Rosenbauer at Hong Kong International Airport: a success story

Rosenbauer began its association with Hong Kong in 1998 with the delivery of the 1st series of the PANTHER 8x8, built on the mid-engine MAN chassis, and known as the Design PANTHER due to its unique appearance. This truck replaced an original Chubb Pathfinder, which had been in operation for many years. A hose layer vehicle was also supplied at the same time as a support vehicle. Both operated at the old Kai Tak Airport, which was known for its challenging final approach and its location in the densely built-up Kowloon City District.

he PANTHER operated in a challenging environment next to the sea, where the salty air wreaked havoc with the electrical connections in many places and took its toll on the vehicle.  The service team had to overhaul all the electrical connectors in order to ensure that the system would function reliably. Throughout its challenging stint, Rosenbauer International (and later S. K. Rosenbauer) dealt with many reliability issues. However, regular interaction and quick response ensured that the vehicle was kept operational. Up to date, this is the oldest operational Rosenbauer truck in Hong Kong.

In the following years, S. K. Rosenbauer continued to cement its relationship with Hong Kong Airport by delivering hose/foam carriers. After several years and attempts at supplying Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicles, S. K. Rosenbauer successfully delivered an ARFF vehicle to operate at the new home of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) at Chek Lap Kok. HKIA is a two-terminal and two-runway facility generating enormous social and economic value for Hong Kong. In 2017, HKIA handled 72.9 million passengers and 4.94 million tonnes of air cargo. It is connected to over 220 destinations, including over 50 on the Mainland, through around 1,100 daily flights by more than 100 airlines.


Aluminium technology meets PANTHER

Going back to 2006, S.K. Rosenbauer successfully delivered the pioneering PANTHER AT 8x8 on MAN chassis, which was built using aluminium technology. This new vehicle dealt with the challenging environment, had operated reliably for several years to come and is currently operating as a reserve unit at the airport.

The introduction of the PANTHER 6x6 CA05 variant saw improvements in capacity and performance, making it a more economical option vis-à-vis the PANTHER 8x8 variants. The first CA05, also known as the Crash Fire Tender, was delivered in 2007 and was the official replacement of the Design PANTHER that went to the reserve fleet. The Crash Fire Tender operated with a 13,100-litre water tank and acted as a 2nd on scene vehicle to the other RIV units.

ubsequently, in 2010 and 2011 two more units of the PANTHER 6x6 CA05 were delivered as Rapid Intervention Vehicles (RIV), accelerating from 10-80 km/h within 25 seconds. These vehicles are first responders to any incident and remain in frontline operations even today.


The next generation

In 2015, S.K. Rosenbauer successfully replaced the Scania Snozzle vehicle with a PANTHER of the next generation - High Reach Extendible Turret (HRET) version. The new PANTHER not only met Hong Kong’s complex specification, but also introduced new technology such as Roll Stability Control. In the year 2017 the PANTHER 6x6 replaced the PANTHER AT 8x8 on MAN chassis Crash Fire Tender.

n 2017, Hong Kong Airport reiterated its trust in Rosenbauer, by ordering two units of the new generation of PANTHER 6x6. One PANTHER has an HRET whilst the other is designated as a Crash Fire Tender.

The cornerstone of our relationship with Hong Kong airport is the ability to learn and engineer reliable vehicles, which meet not only the operational requirements at the Airport, but also the tough environmental conditions.