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First £1 million fire tender arrives at George Best Belfast City Airport: VIDEO REPORT

George Best Belfast City Airport Fire Service has taken delivery of the first of three new fire tenders, each representing an investment in the region of £1 million.

Purpose built for the airport by the Spanish firm Iturri, and the culmination of a 5-year procurement and manufacturing process, the new fire appliance offers the latest technology in aviation fire-fighting and rescue.

The 33-tonne vehicle can deliver 45,000 litres of foam every minute, has a top speed of nearly 80 mph and can operate in zero visibility.

It’s the first of three new tenders scheduled to arrive at Belfast City Airport as the airport ensures its continued compliance with the highest safety regulations.

Seamus MacMahon, Chief Fire Officer and Head of Emergency Planning at Belfast City Airport said:  “Belfast City Airport Fire Service is responsible for safety of all aircraft within the airfield.

“In addition, our 33 full-time fire fighters are trained first medical responders to the three million visitors to the airport each year.

“The new fire appliance was custom-built in Seville and comes equipped with full thermal imaging and infra-red driver vision, meaning the tender can operate in zero visibility. It can also fight fires whilst on the move, carrying 11,500 litres of water.

“It is equipped with an electronic control system and the latest communications systems ensuring we are ready for any eventuality should it occur.”

Mark Beattie, Operations Director at the airport said: “The arrival of the first of three fire tenders is part of an overall £15 million capital investment programme at the airport which, when complete, will include a new security search area and refurbishment of the departures lounge with an enhanced retail offering.

“Our vision for the airport is to deliver an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations. This encompasses every service at the airport including the vital work that is carried out by our fire service behind-the scenes.”

George Best Belfast City AirporFor those of you interested in the technical details, here is our FAQ on the new fire appliance

  • Height 3.8 metres
  • Width 3.4 metres
  • Length 11.4 metres
  • Capable of carrying 11,500 litres of water
  • Can produce 45,000 litres of foam a minute
  • Can project and direct water up to a distance of 100 metres
  • Ability to firefight on the move
  • All terrain with permanent 6-wheel drive
  • Full thermal imaging and infrared driver vision
  • 4G enabled communication
  • Manufactured by Iturri in Spain http://www.iturri.com/en/
  • The Scania engine provides 700 bhp
  • Exceeds requirements for International Aviation Legislation for Airport Fire Appliances
  • Designed and manufactured to ISO 9001