Remotely Controlled Electric Ground Vehicles for Moving Iberia Aircraft at Madrid and Barcelona Airports

Technology Operations

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Iberia and its handling and maintenance units continue to invest in innovation and sustainability, and once again they are pioneering users of the latest technology.

Iberia Airport Services handling unit has deployed new “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, and each one will effectively cut annual CO2 emissions by some 23 tonnes. 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.

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 programme, the handling operator has replaced 80% of its ground vehicle fleet with more environmentally sustainable equipment, while also using more energy from renewable sources.

Electric push-back tractors can 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.