Collaboration between Saudi Ground Services & Al Salem Johnson Controls to locally manufacture sterilization units for aviation industry

Saudi Made Product for Safer Air Travel

Collaboration between Saudi Ground Services Al Salem Johnson Controls to locally manufacture sterilization units for aviation industry

Jeddah: The Saudi Ground Services Company (SGS), a leading provider of quality services to ground handling sector and airport solutions at 28 airports across the Kingdom, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Al Salem Johnson Controls, a leading provider of HVAC&R Systems, Controls Systems and Building Management Systems, for the development of the first of its kind sterilization units to be deployed in aircrafts and airports. The units use high-energy ultraviolet (UV-C) emitters to eliminate viruses, germs, bacteria and microorganisms, which may be airborne or gathered on fabrics and surfaces, by 99.99%.

The MoU is in line with the Kingdom's recent announcement of the partial resumption of local and international air travel, and plans for the complete resumption of flights in January 2021. The sterilization units will help implement the preventive measures and procedures set by the Ministry of Health to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Travelers’ Safety

CEO of the Saudi Ground Services Company, Captain Fahd bin Hamzh Cynndy, said any safe return to air travel, whether partial or complete, will require high-quality technical and preventive measures, in line with the requirements issued by the Ministry of Health and The Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Hence, SGS has partnered with Al Salem Johnson Controls to manufacture ultraviolet disinfection and sterilization units to sanitize aircraft and airports, thus ensuring passengers’ health and safety. He said the new units will limit the spread of viruses, and enhance the quality of services provided to more than 100 local and international airlines, at 28 Saudi airports.

Manufacturing & Local Content

Dr. Mohanad AlShaikh, CEO of Al Salem Johnson Controls for Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen, said the new sterilization unit is made in Saudi Arabia, developed locally, by the Company’s Saudi engineers and other local competencies, under the supervision of its R&D and Product Management Departments. It is planned that the local content for this unit exceeds 60%.

AlShaikh added, the Company will start manufacturing the units on a mass scale in the very near future, to be ready before January 2021. The research and development of this solution began months ago, in cooperation with the Saudi Ground Services Company, after the two companies recognized the market need for such a unit, especially in the aviation industry, stressing that the current version has been developed and tested in different applications, based on the UVC emitter’s sterilization capability.

The manufacturing of this new unit is a result of the cooperation between the two Saudi companies, and their eagerness to support the Kingdom's Vision 2030, which incentivize local manufacturing.

Al Salem Johnson Controls (YORK)’s factory in Jeddah, is working towards expanding its range of solutions and technologies to include new units and technologies that meet the needs and requirements of all sectors. This is in line with the objectives of Vision 2030 and its “National Industrial Development and Logistics” Program, and contributing to transforming Saudi Arabia into a leading industrial power. It also facilitates the synchronization of the aviation industry and ground services, by providing advanced technology solutions to secure travel operations in accordance with environmental and health procedures.

The new sterilization unit can intensively and effectively treat and disinfect large areas, supported by a reliable power system consisting of a large battery that takes about 6 hours to charge. A single battery charge covers approximately 1,000 square meters. The unit is equipped with extendable wings measuring between 100 cm to 150 cm, which help sterilize and disinfect the aircraft in a short time, ranging from 7 minutes for smaller aircraft, and 15 minutes for larger planes.

The new sterilization unit is easy to operate, supported by high-quality and reliable manufacturing components, and its sheet metal case is robust and durable, allowing it to operate even under difficult conditions with outstanding efficiency. Its UVC emitters are certified by Underwriters Laboratories, a US safety consulting organization.

Al Salem Johnson Controls, which is known for providing superior after-market services, is supporting the operating staff of SGS with training on how to professionally handle the units for maximum operation efficiency, as well as personal safety precautions when operating the units. 

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