Emergency Vehicle Exhaust Fume: Airport Authority Case Study


The Client

A top 10 largest airport authority in Europe for transatlantic connectivity and saw a record number of visitors through its departure and arrivals terminals in 2019 wanted to improve the airport fire station’s emergency vehicle exhaust fume LEV (local exhaust ventilation) to work strictly in accordance with HSG258: Controlling Airborne Contaminants at Work: A Guide to Local Exhaust Ventilation (LEV) guidance.

The Challenge

The airport authority approached Auto Extract Systems to provide a turnkey installation service for three emergency vehicle exhaust fume extraction systems in their airside station. As with all airport fire stations, its operations serve not only the airport but also the surrounding area. It was vital that the proposed systems met the design criteria’s that set this project apart from that of standard fire stations.

The emergency vehicle exhaust fume problem was exacerbated by the high vehicle movements within the large twelve bay station as the vehicle exhaust fumes were being transmitted through the bays and building fabric into the offices, canteen and accommodation areas. This posed potential health problems for all staff employed and a solution was sought to eliminate the problem at-source. 

The Solution

The solution was ideal for airport crash rescue vehicles and also can handle multiple vehicles through the same bay. Two of the systems were identical to one another and featured four extraction points each. Each four-point system featured a 12-metre long vertical stack rail system, which enabled the service to drive through and connect the vehicle exhaust to an extraction rail to provide operator-free connection. The rail was suspended on a moving track, which moves horizontally using springs that are located the stack within the rail. Six exhaust adapters were also supplied as loose equipment to be fitted to their nominated vehicle.

High-level rails were also fitted with patented pressure sensors to automatically trigger the fan when any of the vehicles connected to the system started up. These sensors were set up to operate through a special bespoke control panel, which controlled the fan starting and stopping. The rails were connected to a common duct which ran to a 4kW fan, capable of 9,500m³/hr.

The third extraction system comprised of a non-emergency fixed drop system to accommodate one extraction point. The system was completed with a 7.5m long x 125mm diameter, high-temperature crush-resistant extraction hose, a female bayonet-type coupling to connect a 125mm to 160mm rubber/steel clamp-on nozzle for connection to the vehicle. The fixed-point system ran to a 0.37kW fan that’s capable of 1300m³/hr.

The Feedback

After the LEV systems were installed, a member of the contracts department praised Auto Extract Systems, stating: “The guys at Auto Extract Systems have done a brilliant job installing our LEV systems and went above and beyond ensure all our requirements were met”.

Auto Extract Systems continue to maintain the LEV system installed with an annual LEV test. LEV testing is a legal requirement and should be tested at least once in a 14-month period for compliance with HSE standards; they often form part of a company’s insurance requirements too.