Plane talk THE CLOSED, CONTROLLED NATURE OF AIRPORT RUNWAYS MEANS THE LATEST REMOTE
AND AUTONOMOUS INDUSTRIAL VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY CAN SAFELY TAKE ROOT
Manufacturers of airport-based vehicles along with the rest
of the airport equipment industry will soon be heading to
Germany for the Inter Airport Europe 2019. From
October 8-11, the Munich Trade Fair Center will host
delegates from all over the world looking to invest in the
next-generation solutions that will support the aviation
businesses of tomorrow. The exhibition will include
a comprehensive range of products and services for
the entire airport, including: technology and services for
ground handling, terminal operations, airport IT solutions
and airport design.
12 iVTInternational.com September 2019
An autonomous tractor, developed to keep runway edge lights clear of snow, has been tested
for the first time at Örnsköldsvik Airport.
The Lundberg 6250, equipped by Semcon, is being developed as part of the AVAP
(Autonomous Vehicles for AirPorts) research project. A collaboration, the intention of which is to
demonstrate how vehicle automation can safely help to reduce costs and make airport
operation more efficient. The long-term aim will be to enable small airports to remain open
and reduce flight delays.
The 6 metric ton, 2.4m tall, 5m long tractor uses sensors for scanning the environment
plus a computer for intelligent control and management of commands received. The operator
can task it with ploughing via 4G and it can then calculate how to complete the task, constantly
communicating its position and status. Air traffic controllers can also monitor and communicate
with the vehicle.
Electric, remote-controlled tugs used by British Airways
are not only providing a more pleasant, eco-friendly working
environment for the machine’s operators but is helping increase
airplane punctuality at the airport.
The Mototok Spacer 8600 remote control tugs are now
relied on by the airline’s staff to maneuver the BA fleet of
140 short-haul aircraft out to the runway for take-off. Replacing
the diesel tugs has meant the task is now emissions free and
with one on each stand planes do not have to wait around
before being taxied. Controlling the tug via a remote control
device, operators also wear wireless headsets to keep in
contact with pilots on board the aircraft as it pushes the plane
out to the runway.