Winter fleet gets bigger
Full steam ahead for a clear runway! For the new snowy season, the winter road clearance service at Cologne Bonn Airport has been given a powerful boost when it comes to de-icing surfaces. They include 12 new sweepers from Aebi Schmidt, which supplement the airport's winter fleet. The special feature of the high-tech vehicles with the 7-metre-wide snow blade is that the 3,815-metre-long and 60-metre-wide runway can now be completely cleared and swept in a single run when they are used in formation. Previously, the runway had to be swept twice with the smaller machines in order to clean the entire width. The innovation is intended to considerably reduce the duration of any possible service interruptions in the event of a heavy snowfall.
“We want to be as well prepared as possible so that we can ensure smooth flight operations for the airlines and thus also for our passengers – even in difficult weather conditions. Although winter weather can never be completely planned for, we do everything in our power to keep the adverse effects of heavy snowfalls to a minimum. Our new equipment is helping us to do this this season: our fleet is now up to date and well equipped for the coming years,” says Johan Vanneste, CEO of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH. Almost the entire de-icing fleet has recently been replaced and modernised. A total of over €5 million has been invested in this project.
Besides the new snow-clearing vehicles, a new high-performance snow blower from the Kahlbacher company also enhances the winter fleet. The snow blower will be used to throw the mountains of snow that have been piled up at the edge of the runways or aprons by clearing work onto transport trolleys. The snow will then be unloaded onto storage areas set aside for this purpose.
The total area to be cleared or de-iced by the winter maintenance team – depending on the weather conditions – amounts to 2,165,890 square metres. This includes runways, taxiways and aprons. This winter, a total of nearly 270 employees will be working in the two winter road clearance and aircraft de-icing areas at the airport.
The de-icing fleet in figures:
Combined spraying and gritting vehicles
Small clearing machines including spraying unit
Compact clearing machines
Simulator for the training of snow clearance