Airport upgrade demonstrates opportunity for additional improvements
Across the globe, the number of people boarding planes and travelling via air continues to climb. In fact, it wasn't long ago that the International Civil Aviation Organization predicted a significant rise in the number of air passengers travelling across the globe. They noted that it could expand to well over 6 billion come 2030.
There's a reason for this: air travel continues to become safer, more reliable and, most importantly, cheaper. But there's an issue here; a critical factor that will determine whether or not the aforementioned figure of 6 billion passengers per year will actually be possible.
Airports will need to be both big enough to facilitate a growing number of aircraft and ready to continue operating effectively in the the event of severe weather or other issues entirely
Upgrades and developments
Recently, the Australian government announced approval for a major upgrade to the Gold Coast Airport. Given the fact that the region is a tourist magnet, airport upgrades are essential for further growth. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss said that the upgrades are especially key in light of the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Right now, he says the airport serves around 6 million individuals per year. By 2031, he expects the number to hit 16.3 million.
The development of the airport will include a terminal expansion – nearly doubling the facility's capacity – and allow for five further aircraft stands. There's another area that should be given appropriate consideration, however: that of effective power security.
Preparing for the worst
Airports are some of the most important facilities in operation today. They facilitate the smooth transit of individuals seeking business and pleasure across the globe. However, this doesn't mean they're exempt from the problems faced by other buildings and pieces of major infrastructure, especially when it comes to power security,
It's true critical facilities have backup power solutions in place, but what about those that are non-critical, but still important for passengers and airport staff? In the event of a grid power failure, when the airport is unable to receive electricity, terminals, public transport stands, shops and restaurants are all taken offline.
Thankfully, there is a solution available – one that's efficient, clean and reliable.
Capstone Microturbines take up little floor space, making them convenient additions to already constrained airports. What's more, near-100 per cent availability ensures that any grid power failure won't result in loss of business or frustration for air travellers.
But what about maintenance? Thankfully, these units are made up of multiple power modules, which helps to avoid the 'single point of failure' problem that can cripple backup power solutions. Furthermore, the ability to use multiple fuel types, along with the inclusion of just one moving part (the turbine), means there's a lower chance of failure.
These systems will become increasingly important in the coming decades as airports grow, servicing significant numbers of passengers.
The age of mega airports
Soon, airports capable of servicing tens of millions of individuals in a single year will become the norm, a necessity given the growth in passenger numbers. In fact, Dubai Airports, operator of Dubai International Airport, explained that the facility served more than 78 million passengers in 2015 alone. This means the airport is the largest hub for international passengers.
These mega airports will become a common site in countries across the globe – and they'll be some of the biggest facilities at risk when the power goes out.
Consider getting in touch with Optimal Group today to learn more about power solutions for airports that can ensure passengers keep moving through, even when grid power goes down.