A fresh breeze thanks to PCA

Pre-Conditioned air systems at Munich Airport

Pre-Conditioned Air (PCA) systems provide the aircraft cabin with conditioned air at the park position. As a result, the parked aircraft no longer needs to run their auxiliary turbine for air conditioning. The PCA systems are significantly quieter during operation and reduce kerosene consumption and related CO2 emissions.

What is PCA?

Pre-conditioned air systems provide an external supply of conditioned air to cool, ventilate and heat the cabins of parked aircraft. Munich Airport has installed 64 of these systems at all pierside aircraft positions of both terminals and the satellite facility.

  • These PCA systems now provide the conditioned air for the cabins of parked aircraft.
  • A total of 64 such systems are installed at the pierside positions.

How does a PCA system work?

Right at the parking position, ambient air is treated (filtered, compressed, cooled or heated) in a compressor system (basically an oversized air conditioner). The air is then fed directly into the interior of the aircraft cabin via an insulated hose.

For widebody jets, Munich Airport has developed its own innovative design: a hose truck with a built-in Y-coupling. It distributes the air simultaneously through a hose to two inlets on the aircraft in order to heat or cool the cabin interior.

The PCA is automatically controlled. Through an interface to the flight data system, it knows exactly which plane is currently docked and supplies it with the right volume of energy.

Contribution to the airlines' CO2 reduction

Munich Airport has set itself the goal of reducing its own emissions (in technical terms: Scope 1 and 2) to net zero by 2035. However, the airport would also like to support other companies operating on the airport campus in reducing their emissions. In this so-called Scope 3 (third-party emissions), the use of PCA systems can prevent the emission of up to 23,500 tons of CO2 in one year.

  • Aircraft no longer need to run auxiliary power units when parked at the terminal.
  • The system can supply air to any aircraft. Larger jets need two connections.
  • The hose is passed beneath the air bridge.
  • The hose has special insulation to ensure maximum efficiency.

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