Iberia Joins British Airways With Driverless Pushback Tugs

Iberia has begun to make use of driverless robots to push again its Airbus A320 household plane at Madrid and Barcelona airports. The tractors are the identical sort utilized by British Airways at its London Heathrow Terminal 5 dwelling.

Iberia, Motok Spacer 8600, Pushback
Iberia has bought eight Motok units to push again its A320 household plane at two airports. Photograph: Iberia

The moments earlier than departure could be a difficult time for airways. Usually a big, highly effective tug is required to connect to the plane’s nosegear. This takes time to arrange after which uncouple and in addition requires a tug driver and a tug that produces CO2 whereas pushing again an plane. Whereas WheelTug is looking to build pushback capability into small aircraft, IAG is taking a unique strategy.

Iberia opts for Motok

Iberia will start to make use of the Motok inexperienced pushback tractor to push A320 family aircraft out of the gate and onto the taxiway, along with transferring plane round hangars. The airline has acquired eight autos that can start to maneuver plane in Barcelona and Madrid from the top of the month.

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The Motok Spacer 8600 is being utilized by Iberia, the identical as sister airline British Airways operates. This can be a comparatively small system that, in contrast to conventional tugs, has no driver sitting inside. As a substitute, an operator controls the pushback system through radio management from a handheld distant.

Iberia, Motok Spacer 8600, Madrid
The operator controls the tractor with distant management. Photograph: British Airways

The pushback system is powered by 80-volt batteries and may push again 28 plane earlier than being charged once more. In fact, a battery-powered system is just not straight emitting CO2 into the ambiance. As such, Iberia believes that such units will minimize its CO2 emissions by as a lot as 23 tonnes per yr.

Not the one IAG airline utilizing the system

Iberia is a member of the Worldwide Airways Group. Nonetheless, it’s not the one airline within the group utilizing the Motok pushback system. Certainly, British Airways first deployed the expertise at London Heathrow three years in the past in September 2017. The British flag provider was the primary industrial operator of the units.

If British Airways is something to go by, these units can be properly utilized by sister airline Iberia. Certainly, within the first two years that it operated the machines, British Airways accomplished 100,000 plane pushback. On the time of the accomplishment final August, the airline was nonetheless the one one utilizing the Motok Spacer 8,600.

Iberia, Motok Spacer 8600, Madrid
British Airways accomplished its 100,000th push again with the system simply over a yr in the past. Photograph: British Airways

On the time, Mandeep Johal, who pushed again the 100,000th flight out to the taxiway, stated,

“Top-of-the-line components of my job is getting to make use of these new tugs and it nonetheless amazes me that this machine can push again an plane so simply and easily… I take my function very significantly, however I nonetheless get excited each time I get my palms on the distant management.”

Have you ever been on a flight that was pushed again by a Motok? How was it? Tell us your ideas within the feedback!

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