Fly­ing ma­chines of Ban­ga­lore Air­port

Auto components India - - COVER STORY - Story by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

As fire breaks out, 2 Rosen­bauer 6x6 Air­craft Res­cue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) ma­chines rush to the spot with their sirens blar­ing and lights flash­ing. They come fly­ing at 100 kmph (they have a top speed of 120 kmph) to the scene. Ac­cel­er­at­ing from 0 to 80 kmph in 25 sec­onds with a GVW of 36-tonne each (in­clud­ing 12,500 kg of wa­ter, 1,500 litre of foam and 200 kg of dry chem­i­cal pow­der), the 2 Rosen­bauer 6x6 air­port trucks, painted in a shade of highly vis­i­ble red, are a sight to be­hold as their canons un­leash a strong spray of wa­ter mixed with foam.

In a few sec­onds the rag­ing fire is out. For­tu­nately, the fire was a sim­u­la­tion of what could ac­tu­ally be the case, and how the ARFF ma­chines are ca­pa­ble of deal­ing with it. De­part­ing as quickly as they ar­rive, the 2 Rosen­bauers, ac­cord­ing to Javed Ma­lik, the chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer of the Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Ai­port, cost a mil­lion dol­lar each. “I get a fever if these ma­chines are not run­ning. The air­port stops op­er­at­ing. And, if the Ban­ga­lore Air­port stops op­er­a­tion, the coun­try stops fly­ing,” he quipped. The third busiest air­port in In­dia ac­cord­ing to Ma­lik, the Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port is Indigo’s sec­ond big­gest base and Air Asia’s largest base. It is thus well in­te­grated into the net­work.

Pro­cured in 2006 at a cost of Rs 5 crore each, the 3 Rosen­bauer 6x6 ARFF ma­chines are part of a fleet of fly­ing ma­chines the Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port has ac­quired. Each Rosen­bauer is pro­pelled by a 705 hp 18000cc Cater­pil­lar en­gine and con­tains a pump that can dis­charge 7000 litre per minute. The roof tur­ret dis­charges 6000 litre per minute and the bumper tur­ret dis­charges 1500 litre per minute. De­signed and de­vel­oped to meet the re­sponse pro­to­col of reach­ing the edge of the run­way in 2 min­utes, unique about the Rosen­bauer is its low vis­i­bil­ity en­hanced vi­sion sys­tem. A highly so­phis­ti­cated fire and res­cue ve­hi­cle ac­cord­ing to Sel­varaj Anu­mugam, Deputy Gen­eral Man­ager, ARFF, each Rosen­bauer in­cludes a for­ward look­ing in­frared cam­era mounted on the cabin roof. Equipped with ground spray noz­zles to pro­tect the tyres and the un­der­belly when driv­ing over burn­ing fuel, the low cen­tre of the grav­ity of the Rosen­bauer en­ables it to ac­cel­er­ate quickly, at­tain high speeds and in­dulge in high speed ma­neu­ver­ing. Each Rosen­bauer has on­board breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus, prox­im­ity suits, hy­draulic res­cue tools, power saws and a 14 m ex­tend­able lad­der. Look­ing for­ward to 4 new Rosen­bauers (two 6x6 and two 8x8) join­ing the ex­ist­ing fleet next year as the sec­ond run­way opens and a new fire sta­tion is com­mis­sioned to sup­port it, the Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port is bank­ing on tech­nol­ogy to stay ahead.

With a top speed of 140 kmph, the 2 Rosen­bauer 8x8 ARFF ma­chines will pos­sess a boom with a noz­zle and a drill that can pierce the skin of the plane if nec­es­sary to douse the fire more ef­fec­tively. The op­er­a­tion will be guided by ther­mal imag­ing and en­able the boom to at­tack the ex­act

area of fire in­side the air­craft to con­tain it.

