Guam – Four chillers are needed to keep the island’s International Airport cool for both the employees who work there and the tourists and residents who come and go. But on Friday, only one of those four chillers was working, and airport management is feeling the heat.
Executive Manager Chuuk Ada tells PNC that the chillers are more than 15 years old. One of them is permanently out of service because it is beyond repair, a second chiller is off line while preventative maintenance is underway on the cooling towers and it won’t be back on line for another 5 days. And compounding the misery, power fluctuations knocked out a third chiller Thursday night. As of Friday, the airport was operating on only one chiller.
Temperatures in various areas of the airport have risen to the low 80’s, which may not seem so bad, but when thousand are packed into the terminal, waiting in line for check-in or for screening, it can take a toll.
Ada says that at least 2 arriving passangers have fainted because of the high heat, although they quickly recovered without the need for hospitalization.
The long term solution is the replacement of the 4 aging chillers, and next week GIAA will close on an $11.9 million dollar energy performance loan that will include new chillers. But it’ll take 8 to 10 weeks to deliver the equipment, and another few weeks to install it, so the new chillers won’t be blowing cool air through the terminal until September, at the earliest.