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Lower emissions thanks to electrical loaders
KLM is replacing all of its diesel-powered lower-deck loaders with electrical models. We are the world’s first airline to take this step on such a large scale. The loaders are a good example of how KLM can work with a supplier to develop vehicles that fully meet its needs and which are also sustainable. KLM aims to reduce its CO2 emissions in the ground operations in 2020 by 20% compared to 2011. The new loaders will contribute to its aim by reducing emissions at Schiphol.
Lower-deck loaders are used during the final stage of cargo and baggage loading. Using a hydraulic scissor hoist, the vehicles lift pallets up to the aircraft cargo door and roll them into the hold. The existing diesel-powered loaders have been in use for more than ten years and are due for replacement. In keeping with their environmental policies, KLM and Schiphol selected an electrical model as a replacement: the TXL-838-reGen® manufactured by TLD.
Environmental and occupational care
The main advantage of the new loaders is that they produce no emissions locally. This contributes to cleaner air and better working conditions at the airport. KLM has ordered 24 of the new loaders. The first will go into operation in April 2018.
KLM has ordered a custom-made loader designed in collaboration with TLD. The vehicle can lift cargo higher and at a greater range of angles, making it suitable for use on the convex apron surface at Schiphol-Centrum, which slopes slightly to ensure that rainwater runs down to drains on either side of the aircraft stand.
Where possible, we want to electrify the ground transport equipment as much as possible. The technology, however, is not yet adequate to electrify the ground vehicles designed to do the really hard work. For example, the current batteries in the tractor that have to tow wide-body aircraft are not powerful enough – yet. Nevertheless, the electrification process is now in motion. This applies in particular to lighter equipment such as baggage belts and smaller tractors.