Safe, comfortable indoor work environments are more critical than ever — and the transportation industry is no exception. That’s why leaders at one international airport took measures to improve the indoor air quality in its air traffic control tower.

In 2017, the air traffic control tower at Calgary International Airport experienced major indoor air quality issues due to smoke from nearby wildfires in British Columbia. When fine smoke particulates and odors from the surrounding area began to affect the health and happiness of tower workers, NAV CANADA (which owns and operates the nation’s civil air navigation system) began searching for a solution.

The following year, the airport’s control tower installed needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI®) technology from Global Plasma Solutions (GPS). The GPS-iMOD® air purification system reduces airborne particulates, odors and pathogens while lowering energy consumption and reducing a facility’s carbon footprint.

Compared with other air purification solutions, NPBI technology is an affordable and easy-to-install option that works seamlessly with a building’s existing HVAC system. It is the only auto-cleaning air purification system that ensures optimal long-term performance, because it requires no replacement parts or ongoing maintenance. In contrast, the electrode tips in conventional direct current (DC) bipolar ionization (BPI) units become contaminated with particles over time — and eventually erode.

The 2017 wildfires weren’t Calgary International Airport’s first encounter with smoke from nearby wildfires, and NPBI represented a long-term solution. The GPS-iMOD air purification system was installed in the HVAC units of the air traffic control tower prior to the 2018 wildfire season. The goal? To not only reduce particles entering the facility, but also neutralize odors associated with the smoke.

Within 48 hours, NPBI reduced the amount of particulate entering the air traffic control tower by 87% while also providing an effective odor control solution.

Today, the residual effect of wildfire season on Calgary International Airport’s air traffic control tower is a thing of the past. Safer, cleaner indoor air for staff also means safer passengers who trust the airport to make smart decisions at every level.

To learn more about this project and how NPBI technology can support the transportation industry, download the Calgary International Airport project spotlight.