British Airways introduced remotely-controlled devices at LHR to push back its Airbus short-haul aircraft
09 October 2017
British Airways has become the first airline worldwide to introduce remotely-controlled devices to push back its Airbus short-haul aircraft at London Heathrow Airport (LHR). In partnership with LHR, the eco-friendly tugs, built by Mototok International GmbH in Germany, will allow British Airways staff to prepare aircraft for departure more efficiently. The airline, which is the first commercial operator to deploy the devices across multiple aircraft stands, is modernising its operations to maintain and further improve punctuality for its customers. The equipment replaces traditional diesel tugs, allowing a single ramp agent to push an aircraft backwards from the gate remotely. Five of the emissions-free Mototok tugs are currently in operation across 25 stands at LHR’s Terminal 5 (T5). British Airways plans to roll out the Mototok across its short-haul operation by the end of 2017, and is exploring the possibility of introducing the technology to push back long-haul aircraft in the future. The Mototok’s electric battery can hold its charge for up to three days, and charging points will be installed on each of the 25 stands at T5.