Schiphol expands snow clearance fleet with purchase of new spray machine

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol recently expanded its snow clearance fleet with the purchase of an advanced and innovative new sprayer. The system can cover a width of forty meters in a single run, thus allowing for even more efficient and sustainable runway de-icing. The new sprayer comes at a cost of over 300,000 Euros.

Schiphol Group Executive Vice President and COO, Ad Rutten: ´This state of the art sprayer is an important new addition to our snow clearance fleet´. Our snow clearance fleet, which is deployed during wintry weather, is extremely important to us. We are continually investing in efficient, modern vehicles and equipment capable of optimal performance. We are also working to make our snow clearance fleet more sustainable. For example, we have been using potassium formate (a product that is more environmentally friendly than potassium nitrate) to de-ice runways for the past year.

Efficient and innovative

The innovative technology makes it even easier to see which area has already been covered by the sprayer, minimising the environmental impact. The sprayer will automatically shut down in the event of overlap. In addition, the sprayer can be used until the tank is completely empty. As a result, the vehicle is economical in terms of fuel and spray fluid usage. The spray arms are fitted with led lighting.

Various innovations also make the machine easier to use. The driver has a clear view of the spray arms and the route to be covered thanks to a camera in the mirrors and a control panel on the dashboard.

Snow clearance fleet

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has over one hundred special de-icing vehicles. For example, the fleet includes large snow ploughs used to clear the runways and roads, trucks with the capacity to haul large quantities of snow, cranes used to load snow, large gritting vehicles, airport sprayers, small sprayers and front sweepers. Other vehicles used during this period include: snow shovels, snow blowers, jet blowers and bicycle track gritters. The snow squads help ensure clean, safe roads.

Snow squads and polar bears

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol employs professional snow squads that minimise the effects of snow and ice. Designated Schiphol staff members, also known as ‘polar bears’, have received special training and can be called upon to lay down their normal work and join in with the snow squads on a voluntary basis. During winter, there are a hundred of these ‘polar bears’ on each shift around the clock, helping to keep the airport free of snow and ice.