Airpro operates aircraft ground handling at Helsinki Airport in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way than ever before. Between 2017 and 2018, a total of 5,5 million euros have been invested in new ground service equipment, most of which is electric. This year investments in environmentally sustainable solutions reach 2,5 million euros.
Responsible for ground handling at 16 airports across Finland, Airpro has made large-scale investments in electric ground service equipment (GSE). Already 70 percent of GSE at Helsinki Airport is electric, and thus emission-free. Ground handling operations between flights entail e.g. offloading and loading baggage, driving passenger stairs to the aircraft, and pushing the aircraft to the taxiway. All the necessary equipment for these procedures – loading belts, passenger stairs and pushbacks – is powered by electricity. Even the trucks used to pull baggage dolleys are electric. Currently in test use is also a rechargeable ground power unit tested at Helsinki Airport and in more extreme wintery conditions at Kittilä Airport.
The next additions to Airpro’s even greener ground service equipment fleet are entirely electric lavatory and water service trucks that will be received next autumn. According to current knowledge, they are the first of their kind in the world.
Zero Emission Ground Handling an Important Part of Airline Environmental Work
Norwegian Air Shuttle, Airpro’s largest airline customer, also invests in ecological sustainability. Ground handling services operated by electric GSE is an integral part of the company’s environmental work.
”Norwegian aims to advance sustainable aviation. Thanks to new and more environmentally friendly aircraft, we have been able to reduce emissions by 30 percent per passenger kilometer during the last 10 years. Norwegian’s zero emission turnarounds and even greener ground handling at Helsinki Airport are important steps in our efforts to diminish the carbon footprint of flying”, says Communications Manager for Norwegian in Finland and Sweden Charlotte Holmbergh Jacobsson.
Electric GSE Resistant to Cold
Electric GSE compares well with traditional ground service equipment in terms of efficiency. Some challenges have been noted regarding the ability of electric GSE to function in the arctic circumstances of Finland’s northernmost airports. In cooperation with its maintenance partner, GSE Arctic, Airpo has developed solutions suitable for Finnish winter. As a result of this development work, electric GSE is entirely weather proof in all conditions.
Airpro Wants to Lead the Way
Million-euro investments in electric ground service equipment showcase Airpro’s pioneering attitude and lead the way for other operators in the industry.
”In the aviation business, there has been more talk than action regarding environmental issues. At Airpro we decided that someone should show an example, and where better to do that than in the challenging conditions of Finnish weather. Finnish airports are known around the world for never closing due to weather conditions. Airports will continue their operations also in the future even if there will be no exhaust fumes in the air to show that”, says GSE Manager Tuukka Inkinen from Airpro.