Airport operator Highland & Islands Airports Limited in Scotland (UK) have officially launched the first of 20 new state of the art fire-tenders following a multi million pound order placed in 2012. Benbecula and Stornoway airports have each received two new fire tenders in the first phase of a £7 million pound roll out of new high tech fire-fighting vehicles. The new fleet has been purpose built to HIAL’s technical specifications, ensuring they meet the diverse needs of the group’s 11 airports, which include a mix of island, coastal and city airports.
Following a competitive tender process, ITURRI Group of Spain, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rescue and fire fighting vehicles, have been commissioned to build the new appliances, which will include a mix of 19 x “T” 4×4 VIM 61 MTEC 454 fire tenders + 1 x “T” 6×6 VIM 61 MTEC 454 variant. As well as offering greater reliability, the new vehicles will also conform to the latest EU emission standards and are expected to have a life expectancy of 20 x years.
Two of the new 4×4 tenders were officially launched by children from Balivanich Primary in Benbecula who took part in a competition to name the appliances. The two tenders have been named St Kilda and Eaval by Allana Beaton and Megan Mackay, both Primary 7 pupils at Balivanich Primary School.
Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of HIAL said: “The HIAL airport fire service is one of the biggest in the UK, serving 11 airports across Scotland. It is essential that our professional team of fire fighters have access to the latest technology and the most up to date equipment. This investment over five years will ensure that they are even better equipped to tackle emergency situations, if and when they occur.”
George Farquhar, Chief Fire Officer at HIAL added: “HIAL’s airports are among the most diverse in Scotland with a unique mix of coastal locations and city airports, fixed wing and helicopter traffic and Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance operations. We have worked with ITURRI to design and build a range of fire tenders that reflect the diverse nature of our operations.” Nigel Cresswell of ITURRI said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this prestigious, and one of the largest contracts among European Airports for the supply of Fire Tenders to HIAL. Working closely with the HIAL team during the design stages to adapt our standard vehicle to meet HIAL requirements has delivered a vehicle second to none and we look forward to a long relationship with HIAL where we will provide support throughout the life of the vehicle.”
With grateful thanks to Gary Parkinson for providing this report and photograph.