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.
A milestone en route to carbon neutrality in 2030
The use of PCA systems can save up to 23,500 tonnes of CO2 in one year. Munich Airport has set the target of CO2 neutral operations by 2030. The PCA systems represent the biggest contributing factor towards achieving that goal.