Friday 13th – An uplifting day for Salzburg Airport

Salzburg Airport, Austria, received its first ever main-deck high loader on 13DEC19, simultaneously taking a significant step forward in preparing for a more efficient cargo business
whilst at the same time increasing its sustainability measures.

“Today is Friday the 13th and it’s a good day.” Airport Director, Bettina Ganghofer, announced, “We welcome our latest addition to the airport’s e-fleet, a high-loader that runs 100% on
electricity. It allows us to load freight and baggage more efficiently and again reduces the carbon footprint at the airport.”

Just days after Austria’s commercial airports, cooperating within the Austrian Airports Association (AÖV – founded in 1956), publicly presented their plans for “CO² Zero Emissions 2050”,
consisting of four main fields of action – one of which refers to “vehicle fleet: conversion of the group fleet to alternative drive systems as well as the expansion and increased use of
electric mobility and alternative fuels”
, Salzburg Airport took delivery of the latest and largest addition to its electric vehicle fleet: A “Cargo Master Loader Green Line.” Capable of
lifting up to 14 tons to a height of 5.60 m, this means that Salzburg is finally in a position to load and off-load cargo on main decks.

Salzburg Airport’s first high loader delivered 13DEC19 – photos courtesy SZG
Salzburg Airport’s first high loader delivered 13DEC19 – photos courtesy SZG


Cargo can now take to the air
“The cargo business is constantly developing, and the requirements of the airlines are also becoming ever more demanding. This also includes the sub-area of cargo transportation and cargo
transport. The use of our new Cargo Master Loader opens up new opportunities and possibilities for us in this area. Several inquiries from airlines can now be answered positively with this new
addition to our electric vehicle fleet. This device can now serve and handle any type of aircraft, almost all types of freight and baggage can be loaded CO² neutral,”
Christopher Losmann,
Traffic & Sales Manager at the airport, stated.
As CFG already reported back on 06OCT19, Salzburg Airport hosted its first cargo event on 01OCT19, and had started providing logistics solutions for eCommerce – notably a DPD Packet Shop. At the
time, Harald Schwarz, Manager Business Development Airfreight & Logistics at Salzburg Airport, announced that the high loader was going to come at the end of the year, and told CFG that
potentials and efficiencies were not being used and improved at the time, simply because the equipment was missing: “Getting additional cargo carriers to Salzburg is strategically not a
priority. It is important to us that the existing number of scheduled and charter flights can be used even better for the transport of cargo.”

High Loader lifted into place on the apron, 13DEC19
High Loader lifted into place on the apron, 13DEC19


Green Line should ensure that the Airport will avoid red figures
Not only is the huge vehicle easily manoeuvrable thanks to its asymmetrical front-platform adapter system, the CML Green Line is also unique in its energy efficiency. It is driven by a
hydro-electric system and has three installed electric motors which are used according to demand. Only in high load cases are all three motors needed at the same time, otherwise just one motor is
enough to move the loader. When the freight platform is lowered, the electric motors are converted into generators and feed energy back into the batteries.


Salzburg Airport, whose fleet is already 37% electric and rising, is not afraid to spend money on sustainable innovation: “Decisions have to be made here and it is not uncommon for us to take
more money to invest in sustainability and environmental protection. Despite the approximately € 320,000 purchase costs for the new loader, the decision was made in favour of the electrical
variant and thus cost approximately € 50,000 more than the alternative with combustion engine. I think that we, as one of Salzburg’s leading companies, also have a role model function here that
we have to fulfil,”
continues Losmann. He knows that the return on investment is well worth the expenditure. In terms of CO² avoidance, the airport has calculated that, at an estimated
300-400 operating hours per year, around 25,000 litres of diesel can be saved over a service life of 15 years, which translates into a CO² saving of roughly 4.5 t/a or 70 t over the period of
use. In addition, the airport saves around 15-20% in operating costs, since battery charging is carried out exclusively with electricity from renewable energies. Lower engine running times also
mean lower maintenance costs.
“Our loader contributes to the reduction of noise emissions at the airport and makes a valuable contribution to the improvement of working conditions on the apron through zero emissions and
at the same time reduces the airport’s carbon footprint,”
the Managing Director of the loader manufacturing company, Dipl. Wirtsch. Ing. Dietmar Lagemann, confirmed.
Sounds like a win-win. High-Five!

Brigitte Gledhill

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Source: Cargoforwarder

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