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31 May 2023

Another world first for Christchurch Airport

Christchurch Airport has signed up to buy the world’s first Rosenbauer Electric Fire Truck to operate at an airport.

A newly signed contract means the airport and Austrian manufacturer Rosenbauer International AG will together bring the ‘green’ truck down under.

Head of Aviation Operations Tim Morris says it’s another step towards Christchurch Airport having an entirely hybrid/electric fleet.

“We are keen to accelerate the airport’s transition to clean energy trucks, and in the next few years, will replace all four trucks as new Rosenbauer models become available, until our whole fleet runs on green energy,” he says.

America’s first electric Rosenbauer city fire truck is working on Hollywood streets, with the manufacturer and airport both monitoring its performance. However, current testing in Europe indicates the new airport fire truck could reduce fire service diesel usage by more than 75 per cent.

Rosenbauer Australia and New Zealand Managing Director, Arthur Weimer, says the company applauds Christchurch Airport’s sustainability progress of recent years, as well as its ambitious plans for the future.

“We understand how the Kōwhai Park green energy development near the runway will enable New Zealand’s low carbon future,” he says.

“The new truck, Rosenbauer RT, will be hybrid/electric with further developments to hydrogen in the future. That will be well placed to take advantage of the airport’s intention to include green hydrogen within Kōwhai Park.”

The airport fire leaders and Rosenbauer have confirmed specification choices for the Rosenbauer RT ARFF (Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting) Fire Truck, which will be built over the next 20 months and is likely to be here in 2025.

Tim Morris says replacing the large diesel engine with a significantly smaller electric generator, a range of configuration, safety and operational improvements are possible.

“It’s good news for our fire fighters, including ergonomic improvements, more cameras for improved visibility, a different crew cab structure, and options to give a scene overview,” he says.

“The Rosenbauer RT Electric Fire Truck‘s new technology will give our teams the ideal combination of ‘clean energy’ operation, required compliance and fire fighting capacity at all times. Other benefits include lowering of future operational expenses due to the hybrid/electric technology with fewer moving parts and a significant savings in fuel costs.

Please note: the attached image shows a model similar to the fire truck to be built for Christchurch Airport. Minor modifications will be made to make it ARFF ready.