DOD Can Save Millions by Using Energy Efficient Centralized Aircraft Support Systems

PLRD-82-64: Published: May 7, 1982. Publicly Released: May 7, 1982.

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GAO evaluated the actions taken by the Air Force and the Navy to use standard centralized aircraft support systems in lieu of mobile equipment to provide air and electric power to support aircraft while on the ground.

The Department of Defense can save millions of dollars annually and can reduce consumption of fuel now being used to operate mobile, ground-support equipment by millions of gallons if new energy-efficient, centralized systems were used at certain Air Force and Navy bases. The Air Force and the Navy have developed and installed several different centralized systems which have realized some degree of success. However, each service has developed its centralized systems independently. Consequently, there is no commonality between the services' systems which could permit economical procurements. Standardization would prevent duplication of design efforts and assure the most economic quantities for buying system components. There are additional benefits in the use of the centralized system which include: the reduction of vehicle traffic on the parking apron, reduced exhaust heat, reduced noise and air pollution, the need for fewer personnel, reduced maintenance time, less chance of engine damage from foreign objects, or of damage to parked aircraft during the moving of mobile equipment. Substantial savings also can be realized by installing the centralized systems concurrently with major airport construction projects. The need for mobile equipment will be reduced as the centralized systems are installed. GAO believes that, with proper planning and realinement of operating procedures, tactical bases can use centralized systems to support most of their daily operations, maintain their mobile equipment, and have trained personnel for deployment.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should reevaluate the decision not to install centralized systems at tactical bases. If the Secretary decides that the systems can be used at these bases without adversely affecting the units' deployment missions, first priority should be given to installing the system at those tactical bases undergoing parking apron renovations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to closely coordinate and monitor these procurements with planned procurements for mobile equipment to ensure that appropriate adjustments are made to reduce or delay the latter procurements where applicable.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to combine requirements to ensure the most economical quantities for buying system components.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to coordinate the development of standard centralized systems and ensure that all systems acquired are procured using design specifications based on a standard system or systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should give the next priority to those bases whose units do not need mobile equipment for deployment, that is, certain Strategic Air Command units and Navy units deployed to aircraft carriers.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to give first priority to installing new energy-efficient, centralized systems in conjunction with major aircraft parking apron renovations and underground refueling systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Air Force and Navy to develop a plan for installing centralized systems at air bases where they can be used cost effectively without adversely affecting mission capabilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should assess the requirement for the new generator set along with other mobile equipment.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

 

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