Die Avinor-Flotte wächst

Norwegian airport operator equips additional regional airports with Rosenbauer fire fighting vehicles.

Namsos lufthavn, landing a Dash-8 from Rørvik. The twin-engine turboprop took off from Indre-Vikna island 20 minutes ago, has a ten-minute layover and then flies to Oslo-Gardemoen (flight time: 1 hour 20 minutes). A dense aviation network connects the Norwegian metropolis with more than 40 regional airports throughout the country. Namsos, located about 500 km northwest of Oslo on the central Norwegian coast, is one of the smallest. Here, only so-called STOL (short take-off and landing) machines can be used, because they are the only aircraft with more than 30 seats that can land and take off on the short 838 m runway.

State-of-the-art Technology

As far as airport safety is concerned, however, Namsos Airport is in the same league as the big dogs, particularly in terms of the equipment of the airport fire department. Avinor, the Norwegian airport operator, is currently commissioning a superlative fire fighting vehicle with the Rosenbauer BUFFALO series with 5,400 liters of water, 400 liters of foam and 225 kilograms of dry powder on board and built on a Scania 4x4 chassis with a 500 hp Euro 6 engine. In total, Avinor will be purchasing eight new aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicles this year – five BUFFALO 4x4s and three BUFFALO 6x6s – and stationing them at various regional airports. Rosenbauer will manufacture and deliver them together with longstanding and reliable partner Egenes Brannteknikk A/S from Flekkefjord.

(Almost) Everything New

The vehicles bring numerous new features for Avinor. It is the first in the Norwegian fleet with a firefighting pump driven by a propeller shaft directly from the vehicle engine and not a hydraulic motor. On the one hand, this allows for more space under the superstructure and, on the other hand, simplifies maintenance.

Also new for Avinor is the pump, a stainless steel Rosenbauer N55 with an integrated electronic FIXMIX foam proportioning system. This combination provides a nominal output of 5,000 liters/min at 10 bar and is of such compact design that the space in the pump compartment can be used to accommodate additional equipment. The proportioning ratio is fixed at 3% and only fluorine-free foam compound is used.

Turret with ChemCore nozzle

The RM35C water/foam monitor mounted on the cab roof is another new feature. It has an output of up to 4,750 liters/min and a ChemCore nozzle, which initiates dry powder into the hollow jet. Up to 10 kilograms of powder can be discharged per second with the water stream, thus achieving substantially longer throw ranges and better extinguishing results than without the ChemCore nozzle.

The turret is also equipped with electric flow reduction, can be rotated 360° and can be controlled either from the driver's cab or using a radio remote control. It is equipped with spotlights, a wiper, and a low-temperature system that guarantees flawless operation down to minus 25.6 °F. The firefighting pump can also be heated (via the cooling water system of the vehicle engine), as can the pump compartment and the water tank (both via additional heaters), which is suitable for transporting drinking water.

One-handed Operation from the Cockpit

All functions of the vehicle's firefighting equipment can be operated with one hand from the cockpit. The equipment is ready for the respective operation at the touch of a button: the green button selects water mode, while the yellow button selects foam mode. In pump & roll mode, the turrets and ground sweep nozzles can be activated during the drive. The lighting equipment, in particular the LED light mast and LED scene lighting, is operated through the pump control panel in the cockpit.

The Avinor Network

State-owned Avinor operates a total of 44 airports throughout Norway. These include Oslo-Gardemoen, by far the largest in terms of passenger volume (27.4 million in 2017), and Berlevåg Airport (14,000) in the far North, which is one of the smallest. Namsos handled around 37,000 passengers in 2017 and was thus ranked 36th amongst the Avinor airports. That same year, all 44 airports together handled 52.8 million passengers with 696,700 take-offs and landings. The numbers make it clear: Norway has not only one of the busiest air traffic networks in Europe, the country also reports the largest number of flights per resident.