April 6 2021  |  Trolleys & Galleys

Galley system from AIM Altitude addresses industry demands

By Rick Lundstrom


The ARCA galley system from AIM Altitude is customizable for wide-body and narrow-body aircraft

AIM Altitude has developed a new galley system designed for enhanced hygiene, space saving and increased sustainability.

With the ARCA galley, crew deliver a boxed meal. Rather than handling open meal trays packed with loose components, ARCA delivers a hot meal-pack and an accompanying boxed cold meal-pack, which are nest securely together. The majority of the contents are safely sealed away in the box.

“This has significant benefits for hygiene, passenger confidence and minimising the risk of transmitting infection,” said a release from AIM Altitude.

The ARCA meal-pack boxes double as closing waste-containers. The feature was originally intended to aid recycling and divert waste from landfills. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, it also has the advantage of reducing crew contact with leftover food and used utensils.

AIM Altitude is part of AVIC Cabin Systems (ACS) a global alliance of cabin interiors specialists. Ross Burns, Head of Industrial Design at AVIC Cabin Systems and co-creator of ARCA said: “We originally developed ARCA before Covid-19. The concept was devised to make aircraft meals more eco-friendly, more easily customized, and to save galley space. All of these positives are still achieved by ARCA but it is also now hugely relevant in enhancing hygiene, helping crew and passengers to maintain social distancing and lessening the risk of infection.”

AIM Altitude says ARCA can be retrofitted with minimal reconfiguration. Its architecture easily integrates into the existing airframe and central crew areas are easily configured so familiarity and efficiency are not compromised. Common inserts such as ovens, coffee makers and water boilers can still be used.

ARCA is customizable, from the galley system itself being adaptable for twin- and single-aisle aircraft, to the meal boxes, which can be uniquely designed with the latest brand graphics.

ARCA can be further configured to allow self-service, snack offerings, or to be used as a dedicated stowage for special meals. The ARCA core principles are translatable to other platforms such as the A320 and B737, to maximise the true potential of this significant design.

The ARCA Galley stores meal-pack boxes, both hot and cold

The ARCA pack is stackable and has a much smaller footprint than a tray. Meals are stored in an refrigerated aisle-stowage unit. Boxed in sets of 16, the meals can be easily moved onto an ARCA-designed, lightweight folding trolley for meal service.

ARCA caters for the same number of passengers within a smaller footprint, thereby enabling airlines to reclaim lost space compared to a traditional configuration, enough to allow for an extra row of seats or a monument feature. The ARCA design also facilitates the replacement of heavy and expensive trolley equipment, which translates into a beneficial weight-saving.

ARCA offers compostable and recyclable packaging to enable zero landfill flights. In co-operation with the catering partner, the meal-pack contents can be customized by the passenger. They benefit by receiving the food of their choice, with satisfied passengers and food-waste reduction the likely consequences. After the meal, the carrier boxes are repurposed into waste containers for recycling and separate compacting.

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