Lever­ag­ing aug­mented re­al­ity to stay ef­fi­cient and suc­cess­ful, the air­port has traf­fic move­ment of 700 air­crafts a day. Spread over an area of 4000 acres, the air­port is pre­par­ing to han­dle 32 mil­lion pas­sen­gers a year from next year com­pared to 27 mil­lion pas­sen­gers last year. An­tic­i­pat­ing the num­ber of fly­ers to rise to 10% of the pop­u­la­tion com­pared to the cur­rent 7-8%, the air­port crossed the 95,000 peo­ple (em­bark­ing and dis­em­bark­ing) mark daily only re­cently. This makes it the third busiest air­port in the coun­try.

“The Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port is keen to at­tain a dig­i­tal edge. Set­ting bench­marks in var­i­ous ar­eas, it is look­ing at fire-fighting suits with aug­mented re­al­ity,” Ma­lik said. The fire-fighting suits with aug­mented re­al­ity would sim­u­late con­di­tions close to an ac­tual fire in­ci­dent, and ac­cord­ingly heat up. The suits would also sim­u­late the lift­ing of a body by ap­ply­ing pres­sure.

Aligned to na­tional dis­as­ter man­age­ment, both for on-site and off-site, and in case of a crash, the pri­or­ity be­ing sav­ing lives, con­trol­ling the fire and the dam­age to prop­erty, the fleet of fly­ing ma­chines at the Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port in­clude a Mo­bile Com­mand Post (MCP). First air­port in the coun­try to procure such a ve­hi­cle in 2013, the MCP is built on a Swaraj 4x4 high ground clear­ance chas­sis. Ca­pa­ble of trav­el­ling off-road, the ve­hi­cle was built by Ban­ga­lore-based Mi­tral So­lu­tions. The com­mand room seats 4 key of­fi­cials across the ta­ble to di­rect an op­er­a­tion – give com­mands, con­trol and co-or­di­nate, as per the pro­to­col. Fit­ted with hy­draulic sta­bilis­ers, tele­scopic masts (of up to 6 m) with 40 kg head load, mast mounted HD PTZ cam­era with VMS, wire­less ra­dios, GPS-based dig­i­tal clocks, mast mounted heavy flood lights, PA sys­tem with 4 speak­ers, wire­less mi­cro­phone, auto-track­ing mo­bile DTH TV an­tenna, a diesel gen­er­a­tor

and an UPS sys­tem, the MCP is also equipped with a fold­able canopy, which would en­able the of­fi­cials to stand be­side it.

Painted in an in­ter­est­ing shade of yel­low, the 5 ‘Fol­low-Me’ ve­hi­cles of the air­port in the form of cus­tomised Mahin­dra Scorpios do the job of guid­ing the air­craft to its re­spec­tive park­ing bay soon after land­ing. The Scorpios also com­mu­ni­cate with mul­ti­ple com­mand cen­tres within the air­port and over­see air­side as well as run­way main­te­nance. Equipped with VHF Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and TMRS Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sys­tems, the Scorpios are also fit­ted with a PA sys­tem with multi-di­rec­tional broad­casts. Equipped with a Vega trans­mit­ter as well, to com­mu­ni­cate and reg­u­late air­craft traf­fic in co­or­di­na­tion with Air Traf­fic Con­trol per­son­nel, the ‘Fol­low Me’ Scorpios have high-in­ten­sity search lights to in­spect the run­way at night.

A part of the air­port fleet, the tool vans per­form air­field elec­tri­cal and re­cov­ery func­tions. They, ac­cord­ing to a se­nior air­port of­fi­cial, fix run­way lights since fus­ing of 2 lights in a row ren­ders the run­way non-op­er­a­tional. Pro­cured from Swe­den, the Air­port Sur­face Fric­tion Tester (ASFT) in the form of a Ford Galaxy es­tate mea­sures fric­tion on air­port run­ways and taxi­ways. It has a mea­sur­ing wheel at the rear made of the same rub­ber that an air­craft wheel is made of. the wheel de­ploys to read the fric­tion lev­els, es­sen­tial for a safe and suc­cess­ful land­ing or take-off of an air­craft. Achiev­ing speed of up to 95kmh on the run­way, the fric­tion tester ap­plies a thin layer of wa­ter (there are spray jets placed near the de­ployed wheel) on the sur­face as it moves down the run­way to sim­u­late wet sur­face con­di­tions.

