NBAA Convention News

Duncan Aviation green team looks to environmental future

 - October 20, 2010, 1:25 PM

Duncan Aviation (Booth No. 6763) has formed a “green team dedicated to improving business practices and educating team members with the goal of reducing the company’s impact on the environment.”

“The benefits of making ‘green’ decisions are good for us and for those who will follow us,” said Jeannine Falter, Duncan vice-president of business development and green team facilitator.

Among the accomplishments already realized by the green team are:

• a reduction in the amount of hazardous chemicals purchased and stored by Duncan and use of chemicals that have a low environmental impact.

• creation of an eco-friendly interior refurbishment materials collection for business aircraft, including a range of natural, rapidly renewable and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified materials.

• replacement of incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with more energy-efficient alternatives. • recycling of 350 tires, 5,000 pounds of metal, 40 tons of paper and cardboard and 4,000 pounds of aluminum cans last year.

“These things were all accomplished by having small groups of people throughout the company question current practices,” said Falter. “We view this as an ongoing process that will make a difference for future generations.”

Also part of the accomplishments is a green initiative that introduces a new “chrome-free” paint process, to be phased in later this year at Duncan’s Lincoln, Neb., and Battle Creek, Mich., paint facilities. The process eliminates use of hexavalent chromium (a known carcinogen).

While the industry refers to the new paint systems as “green paint” or “chrome-free,” the paint may contain trace amounts of chromium, though low enough to meet the tolerances set by EPA, OSHA and local state and federal disposal programs.

Partnering with Sherwin-Williams Coatings and Pantheon Enterprises over the past several years, Duncan developed the chrome-free process and products it describes as “better for the environment, better for the paint technicians and better for the aircraft.” And working closely with the FAA, Duncan recently amended its proprietary FAA-approved paint process to include these new processes and products.

Duncan expects to phase the chrome-free paint process into its current aircraft paint work by next year, and all aircraft subsequently painted at its centers will use the process.