (LHT) has started the Effect (Extreme Fast Fire Extinguisher Check and Test) project at its Hamburg component shop. Instead of temporarily purging, storing and processing ozone-depleting halon from the container for reuse, the Effect process entails placing the filled pressure tank in a special jig and heating it in a chamber, which triggers sound waves that can be used to determine whether there is damage to the tank. According to LHT, the process also cuts turnaround times to 90 min. or less.


engine-washing system
Credit: EcoServices

3. Reducing Carbon Emissions

Company: EcoServices

Specifications: EcoServices provides a closed-loop engine wash system called EcoPower that it estimates has saved customers more than 10 million tons of carbon emissions and more than a billion gallons of jet fuel. EcoPower cleans engines in 1-1.5 hr. with highly purified water while collecting engine wash waste, so aircraft do not need to be moved to a wash bay. The company says EcoPower improves the operational flow of aircraft washing while meeting airport environmental regulations, providing fuel-burn savings and reducing carbon emissions and maintenance costs. Washes can be performed at EcoServices’ global service centers or through an equipment lease program, and the service recently expanded to Madrid in February through EcoJet Aviation.


sustainability auditor of aircraft
Credit: Intertek

4. Certifying Sustainability

Company: Intertek

Specifications: To help companies evaluate their environmental impact, Intertek launched its Total Sustainability Assurance (TSA) solution in 2019, which audits a variety of functions and provides independent certifications that enable companies to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. According to Intertek, it has worked with MRO customers to implement changes that reduce carbon footprint, conserve and reuse raw materials, and reduce waste. Part of TSA includes Intertek’s Inlight supply chain management solution, which helps businesses map their suppliers and identify possible environmental, human rights, and health and safety risks.


aircraft on runway
Credit: Harris Miller Miller & Hanson

5. Sustainable Airport Operations

Company: Harris Miller Miller & Hanson

Specifications: Consulting firm Harris Miller Miller & Hanson (HMMH) provides environmental planning services for airports to achieve regulatory compliance and more sustainable operations. HMMH conducts environmental studies for clients such as regulatory agencies and airframe and powerplant manufacturers to improve sustainability in the areas of renewable energy and reduction of noise, waste and emissions. The company has helped a variety of airports implement optimal positioning and noise-barrier systems for aircraft maintenance run-up facilities to reduce noise complaints. It also helped an airport reduce air pollution through use of electrically preconditioned air and electric ground power to reduce aircraft reliance on auxiliary power units and diesel ground power units.


aircraft pressure sensors
Credit: Avix Aero

6. Reducing Fuel Burn and Emissions

Company: Avix Aero

Specifications: Avix Aero’s Strut Data Collection System (SDCS) is a sensor-based kit used to calculate and optimize an aircraft’s center of gravity, which improves aerodynamics and can help operators lower fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions. The SDCS consists of pressure sensors installed in each landing gear, manifold, wiring harness and data-collection unit, which take rapid pressure readings that are converted within seconds to a center of gravity measurement using Avix Aero’s proprietary algorithms. Avix Aero has obtained supplemental type certificates (STC) for the Boeing 737 NG family and is working to achieve STC for Boeing 777, 787 and Bombardier CRJ family aircraft by late summer.


degassing device
Credit: NanoVapor

7. Safer Aircraft Degassing

Company: NanoVapor

Specifications: NanoVapor’s patented degassing technologies are aimed at reducing downtime and creating a safer workplace. The NanoVapor system, composed of a delivery unit and chemical-based molecular suppressant, is an alternative to methods such as nitrogen tank inerting, water filling and air purging. NanoVapor says the nontoxic, eco-friendly system reduces aircraft degassing time to less than 1 hr. while minimizing the release of harmful volatile organic compounds and lowering maintenance costs.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.