Estonia-based GSE manufacturer Estel introduced a new aerobridge ground power unit at Inter-Airport Munich in October.
The launch of the new aerobridge unit is prompted by what the company describes as an increase in demand for power converters that can be installed under an airport telescopic passenger bridge or underground.
Found in 1870 as a railway workshop in Tallinn, Estel’s experience in manufacturing aviation equipment dates back to 1974 when it began producing GPUs.
Since then it has been developing, customising and testing a range of power supply equipment including frequency converters, airfield rectifiers and combined power units.
Today nearly 95 percent of its standard and custom equipment is exported to airline and airport customers in Russia, Ukraine, the CIS, Germany, Poland, China, Korea and Egypt.
In Munich Estel displayed its latest frequency converter (FCA) that combines two independent units that can work together or operate separately over a given distance.
One or more cable coil cabinets can be provided in one FCA converter in order to provide power supply to several aircraft simultaneously says the manufacturer. The equipment can be used with all types of aircraft and helicopters with adjustable cable lengths up to 40 metres.
Estel says its new aerobridge FCA converter is built to withstand the severe weather conditions of northern Russia and Europe and won’t freeze during operation or in stand-by mode.
Prompted by customer requests, the manufacturer claims the new equipment won’t be affected by high humidity levels and will continue a 24/7 operation without the risk of overheating.
In addition to required technical qualifications, Estel engineers undergo specific training based on 140 years accumulated knowledge – the last 30 in aviation GPU design. This competence translates into new product development as well as operator support for its customers.
Next year, Estel says it will continue to expand in new markets in Asia, the Middle East and Russia. A company spokesperson said it wasn’t surprising that the current “severe” Euro crisis was having an impact worldwide due to globalisation.
“Both clients and suppliers have become more conservative with increasing threats of possibilities of Euro collapse,” says the company. However, due to increased orders, it has begun to increase its output and is “looking positively to the future” with product offerings that combine high specifications with low prices.
IATA’s anaemic 2012 forecast won’t affect Estel next year due to a backlog of orders for its aviation-related equipment. However the company uses the forecast to identify which regions of the world are likely to prompt an increase in demand for its products in 2013 and beyond. The BRIC region seems favourite.