Iberia Using Remote Controlled Electric Ground Vehicles for Moving Aircraft

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Iberia and its handling and maintenance units continue to invest in innovation and sustainability. Iberia Airport Services handling unit has deployed new environmentally green pushback tractors to move aircraft in the Madrid and Barcelona airports. The emissions-free electric vehicles are operated by remote control.

In late October, Iberia Airport Services will have eight of the new vehicles in Madrid and Barcelona, which are nearly silent. Each one will effectively cut annual CO2 emissions by some 23 tonnes. The hope is that they operate more precisely than their predecessors, for greater safety on airport ramps and greater punctuality of flights by all client airlines at the two airports.“Each green push-back tractor will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 23 tonnes a year,” the group says.

The new Motok Spacer 8600 vehicles are powered by 80V batteries which enable them to move as many as 28 narrow-bodied aircraft between charges. This category includes all the Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s in the short- and medium range fleets of both Iberia and Vueling.

In the framework of the Iberia Airport Services’ Go Up! transformation program, the handling operator has replaced 80 percent of its ground vehicle fleet with more environmentally sustainable equipment, while also using more energy from renewable sources.

These electric push-back tractors can also be used inside hangars. Iberia Maintenance is also using the new electric vehicles to move aircraft in the hangars, where it inspects and services them in Madrid and Barcelona airports.