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ACSA takes delivery of fire fighting vehicles
Tuesday, April 01, 2008 | 00:00

Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) is proud to announce that it has taken delivery of nine new state of the art new airport crash tenders from MAN SA. These specialized fire fighting vehicles  were manufactured by the world’s top crash tender manufacturer, Rosenbauer, which is based in Austria. They have just arrived in the country and soon to be distributed to all the ACSA airports around the country.

Dave Penny, Safety & Compliance Manager for ACSA said “ACSA took a strategic decision in 1998 to modernize its obsolete crash tender fleet with state of the art equipment that had robust airside capabilities. ACSA also opted to standardize its fleet capacity all 10 airports. Critical of which was selection of a supplier which ‘chassis’ can be fully supported locally from both reliability and maintenance perspective. This is vital with highly specialized and expensive equipment of this nature and the chassis that was chosen was a MAN chassis”.

Penny went on to say: “ACSA has a current fleet of 36 specialised crash tenders across its 10 airports and the acquisition of the latest six 6x6 Supreme models increases the Supreme fleet to sixteen and the 8x8 Bush Panther fleet to eight. The average fleet age will be reduced from 12 years to 8 years which is in line with ACSA’s target to keep the average fleet age below 10 years”.

The latest procurement is in support of ACSA’s strategic policy to have its airport infrastructure and equipment ready for 2010 and beyond. This R77million procurement also elevates South Africa’s larger airports as having one of the most modern crash tender fleets in the world. To ensure that the new international airport at La Mercy is compliant two more 8x8’s have been ordered and delivery of which should coincide with the commissioning of the new airport in 2010.

The life expectancy of these highly specialised vehicles is 15 years and is supported by a rigid maintenance and refurbishment program. It is also part of the fire vehicle replacement program that ACSA initiated in 2000. These vehicles will be deployed as follows:

  • Bloemfontein – 1
  • East London – 1 
  • Port Elizabeth – 1
  • George – 1
  • O.R. Tambo International – 1
  • Durban International – 2 
  • Cape Town International – 2

These impressive and powerful vehicles come with some serious specifications to fight fires at airports. These specifications include:

  • 1000 HP (735 KW) engines
  • All Terrain Capabilities
  • From standing reach a speed of 80 km per hour in 24 seconds
  • Top speed of 140kms an hour

The 8X8 Bush Panther comes equipped with:

  • capability of carrying 12000 litres of water 
  • 1500 litres of foam
  • 500kg of dry chemical powder
  • Can be operated by a minimum of 2 crew

The 6X6 Supremes comes equipped with:

  • capability of carrying 8000 litres of water 
  • 1000 liters of foam
  • 50kg of dry chemical powder

In addition to these specifications the 8X* crash tenders at the 3 international airport comes fitted with a specialized and customized hydraulic “snozzle” boom is able to pierce burning aircraft fuselage to facilitate rapid attack and extinguishment of fires with that part of an aircraft. With this boom it is able to handle an incident of the new age A380 aircraft which is expected to touch down at the international airports within the next few years.

Deon Cloete, General Manager, Durban International and National Airports, said:“ As much as we are pleased and excited about the vehicles and with them being so specialized, it will be important that our fire fighting teams receive the correct and specialized training to handle these multi million rand vehicles. For this training we will be engaging the experts at MAN and Rosenbauer to conduct that for us when the vehicles arrive at the various airports. Part of the training will include learning and understanding the new technology, operation of the vehicles, driving and tactical deployment to optimally deal with an aircraft emergency in the shortest possible time”.

Cloete added that:”the crash tenders and the fires crews are the most important behind the scene players and have a valuable role to play in the airport environment and to ensure the safety of the passengers and aircraft”.

“As part of the evaluation process, ACSA representatives traveled to Austria to test the vehicles and ensure the R77 million investment met all required international standards, set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They also ensured that the vehicles would meet the specific demands of the South African environment.  The multi million rand investment made by ACSA to modernise its crash tender fleet is ultimately an investment in ‘life’ as every life is deemed ‘sacra saint’ and this we cannot measure in monetary terms,” Cloete conluded. 

Issued by  :  

Colin Naidoo 
Communications Manager 
Durban International and National Airports
Airports Company South Africa
Cell: 082 8202 744
Email: Colin.Naidoo@airports.co.za 

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