Raising the bar on airport gate economy

Innovative air-conditioning (PCA) technology for aircraft at the gate has been introduced by ITW GSE, a leading global supplier of power, air, cable and hoses.

The company says its ITW GSE 3500 PCA is a "game-changer" in ground support equipment with its new features including Automated Aircraft Type Detection and Intelligent Power Management (IPM). 

David Feuga, regional sales director, Middle East and Africa, said: “ITW GSE’s vision to be the cleanest, most reliable and most cost-effective supplier in the market is not just something we say, it’s based on real aircraft demand. With our IPM solution, we focus on a total gate solution rather than on individual products.

“The gate solution offers numerous advantages for our customers. From easier installation, optimised efficiency, precise airflow, and the option to recharge other equipment at the gate as well. At the end, our customers benefit from a lower total cost of ownership and get a sustainable solution. That’s our value proposition.”


Automated Aircraft Type Detection is the name of the technology that enables the ITW GSE 3500 PCA to optimise airflow by identifying the aircraft type as it approaches the gate.  It does so through an integration with VDGS, BMS or other data collecting systems.

From its aircraft data base, the PCA knows the exact aircraft setting, which means that the 3500 PCA can deliver an optimal airflow to the cabin instead of an average airflow determined by the aircraft category.

The Automated Aircraft Type Detection is a new feature. It not only optimises the airflow, but also increases the cooling performance by more than 50%. This enhances the cabin temperature and ensures a higher passenger comfort.

The Intelligent Power Management (IPM) concept introduced by ITW GSE is already setting new standards for contact gates. The new ITW GSE 3500 PCA is the master of the IPM concept meaning that the PCA monitors all connected equipment at the aircraft gate. If the GPUs require maximum power for a short period of time, the PCA simply adjusts its own consumption to stay below the pre-set current limit of the complete gate system. This happens quickly and smoothly, and passengers will not feel any change in the cabin temperature.

The IPM is the smart solution for all airports wanting to grow their capacity at a gate without investing in more infrastructure. Customers are beginning to understand the benefits of smarter utilization of available power at a stand because they can add more equipment without heavy infrastructure investments to the existing electrical infrastructure.


The ITW GSE 3500 is not just a PCA ¬– it comes with the option of a built-in 400 Hz GPU. Integrating the GPU in the PCA means that you save space and reduce the weight under the PBB. Consequently, instead of having two boxes that communicate and share power, the ITW GSE 3500 is a single enclosure that controls the complete system which makes it easier to install and consequently lower infrastructure costs. This makes it the ideal solution for narrowbody contact gates.