Airports are massive beasts and take a lot of work in order to function properly. If I asked you to name a vehicle most commonly associated with an airport, I can guarantee you’d yell ‘plane’ with little hesitation. While your answer would be accurate, it would be doing a disservice to the amount of other vehicles that prowl your local departure gate.
So, here are four other vehicles that help to make your flying experience a bit more streamlined and safe.
- Baggage and Aeroplane Towers
We’ve all seen those baggage towers in the movies. They’re the caterpillar-like vehicles that transport your luggage right to the plane. They’re cute little vehicles akin to golf carts, and they have a bigger brother that has to tow an even heavier weight.
Aeroplane towers do just as you’d expect, and move the plane into position. An Aircraft needs to be properly aligned on the runway, and these guys help out with that. As such, they’re burly, hulking vehicles with a ton of power in their many wheels. Every airport needs a certain amount of muscle, and that’s what these guys are for.
You’ll probably see huge tankers everywhere you go, but what are they doing at airports? Well, just like any other vehicle, planes will need to drink that fuel in order to stay airborne, and that’s what these guys are for. The most common kind of airport tanker is the aircraft refueler, which does exactly as its name implies.
It’s the very reason you’re able to get from Bristol to Benidorm, from Las Vegas to Liverpool, and is essential to any airport operation. Tankers can carry other things, like liquid supplies, but the most common airport usage is fuel. No longer will you wonder just what that huge vehicle is doing driving in and amongst all the planes near the runway.
- Motorized Stairs
They’re stairs, that move! While this vehicle has its uses in many walks of life (such as fixing your roof) at airports they can act as a safety measure. It allows people to reach those high up places to perform inspections and fix any problems that may exist. Aeroplanes are massive you know, and a bog standard ladder simply won’t suffice.
Just be sure not to pull up alongside a moving plane.
- Emergency Vehicles
Sadly, the worst does sometimes happen, and can’t always be avoided. I doubt these vehicles will take much in the way of explanation, so I won’t go into too much detail. Every airport is obligated to have a certain number of emergency vehicles on standby, for many reasons. Runways are massive, and if an accident occurs at the end of one, walking to the scene could prove fatal. These vehicles provide the ability to perform an instant action, which could save lives.
I hate to end on a more dour note, but there we are. Airports are complex beasts with a lot going on under the hood – I hope you’re a little more enlightened now though. Thanks for reading!
Do you have any knowledge of the workings of an airport? Perhaps you’ve driven one of these rides before? Whatever the case, leave some thoughts in the comments below!