Ground support equipment provider HiSERV has delivered a Kalmar FB600EL electric-powered aircraft tractor to ground handling agent Aviator at Copenhagen Airport. It is the first of its kind operating at Kastrup and it can move aircraft as large and heavy as an Airbus A380 between gates and taxiways.
Fighting noise and CO2 emissions
Swedish manufacturer Kalmar has made a name for itself as provider of eco-efficient mobile equipment such as electric forklifts or hybrid straddle carriers in its aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. Accordingly, it has built a 60-ton, e-powered aircraft tractor capable of moving the largest and heaviest passenger aircraft or freighters at airports. Thanks to its electric drive powered by a silicon iron phosphate accumulator - the power can be adjusted to the respective requirements - it produces no emissions and significantly less noise than comparable tractors with conventional drive. “Noise is one of the biggest problems at airports,” says HiSERV Managing Director, Roland Ueckert. By using Kalmar’s FB600EL, “we are able to reduce noise emissions considerably, which is a significant relief for ground operators and all staff working at gates or on aprons.”
He went on to say that sustainability and the protection of the environment, including safeguarding the workforce’s health, are playing an increasingly important role at a growing number of airports. A business segment to which HiSERVE feels committed to and which the Berlin, Germany-based company wants to develop further. “We offer the market purely electrically-operated models for aircraft handling at flexible conditions, on lease basis in almost all vehicle classes. Another advantage of electric vehicles in comparison to conventionally powered machines is that maintenance costs are significantly lower,” he says.
Asked about the rental conditions, he remains rather vague. “The period exceeds five years,” he states.
Using the mammoth aircraft mover at CPH makes sense not only for ecological but also for operational reasons, the HiSERV management maintains, although Kastrup was not known as being a hot spot for A380 traffic prior to the Covid-19 crisis and the near standstill of air traffic. The convincing performance of the push-back together with the ecological advantages result in a convincing overall package, says Mr. Ueckert. He sees further applications for the FB600EL built by Kalmar at other airports.
Scandinavia has been pushing green technology and sustainable solutions since a long time, up front in its aim to minimize CO2 emissions as best as possible. This eco-friendly philosophy is fully in line with HiSERV's corporate objectives, which also focus on sustainable solutions: As evidenced last April, when it delivered electrically-driven ground power units (eGPU) to Vienna Airport, replacing the common diesel units, a main emitter of CO2 and hazardous fine dust. Vienna thus managed to improve its ecological footprint.
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