Baden-Württemberg: New vehicles at the airport should automatically clear snow

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - Clearing vehicles that automatically keep the runway at the airport snow-free and dry - that should be available at Stuttgart Airport in the future.

Baden-Württemberg: New vehicles at the airport should automatically clear snow

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - Clearing vehicles that automatically keep the runway at the airport snow-free and dry - that should be available at Stuttgart Airport in the future. They were presented on Wednesday. But they are not allowed to drive alone. To be on the safe side, people still sit in the cabin during the test drives, but without having to put their hands on the wheel.

The goal: In the future, the machines should drive independently over programmed routes on the runway, push away snow and communicate with each other, as Ulrich Heppe, Managing Director of Stuttgart Airport, explained. "In winter, when it's dark and foggy, shoveling snow on the runway is difficult because visibility is poor and mistakes can easily be made. So far, we've needed a lot of employees to take on this task, even at night."

It may be a while before the new vehicles can actually be used at airports, said Andreas Schwald from Aebi Schmidt, the manufacturer of the machines. The vehicles are equipped with a plough, a brush roller and a blower that dries the cleared area with the exhaust gases from the machine. This prevents ice from forming there again. Because the clearing vehicles drive in a V-shaped fleet, it is important that they communicate with each other, but can also find their way around airport traffic, explained Schwald.

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