A MAN CLA 16.280 4x2 truck is the ba­sis of the Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port’s Run­way Rub­ber Ma­chine (RRM). It is used to re­move the rub­ber de­po­si­tion caused by fre­quent land­ing and take-off of air­crafts, to re­move painted lines on the run­way, taxi­ways and apron. Built with a wa­ter tank ca­pac­ity of 5000 litres and debris-hold­ing ca­pac­ity of 7000 litres, the ve­hi­cle also has a high-pres­sure wa­ter jet ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing a pres­sure of 2500 bar at a tem­per­a­ture of 12 de­gree Centi­grade to clean 800 sq. m. per hour. Stated a se­nior air­port of­fi­cial that they op­er­ate the spray at a pres­sure of 1400 to 1600 bar for 1000 to 1400 sq. m. area.

The run­way sweeper at the air­port is a Mercedes-Benz Axor 4x2 truck. Clear­ing For­eign Ob­ject Debris (FOD), which is con­sid­ered to be a great threat for air­craft, the Axor is able to pick up metal ob­jects as small as a bolt with a mag­net beam fit­ted at the front of the truck. Also fit­ted with dust-sup­press­ing wa­ter spray mech­a­nism and an en­vi­ron­men­tal­lyfriendly air-ex­trac­tion dif­fuser, the truck uses an aux­il­iary 230 hp mo­tor to power its vac­uum sys­tem. The sweeper has a hop­per ca­pac­ity of 9.5 cu­bic m., sweep­ing width of 3.5 m. at 40 kmph for clean­ing an area of 14,000 sq. m. per hour.

For weekly cen­tre-line paint­ing, the air­port has a spe­cial ma­chine by Graco, USA. Equipped with a video guid­ing sys­tem for ac­cu­racy, it uses a hy­draulic strip­ing sys­tem with air­less line strip­ing tech­nol­ogy. Pow­ered by a 18 hp Kohler en­gine, the ma­chine, called the Road Lazer, is equipped with 3 pumps that work at a max­i­mum pres­sure rate of 2000 psi (133 bars) with a flow rate of 9.5 litre per minute per pump. The Line Lazer con­se­quently is pow­ered by a 160 cc Honda en­gine, and is used to paint the lead line, etc. It has a max­i­mum litres per minute flow rate of 8.14 at a pres­sure of 3300 psi (227 bar). The Ban­ga­lore In­ter­na­tional Air­port has a grass main­te­nance ma­chine driven by a 90 hp Hol­land trac­tor.

The ma­chine, pro­cured from Italy, called the Ground Mas­ter, trims lawns spread over the sprawl­ing 25 acres with the help of a 35 hp liq­uid-cooled diesel en­gine. The en­gine presents the ma­chine with a max­i­mum mow­ing speed of 21 kmph with zero steer­ing turn­ing. The low cen­tre of grav­ity of the ma­chine gives it good sta­bil­ity when cut­ting the grass. High ground clear­ance en­ables it to climb an 8-inch curb.

Yet an­other in­ter­est­ing set of ma­chines are the elec­tric bug­gies, which col­lects and dis­poses For­eign Ob­ject Debris (FOD). Run­ning at a max­i­mum speed of 11 to 15 kmph, they have an in­te­grated de­sign to hold FOD col­lec­tion bins, and are equipped to carry 4 large-sized waste bins.

The highly so­phis­ti­cated Rosen­bauer 6x6 Air­craft Res­cue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) ma­chine is the most ex­pen­sive, and per­haps the most im­por­tant fly­ing ma­chine of the Banglare In­ter­na­tional Air­port

The team that is in­stru­men­tal in the smooth work­ing of the air­port; Javed Ma­lik, COO, Ban­ga­lore In­ter­a­tional Air­port, is bank­ing on tech­nol­ogy to get to the top

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