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By Chris Matt, Managing Editor - Print & E-Media
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With US Airways drastically reducing its number of flights into and out of Pittsburgh International Airport, the maintenance department had to deal with vacant gates and unoccupied areas that became energy drains.
"In the HVAC end of things, especially now because we've had a downturn of flights here, we're able to control places individually," Boehm says. "We can shut air handlers down to what we call an occupied or unoccupied mode. When we go into unoccupied mode, we still have protection in the way of fire safety, of course.
"We can maintain a temperature in those areas so we don't degenerate any of the plaster or wallboard or any of the rugs, allowing moisture to come in."
One of the biggest benefits of the upgraded BAS is the ability to separate and control the range of environments for different areas of the airport, including restaurants, shops, and terminal gates. Instead of taking large areas of the airport and shutting them down or turning them on, Boehm and his technicians can control each environment individually, essentially creating personal air conditioning and heating systems for each space.
"We can shut certain gates off," Long says. "At times, you're cutting down to save energy. But if a flight's delayed or comes in late or (hits) bad weather, we can control everything now from (the emergency) operations (center). It's made things a whole lot easier, whether it's lighting or HVAC. We can control almost every gate now."
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