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How Edinburgh Airport improved firefighting operations with bunded storage units


Edinburgh Airport, the busiest airport in Scotland and one of the busiest in the UK, serves as a major hub connecting the Scottish capital to destinations across the globe.

With a diverse array of services, it balances both domestic and international flights. Located just west of Edinburgh city, it combines functionality and convenience, hosting over 14 million passengers in 2019.

With the return to regular travel following the COVID-19 pandemic, Edinburgh Airport is anticipating a substantial surge in passenger traffic. Its efficient and cutting-edge facilities, world-class customer service, and commitment to sustainability and security make Edinburgh Airport a key player in global aviation.

Edinburgh airport case study

What were the challenges faced when selecting a bunded storage unit?

Edinburgh Airport Fire & Rescue Service needed a bunded storage unit with frost protection to store firefighting foam in 1,000ltr IBCs for the special operation fire firefighters that would meet three criteria:

  • Compliance with regulations: Edinburgh Airport needed to ensure that the bunded storage unit and its frost protection system comply with all relevant safety regulations and standards. This includes fire safety regulations and environmental protection guidelines. 

  • Design and features: The bunded storage unit needed to be designed and customised to meet the specific requirements of the special operations firefighters at Edinburgh Airport. This includes considerations such as the size of the unit, the capacity for storing firefighting equipment and supplies, and the integration of a frost protection system to prevent loss of quality of the foam if the temperatures go below 0 degrees Celsius (32°F). 

  • Installation and logistics: Installing the bunded storage unit present logistical challenges. Coordination with various stakeholders, including installation teams, suppliers, and airport operations staff, is necessary to ensure a smooth installation without disrupting airport operations. Transporting and positioning the unit in the desired location, connecting necessary utilities, and integrating it into the existing infrastructure can be complex tasks that require careful planning and execution.

Edinburgh Airport DPU16 green with closed doors

Why the bunded storage unit emerged as the ideal solution for the task?

In their quest to find the most suitable company for their bunded storage unit, Edinburgh Airport encountered Emtez's website along with several other contenders. Through rigorous evaluation and thorough comparisons of offers, they astutely recognised the value they would receive by selecting Emtez's bunded storage unit and services.

"Other options were considered however Emtez provided the best solution for us. The main factors we considered were lead time, price and locality."
- Ian Swift - Head of Fire Operations at Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport firefighting operations inside the unit smaller

Design and features:

The DPU16-4 Bunded Storage Unit expertly addresses these issues. With a capacity to safely store up to four IBCs, this unit is constructed from 2mm mild steel, ensuring robust and durable storage. The unit's external dimensions are 3390mm (W) x 1525mm (D) x 2450mm (H), making it a compact yet spacious solution.

Internally, the dimensions are 3250mm (W) x 1500mm (D) x 2000mm (H), allowing ample room for the IBCs. Made from durable materials, these doors are built to withstand harsh conditions and provide long-term reliable service.

“This solution enables us to store IBCs undercover, and above or at 0 degrees Celsius when temperatures drop.”
- Ian Swift - Head of Fire Operations at Edinburgh Airport

The unit boasts a fully seam-welded sump, overfill prevention barriers, and a fitted canopy to provide the utmost protection against leaks and spills. Its unique design ensures compliance with all environmental regulations, thus providing peace of mind and security for their IBC storage needs.

The DPU16-4 Bunded Storage Unit features sliding doors designed for ease of access and efficient operation, especially in cases of emergency. These doors contribute to the unit's streamlined functionality, enabling easy and safe entry and exit of IBCs, even in limited space environments. 

“If the foam is not stored correctly at this temperature it can change the physical properties of the foam. This could, in turn, affect the performance of the foam during firefighting activities.”
- Ian Swift - Head of Fire Operations at Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport firefighting operations inside the unit close up smaller

One of the key highlights of this storage unit is its frost protection system. Given the potential changes in the physical properties of certain materials, such as firefighting foam, when stored at temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius (32°F), it's crucial to maintain a stable storage environment, even in the most severe winter condition. Emtez's unit incorporates a robust frost protection system designed to prevent temperature-induced degradation of stored substances.

DPU16-4: An ideal solution for a growing airport

This solution not only assures the safe storage of potentially harmful substances but also demonstrates the airport's commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. By employing these bunded storage units, Edinburgh Airport is taking a proactive stance to mitigate risks associated with leaks and spills, ensuring that the airport's growth doesn't compromise its responsibility to the environment.

“From procurement to delivery it all went smoothly and everything was on track and on time.”
- Ian Swift - Head of Fire Operations at Edinburgh Airport

Edinburgh Airport DPU16 green with open doors

In the fast-paced, high-stress environment of an airport, especially one experiencing increased activity, these storage solutions provide a welcome peace of mind. Airport special operation firefighters can focus on their crucial roles in maintaining smooth operations, confident that storage risks are effectively managed.

So, as passenger traffic rises, Edinburgh Airport remains more committed than ever to balancing this growth with safety and environmental sustainability. The introduction of bunded storage units is just one more way in which the airport continues to pioneer and uphold the highest standards in airport operations and management.