Cavotec systems at Dubai’s dedicated A380 terminal

Our ground support systems are playing their part in Dubai Airport’s newly-opened flagship terminal: the world’s first dedicated to the Airbus A380 superjumbo.

Ground support equipment

Dubai International Airport’s Concourse A, which opened earlier this month, gives Emirates — one of the fastest-growing airlines — an additional capacity of 15 million passengers a year.

Cavotec equipment at Concourse A includes Pop-Up Pits that supply air and electrical power to aircraft. You can see pictures of these systems on our Facebook page.

Cavotec has worked with major airports in the region for many years, and is currently working on projects at several other hub airports. In December we completed the commissioning of a major application at Bahrain International Airport.

Thinking outside the little black box

Ever on the lookout for industry innovations, we were interested by this piece in the International Herald Tribune, “Airline industry is studying ways to protect black boxes.”

As described in the Tribune, while modern communications technology has allowed real-time transmission of information in even the most banal situation, “…when Airbus jets from Air France and Yemenia Airways crashed into the ocean, taking their black boxes into the deep with them, neither aircraft could send its data and cockpit voice recordings to a secure place on the ground.”  As the article quips, there is an “…expectation of air travellers that multimillion-dollar airplanes should have more, not less, technological capability that the average Twitter user.”

A "black box," courtesy of

A "black box," photo credit:

It is not a new idea to transmit real time info (like the millions of Twitter users do every day) from the”black box” data recorder – it is just one that has not yet been brought to fruition.  Given the amount of bandwidth required, the amount planes in the air at any given time, as well as the confidentiality of data being sent, etc. there are a number of obstacles to overcome.

Airbus has responded to say that they are set to find new ways that will “reduce the chance of losing critical data.”  More specifically, two department heads are investigating “live data transmission, external black boxes and…extending the life of the black box pinger.”

Cavotec as a company wholeheartedly believes in the transforming power of technological innovations.  In fact, in this crossroads between two powerful industries, Airline and Communications, there is undoubtedly large potential for a groundbreaking solution.

What do you think?

Ice Road Trucker

Successful trials for pre-conditioned air system with Airbus

We have completed a two-week series of intensive trials of our patented PCAir aircraft cooling system, with leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, at the group’s production plant in Toulouse, France.

The Cavotec PCAir System is unlike any other air-based technology on the market, expanding dry compressed air to produce 100 cubic metres of pre-conditioned air per minute, at minus 25 degrees Celsius.  Using conventional systems makes it very difficult to cool aircraft on the ground because intel temperatures need to be at least five degrees Celsius.

Pilots tend to run on board auxiliary power units (APUs) to cool parked aircraft, as conventional systems are often ineffective. APUs can burn between 200 and 600 litres of fuel per hour, generating pollution at airports and consuming costly fuel that could be used to fly aircraft – not cool them on the ground. Cavotec’s PCAir system provides the dual benefits of reducing pollution and reducing costs. This makes the PCAir system beneficial to all airport constituencies: airlines, airport operators, and communities surrounding airports.

The culmination of in-house testing and the two-week trials at Airbus proved that our PCAir systems operates effectively, having successfully delivered –25°C ‘dry air’ in environments with ambient temperatures of up to 48°C. Most importantly, the PCAir system cooled Airbus’ largest wide body aircraft, the A380, in less than 30 minutes, proving the system’s adaptability for the entire Airbus fleet.

We have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Airbus, supplying in-ground supply systems for production hangars and delivery positions, including those for the A380 programme. Earlier this year, Cavotec won an order to supply 12 in-ground utility systems for the new Airbus A320 Final Assembly Line in Tianjin, China. In addition, Cavotec has supplied delivered in-ground supply systems for the Airbus A400M production hangars in Seville, Spain, and produces a full range of tow bars for all Airbus aircraft types.


Cavotec pop-up supply pits for Tianjin Airbus assembly line

The Tianjin Airbus joint venture company has ordered 12 Cavotec Fladung Pop-Up Pits to service aircraft at its A320 assembly line at the Chinese port city of Tianjin, southwest of Beijing.

The contract follows an initial order for six Pop-Up systems at Tianjin. The assembly line is a joint venture between Airbus and Tianjin Zhongtian Aviation Industry Investment Company, a consortium of the China Aviation Corporation and the Tianjin Bonded Zone Investment Company.

Production of the A320 is scheduled to start at Tianjin in August this year.