Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC CEO/Vice President Vince Howie stands before a Boeing 727 at Ardmore Industrial Airpark in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The plane will be used to test and demonstrate how ATS moves aircraft autonomously using a rail system located in a channel just below the surface of select portions of an airport’s taxiways and gates.
EDMOND, OK (3/10/2020) — Aircraft Towing Systems World Wide LLC (ATS) has transformed from a Polish inventor’s dream into an exciting ongoing creative venture with Oklahoma State University’s New Product Development Center (NPDC).
The OSU team’s innovative research, development and design for the revolutionary transportation system has transitioned into the construction phase of the prototype and test site. Designed to move aircraft to and from airport taxiways and gates without the use of a jet’s main engines, ATS’ R&D evolution has been led by OSU NPDC Director Robert Taylor, Ph.D.
OSU recently nominated ATS for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education’s (OSRHE) “Business Partnership Excellence Award” and ATS will join others at 11 a.m. Thursday during a luncheon at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. The honor highlights such successful partnerships and how they further cultivate the higher learning environment through OSRHE’s Economic Development Grants.
Taylor said OSU is grateful for the regents’ ongoing support of bringing innovative business opportunities to Oklahoma.
“The unique ATS concept originated with Polish businessman and entrepreneur, Stan Malicki, along with the help of his hand-picked international engineers,” Taylor said. “Stan was attracted by Oklahoma’s pro-business environment, friendly workforce and he’s now president of ATS, which was incorporated in Oklahoma in 2016.
“ATS is both a state and internationally based company,” he said “ATS CEO/Vice President Vince Howie is also a partial owner and meets weekly with the NPDC ATS team. But, when we started, we had a package and pretty much a blank slate before we created a team out of converged departments professors and mechanical, aerospace, civil, electrical and computer engineering undergraduate and graduate students, including five Ph.Ds.
“ATS provides our students with real-world experience and that’s what our center is wrapped around – the commercialization of new product development and contributing to economic development in Oklahoma.”
ATS held a groundbreaking celebration at the Ardmore Industrial Airpark in November 2019. The installation of the underground channel for its electric-powered railway system should be complete by this summer.
“I suspect there are small bits and pieces we’ll need to adjust, which is common when you introduce a prototype and test the system, but we’re excited,” he said. “Some of ATS’ benefits should include a fuel-emission reductions, heightened efficiency and safety because ATS will be run by ground control, so there should few if any aircraft ground accidents. Pilots can land on a runway, move onto the taxiway and align the aircraft’s nose wheel into an ATS pull car.
“Once the nose wheel is secured, the pilot can turn off the main engines and ATS safely moves the aircraft using its channel system to the appropriate gate. The reverse process is used for takeoffs. Pilots will then turn on their engines, drive off the pull car and move into position for takeoff.”
Howie, former director of Aerospace and Defense for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, said the OSU team is doing great work that should noticeably improve the way future airports operate.
“ATS is fully automated, powered by an electric motor and moves aircraft autonomously using a rail system located in a channel just below the surface of an airport’s taxiways and gates,” Howie said. “ATS will negate the need for tug-and-cart equipment and associated personnel. We foresee increased operational efficiencies, including increasing the speed of airport-gate turnover, as well as environmental and safety benefits.”
He said ATS has the potential to provide solutions to the challenges of wasted aircraft fuel because fuel will be saved when main engines are shutoff.
“We believe ATS will reduce harmful fuel emissions, decrease noise around airports and potentially extend jet-engine life, all while reducing aircraft collisions,” Howie said. “This will create an overall safer and more efficient takeoff-and-landing system.”
He said ATS World Wide LLC is pleased with the OSU team’s performance.
“The kind of work they do has really been outstanding, so we’re really thrilled,” Howie said. “It has been a marvelous relationship. People are excited to see the prototype operational.
“We believe there’s a super bright future for this opportunity, not just for OSU, but because we believe this is the next phase of automation for airports worldwide.”
For more information about ATS and 300 DPI photos, click https://www.aircrafttowingsystems.com or contact Kevan Goff-Parker
Director of Corporate Communications, ATS World Wide LLC
(1) 405.514.3972 or call ATS World Wide LLC CEO/VP Howie at (1) 405.694.9861.