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Bristol Airport - Winter clearance excellence

Multihog Bristol Airport with snow brush and gritter
Multihog Bristol Airport with snow brush and gritter 2

BRISTOL AIRPORT has ordered two Multihog multipurpose implement carriers fitted with winter resilience attachments to ensure that it is well prepared in the event of snowfall and icy conditions in the coming months. The machines will be primarily used for head of stand clearance, and will considerably speed up this process to prevent disruption to Airport operations.

Despite one of the most severe winters for several years last winter, Bristol Airport lost only one and a half hours of scheduled flying time as a result of snow during this period. However, keeping aircraft stands clear of snow and ice proved particularly challenging and labour intensive. This prompted Steve Webb, Head of Motor Transport at the airport, to look for a compact yet powerful and manoeuvrable stand clearance machine that did not compromise on visibility to operate safely in and around parked aircraft. Value for money was also an issue, as he explains: “Before the recent spate of bad winters the number of days when the Airport was affected by snow previously averaged between just three and six. Locations which expect long drawn out winters can justify the substantial investment in some of the very expensive pieces of equipment that we saw in operation in Norway and Switzerland for example. With our less predictable climate we needed to find a specialist machine that would provide a more cost effective solution, and when we saw the Multihog in action we realised that we had found the answer".

Front attachments for the two Multihog MH90 base units are hydraulically operated spring loaded 2.4m wide snow ploughs for initial snow clearance and snow brushes for a back to black surface, featuring the quick release system common to all Multihog attachments. De-mountable de-icing chemical tanks with a 1,200 litre capacity and variable spray widths are fitted to the rear of the trucks. “This will be a substantial improvement on the industry’s previous stand clearing methods” says Steve, “and as part of our risk management strategy it will enable us to minimise closures or delays and therefore the impact of bad weather on passengers.

Once any risk of bad weather is over, the Multihog’s versatility to work with an almost endless array of attachments means that Steve can foresee many other uses for it during the summer months whilst the winter maintenance kit is in storage.

 Bristol Airport case study

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