The challenges of an island airport

Vehicles for 14 Greek airports

In 2015, international airport operator Fraport AG became the official leaseholder of 14 Greek airports for a period of 40 years. In addition to the mainland Thessaloniki Airport, this group mainly consists of airports on islands popular as holiday destinations throughout the Aegean Sea.

A BUFFALO herd in a holiday paradise

Fraport AG has pledged to investing 400 million euros in these 14 airports by 2021. A modernization of the vehicle fleet required for flight operations is part of this agenda. As a result, the first orders for ARFF vehicles were put to tender in 2017. Rosenbauer was awarded the contract and made an initial delivery of 10 BUFFALO vehicles in 2018, with another five following in 2019.

The first ten vehicles were based on a Scania P490. For the second delivery, the Swedish manufacturer's P500 chassis - which meets the Euro 6 emission standard - was used. Specifically, this means: 3 axles, 500 hp, a 6-speed fully automatic transmission, and a twin cabin with space for five people.

Extinguishing and lighting technology

The BUFFALO models are all equipped with an R600-type pump, front (RM15) and roof (RM35) turrets, a foam proportioning system (RVMA) and a 7,000-liter water tank. In addition, water can be discharged at a rate of up to 6,500 liters per minute. Furthermore, the vehicles are also fitted with an 860-liter foam tank and a 250 kg powder system. Adequate lighting is provided by a FLEXILIGHT light mast.

Despite their total weight of 30 tons, the recently delivered BUFFALO vehicles are able to accelerate from 0 to 80 km/h in just 29 seconds, thanks to their huge 13-liter engine with an impressive 2,550 Nm of torque.

5-year warranty required

And even though the BUFFALOs have an enormous extinguishing capacity and strong driving performance: "The vehicle is not the real challenge here," Marko Grabner, the Sales Manager for Southeastern Europe cautions. "It's maintenance."

A five-year warranty was required from Fraport. This can present a logistical challenge in isolated locations that can only be reached by plane and ferry. In Greece, Rosenbauer works in collaboration with service partner Temax, and also retains a stock of spare parts in Athens. However, on occasion it can happen that certain spare parts urgently need to be sourced from other locations. Moreover, the 24/7 service hotline is able to quickly dispatch so-called 'flying engineers' to the customer when on-site expertise is required. "In case of damage, the vehicle must be ready again for operation as soon as possible. This is essential for flight operations to be able to continue without disruption. This is why we are there to support our customers just as much after the sale as prior to it." Unhindered operation is therefore a top priority, and this requires an expansive, competent and fast-acting service network.

Fraport and Rosenbauer

However, it's not just Rosenbauer's vehicles that are in use at Fraport, but also training equipment: In Fraport's company-owned training center, the so-called "Academy" at Ljubljana Airport, a PANTHER tactical simulator is in operation alongside a real PANTHER.

The pictures show a Rosenbauer BUFFALO at Dionysios Solomos Airport on the island of Zakynthos. In 2017, more than 12,000 aircraft took off and landed here with a total of almost 1.7 million passengers.