Iberia rolls out remotely controlled pushback vehicles at Madrid and Barcelona

(Photo: Iberia)

The new electric ground tractors are set to be introduced by the flag carrier’s airport services division

Iberia Airport Services is due to launch its first remotely controlled electric-powered pushback vehicles later this month.

The new silent tractors form part of the firm’s “Go Up!” initiative which will see the handling operator ramp up its plans to invest in innovation and sustainability.

As many as eight of the electric vehicles will be in use at Barcelona and Madrid airports. According to Iberia, this will cut annual CO2 emissions by 23 tonnes.

Other potential benefits are the increased safety on airport ramps and the improvement of flight punctuality.

Iberia’s new Motok Spacer 8600 will be powered by 80v batteries, which the company says will enable the movement of up to 28 narrowbody aircraft. All Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s are included within this category, in the short and medium-range fleets of both Iberia and Vueling.

The transportation devices will also be used to move aircraft inside the hangars for inspection and services.

The ‘Go Up!’ transformation programme set up by Iberia has so far allowed for 80% of ground vehicles to be replaced with more environmentally sustainable equipment.