The Birmingham International Airport opened in May of 1931 with great ceremony and a great air show. The first commercial passenger service was a stop by American Airways along its Atlanta to Fort Worth route.
Since then, the airport has undergone numerous transitions and renovations and has grown tremendously. The number of departures has grown as well from the one that first day – in 2005, nearly 3.2 million passengers were served. Plans now call for an extensive expansion and renovation in 2008 to include more customer conveniences, upgraded concessions and Federal Inspection Service-approved International gates.
In 1989, the airport was undergoing a renovation and expansion and needed to paint the steel canopies covering the passenger drop-off areas outside the terminal. After surface preparation in accordance with SSPC-SP6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning, Series 90-97 Tneme-Zinc, a moisture-cured, zinc-rich aromatic urethane primer was applied. User-friendly and rapid curing, Series 90-97 allows chemical and corrosion resistant topcoats to be applied the same day. Next, a coat of Series 73 Endura-Shield was applied. A semi-gloss acrylic polyurethane coating, Series 73 is highly resistant to abrasion, wet conditions, corrosive fumes, chemical contact and exterior weathering. Its high-build quality provides a two-coat, labor saving system when used with project specific primers.
The canopies are highly visible and difficult to paint, so it was important that they be done correctly the first time and that the coating system would last a long time. The canopy work was “extremely well done and they still look great years later,” says Tnemec coating consultant Robert Crumbaugh.