AirNet Express is the nation's leader in the critical-time air delivery business. Though much smaller than FedEx or UPS, they're geared for faster, more nimble service. Their fleet of 125 aircraft - based in LA, Seattle, Boston, Tampa and other cities all over the country - fly more than 500,000 miles weekly, guaranteeing that if tomorrow is just too late, their same-day service will get the delivery there today.
The firm specializes in time-sensitive cargo deliveries, though charter passengers, radioactive payloads, donor organs, five-star generals, CEOs and Hollywood stars are also transported readily to thousands of locations nationwide.
Their new facility in Columbus, OH - planned for growth, comfort, energy-efficiency and high functionality - came to life recently following two years of construction, enabling AirNet to consolidate the operations of three smaller facilities and to relocate its operations from Columbus' main airport to Rickenbacker International, 15 miles to the south.
The new, 148,000 s.f., $35 million facility also doubled their hangar space - now with an open area 350 feet by 150 feet in size - permitting larger aircraft to be loaded and unloaded inside and provides valuable sorting space to ease congestion under-roof. One of the key enhancements to the new facility is the extensive radiant heat and snow melt system installed by Columbus-based Muetzel Plumbing & Heating Co. to heat the immense, 50,000 s.f. hangar.
"Fortunately, the owners were predisposed to radiant for one key reason - comfort," said Hanse Cromer, a heating expert with the manufacturer's rep firm, Steffens-Shulz. "The rapid pace that their people work at is stressful enough. Warm floors and heat that would also gently warm the aircraft, as well, was perfectly suited to the need."
"With large sliding doors, and the possibility of more than one of them being opened at one time, heat within the facility will be flushed out quickly," added Cromer. "But with radiant the recovery time is fast, and most of the heat stays in the high-mass floor, and in the mass on the floor - the aircraft and stacked cargo, for instance. For an application like this, radiant's the only way to go."
The radiant design "team" prescribed the use of 55,000 lineal feet of three-quarter inch RadiantPEX tubing manufactured by Watts Radiant. The system was designed to provide up to 25 BTUs per square foot. The four separate slabs of the main area now has accessible, recessed sensors and the entire system is responsive to outdoor reset controls.
And, outside the hangar's four large bay doors, Muetzel crews also installed tubing for 10,000 s.f. of snowmelted concrete slab to streamline maintenance of the area immediately beyond the doors, and for easier maneuverability of taxiing jets and planes, even in the midst of winter's worst.