Schiphol prioritises the safety of passengers and staff. To ensure optimum fire safety, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has its own fire brigade. The fire service has large fire engines, called crash tenders. To continue to ensure a safe airport in the future, Schiphol has ordered thirteen new crash tenders. The first of these new vehicles is expected to be delivered by the end of 2018. These new crash tenders will replace the current vehicles, which have reached the end of their service life after a period of fifteen years.
Fire safety at the airport
Crash tenders are mainly used at airports to deal with aircraft incidents. Fighting aircraft fires is a specialist task. The fire service must reach incidents extremely quickly, with all the right equipment. The crash tenders’ powerful engines ensure that these heavy vehicles can be at the scene of an incident in a very short amount of time. The vehicles can be driven while extinguishing a fire simultaneously, using large quantities of extinguishing agent in a short space of time: 13,000 litres of water, 1,600 litres of foam and over 250 kilos of powder. This extinguishing capacity enables Schiphol to fulfil the strictest requirements and allows the largest aircraft – such as the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380 – to use the airport. The new vehicles weigh over 48,000 kilograms and are 14 metres long and 3.20 metres wide. They can accelerate from 0 to 80 km per hour in 23 seconds. This makes them the largest and fastest fire engines in the Netherlands, capable of reaching any spot on the airfield within three minutes.
Special Schiphol crash tenders
The eight-wheel-drive (8×8) vehicles have been specially equipped with the most modern fire-extinguishing equipment for Schiphol. They are also extremely fast and have an excellent all-terrain capacity. The fire service personnel can fight a fire from the vehicle, which will allow them to more easily and safely extinguish a landing gear fire or an engine fire, for example. This increases the fire service personnel’s safety. It is also possible to pierce the fuselage of an aircraft and apply a water barrier, thus creating a survivable situation for passengers and enabling personnel to extinguish a fire on a cargo deck or in another location.
Schiphol has a particular catchment area with a great deal of grass and fields. The Dutch climate and the soil composition pose specific demands when it comes to driving on these unpaved and boggy surfaces. The new vehicles have special wide tyres and are equipped with technical features to enhance their all-terrain capacity. This makes the vehicles highly suitable for dealing with aircraft accidents in the vicinity of the runways. Driving on the airport grounds imposes requirements with respect to vehicle height as well: at 3.80 metres high, the new vehicles will also fit under the piers and other buildings at the airport. Cutting-edge technology, including an advanced navigation system and infrared cameras, enables the fire service staff to safely drive across the field in poor weather conditions such as fog, rain and snow. All vehicles are identical.
Rotterdam-The Hague airport will also receive three new crash tenders, while Lelystad Airport will receive two. These vehicles are somewhat smaller, however, as smaller aircraft land at these airports. They are six-wheel drive (6×6) vehicles that can hold up to 10,000 litres of water, 1,200 litres of foam and 250 kilos of powder.
Otherwise, the vehicles are virtually the same as those used at Schiphol. This standardisation offers advantages for the maintenance and management of the vehicles, the fire-fighting techniques and of course the education and training of the fire service personnel.
The new vehicles will be built by renowned crash tender builder Rosenbauer from Austria. Read more about the fire service activities at Schiphol.