Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

A.M. Bontekoe Rollend materieel op civiele vliegvelden.
Literature survey, Report 99.3.TT.5212, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

Mobile ground support equipment at civil airports includes all vehicles, self propelled or without engine, that operate at 'airside' of civil airports. Mobile ground support equipment can be distinguished in aircraft servicing equipment and airside servicing equipment.

The handling process is supported by various vehicles: catering trucks, passenger stairs, dispensers, refuelers, GPU's, frequency converters, mobile belt conveyor loader, dolly's, pallet trailers, tractors, transporters, highloaders, lavatory vehicle, cleaning vehicle, push-back tractors, de- and anti-icing trucks, jet air starters, PCA units, maintenance vehicles with liftable platform, aircraft washers, pylons and tripod jacks. Besides those vehicles is the passenger bridge an important aspect of the process.

Several vehicles are used to maintain the 'airside' operational: snow sweepers, fire figbting trucks, friction testers, surface cleaners, mowers and de- and anti-icing trucks.

Ground support equipment is not seriously affected by the logistic concept of the terminal. The handling process changes a little when an aircraft is not connected with a passenger bridge but is located at a remote position.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the most important organisation dedicating rules for ground support equipment. The IATA airport handling manual includes these specifications. Ground support equipment developments are registered by Jane's in their catalogue.

A lot of vehicles operate at 'airside' causing busy traffic on periphery and platforms. The handling process had to be more clean and efficient. The 'clean apron concept' is the most radical innovation affecting mobile ground support equipment to arrive a better handling process. In principle it is a concept of an apron without any vehicles. Due to the reduction of emission levels more comfortable circumstances for the staff are created. The whole handling process becomes faster and more reliable. Implementation of this concept is, however, very expensive and cannot easily be financed by the various participants.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2005.11.13; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.