StandardAero going green

 - May 6, 2009, 8:27 AM

Maintenance, repair and overhaul group StandardAero (Booth No. 370) claims to have shown strong leadership in reducing the environmental footprint of its business. The company has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its part in the national environmental performance track green leadership program and is now operating under ISO 14001:2004 environmental management systems.

“StandardAero has taken a strategic approach toward reducing our global environmental impact,” said StandardAero president and CEO Rob Mionis. “We have systematically employed comprehensive, state-of-the-art engineering controls for processing air emissions and hazardous materials to minimize or eliminate impact and risk. These efforts have resulted in substantial improvements reducing waste water and hazardous waste disposal, carbon dioxide generation and electrical use. You could say that our environmental focus is simply part of our DNA.”

One example of the company’s green credentials is the compressed air system at StandardAero’s facility in Winnipeg, Canada, which has been designed to reduce energy consumption with support from the local electricity provider.

“The novel design represents an 86-percent operating cost saving over the conventional approach with the additional investment in technology paid back in 1.7 years. This project was recognized with the Canada Energy Efficiency award from Natural Resources Canada,” Mionis said.

Another example is at one of StandardAero’s MRO facilities in the U.S. where a closed-loop water recycling system recycles all industrial process waters yielding zero sanitary discharge and conserving more than six million gallons of potable water each month. The same facility has undergone an operational redesign and environmental management system optimization that has led to a reduction of hazardous waste from prior operations of over one million pounds annually. He also said energy optimization at StandardAero’s Maryville, Tennessee operation supports community efforts to improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide generation by more than 803,000 pounds annually.

“Most customers knew us very well as Garrett Aviation and we’re here [at EBACE] to let them know that they will receive the same high-quality service and customer support from StandardAero. Many of these customers may well be surprised at the depth and breadth of services we now offer in addition to our commitment to the environment,” Mionis told EBACE Convention News.

The company also announced it has begun construction of a test cell at Maryville for testing the new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW600 turbofan engine. StandardAero was granted approval as the sole external designated overhaul facility by Pratt & Whitney Canada in 2007, and the construction of the facility was completed in the summer of 2008. After several weeks of correlation trials in the fall, P&WC granted StandardAero correlation certificates for the new test cell last December.

This new 10,000-sq-ft facility, adjacent to the existing AE3007 test cell, provides approximately 6,500 sq ft of cell engine preparation area and includes a 4,000-sq-ft mezzanine. Although the original purpose of this test cell was to test PW600 engines (with a thrust range of 900 to 1,460 pounds), the cell was sized to allow for potential future testing capabilities of engines producing up to 15,000 pounds of thrust.

Another subject Mionis wants to discuss with European customers is the implementation of StandardAero’s Immune-SMS safety management system. Mionis said this provides a clear direction to strengthen the company’s practices, systems and culture with one common goal: enhancing and improving flight safety.

“StandardAero will never compromise flight safety, going above and beyond the regulatory, legal or acceptable minimum requirements,” he said. “By implementing this system, StandardAero has become vigilant in identifying risks and threats to product quality and proactive in eliminating them. This allows the company to minimize the risk of future occurrences and provides peace of mind to our customers.”

The group named the system Immune-SMS because it believes flight safety management should function much like the human immune system, continually and proactively seeking ways to identify and defend customers and the organization against hazards and unwanted flight safety consequences. It recognizes that all employees, from senior leadership to front-line staff, are responsible for product safety.

The main objective of the Immune-SMS is to expose safety hazards or vulnerabilities that can contribute to poor product quality or degrade safety. Once these are exposed, the company prioritizes and implements actions to eliminate or minimize these key vulnerabilities.

The Immune-SMS program is not a computer system, database, slogan or poster. According to StandardAero, it is a strong commitment to equip employees with the knowledge, skills and enabling processes that allows it to anticipate possible threats to product quality and flight safety and empower them to act in the best interest of the operator. As a result, StandardAero’s Immune-SMS exceeds regulatory requirements for SMS coming into force in Canada and Singapore in 2009 as well as other jurisdictions, including Europe, in the future.

StandardAero is part of the Dubai Aerospace Enterprise group.