CO2 footprints are getting smaller

Green TJS at Arlanda Airport
Green TJS at Arlanda Airport

Swedavia, Schmidt and Volvo take a fresh look at snow removal


Aviation is under critical surveillance. Air traffic accounts for approximately 3% of the global CO2 emissions. It’s not only planes flying from one destination to another but the infrastructure that goes with it, the ground handling, and  the  maintenance of the runways and taxiways of the airport such as snow removal.

„Every reduction of CO2 is appreciated by operators“, says René Wender, Product Manager at Schmidt, renowned manufacturer of sweepers, sprayers, snow removers for airports. The number of ground handlers looking out for green techniques to improve their CO2 footprint is growing steadily, reports Wender. „It’s about two major issues: sustainability and economic well being.“ The amount of CO2 wasted may give a clue to how sufficient a system works. The more efficient the process, the less energy and resources are needed. And then there’s legislation. The European Union will put up more pressure towards the climate debate in the future.

The Green TJS 560 C (Towed Jet Sweeper) with engines developed by Volvo is the world’s first CO2 neutral snow removal machine. Beginning of December it was be handed over to Swedavia at Arlanda Airport Stockholm and shortly thereafter was transported to Kiruna Airport where field tests will be conducted. The Towed Jet Sweeper will support Swedavia on its ambitious task of operating an international hub near to CO2 neutral says Mr. Bertil Ekhaga (Senior Manager Vehicle Operations for Swedavia  (CAA)). One of the main starting points for Ekhaga in the quest for lower CO2 were the machines in use for snow removal: 20 High Power Jet Sweepers fitted to the front section of an A25E articulated hauler from Volvo Construction Equipment. With the Green TJS 560 C Swedavia will not only operate in a more climate friendly way, but will also decrease fuel costs.

The Green TJS 560 C is powered by Volvo engines fueled by a mixture of biogas and biodiesel. The challenge for the Schmidt engineers was to fit in the extra tanks into the supporting frame whilst maintaining the performance parameters steady. René Wender added “There’s no way that in order to achieve a CO2 neutral machine we should reduce its capabilities. Airports, airlines, and passengers rely on our equipment.”

With the Green TJS 560 C nothing changes for airport operators or ground handlers. They will have a Schmidt TJS 560 C with Volvo engines, which will remove a swathe of snow 4.75 meters wide, and it will do this in a highly efficient manner”. “The Green TJS 560 C does not differ in power from other TJS machines operating with a conventional Volvo engine. It is equipped with an airport snow plough MS 72.1 which produces snow and ice-free surfaces. The hydraulically powered sweeping unit is located under the supporting frame and can be locked lengthwise for transport. The blower unit generates a lateral air flow of up to 145 meters per second over the complete width which blows away the snow across the runway.

The Green TJS 560 C by Schmidt can operate without refuelling for over six hours and is capable of working in difficult weather conditions over longer periods. Depending upon snow quantity and height the machine can work at a speed of up to 50 km/h.

“The Green TJS 560 C brings together sustainability and economy in airport snow removal airside for the first time”, says Holger Stehling, member of the Management of the Aebi Schmidt Group: “We as an international manufacturer, have the obligation to support our customers; we are partners and we want to see them achieving their goals. And climate issues are some of the major challenges we all are facing right now. ”They can only be mastered together. That’s why Stehling is very pleased with the good and trusting co-operation between Schmidt and Volvo for Swedavia.

The TJS machines are made for fast, effective, and intensive cleaning of runways, taxiways, aprons and supply roads. This counts also for the Green TJS 560 C. High working speed and manoeuvrability are the key issues of this product made in Germany and Sweden.

The Stockholm Arlanda Airport is located around about 30 miles north of the largest Swedish city. Stockholm counts about 2.000.000 inhabitants. ARN has three runways. In 2009 around 16.1 million passengers used the international hub - more than 75% of were booked on international flights.