Airport gets new fire trucks
New state-of-the-art fire trucks have added a dash of sophistication to Auckland Airport’s rescue fleet.
The airport has spent $5.3 million on four new Rosenbauer Panthers – Austrian-made trucks considered to be the most sophisticated firefighting vehicles in the world.
Airport boss Adrian Littlewood says he is ‘‘incredibly excited’’ about the new machines.
Such investments are needed as the airport expects up to 40 million annual passengers within 30 years, he says.
But the emergency crew behind the wheel of the new trucks are possibly even more enthusiastic about their new toys.
The Panthers can reach 80kmh within 30 seconds and are capable of pumping out 10,000 litres of water and foam per minute.
The technology also includes engine and pump monitoring systems, CCTV, thermal imaging cameras and extinguishing systems.
Airport emergency service training officer Simon O’Leary says the new vehicles have been ‘‘really good for morale’’.
‘‘It’s a lot more superior equipment to what we had in the past,’’ he says.
Aeronautical special projects manager Trevor Herriott says many of the older trucks were introduced in 1989 and he compares the upgrade like ‘‘going from a Model T to a Ferrari’’.
‘‘The crew can’t describe how good they are,’’ he says.
Meanwhile, aeronautical operations manager Judy Nicholl says increasing the airport’s safety was the key concern.
‘‘The prime focus of our emergency services team is to save lives,’ she says.
‘‘These new Panthers mean our team has the best equipment that is out there today.’’
The four trucks were unveiled with blessings by iwi representatives from Makaurau and Pukaki Marae.
Go to centralleader. co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see the new trucks in action.