Flughafen Stuttgart GmbH, Skytanking and ISEA at RWTH Aachen University have joined forces to develop an innovative solution for the electrification of a large part of the airport’s handling fleet. The project, called finalize! and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), is part of STRzero, the airport’s climate strategy, and at the same time aims to meet the partners’ sustainability goals. Total costs of 5.8 million euros and a total grant of around 2.8 million euros were approved for the joint project.
With the finalize! project, Stuttgart Airport is continuing electrification on its apron. The e-fleet is to grow by more than thirty heavy-duty vehicles. To power the new electrically driven equipment, the project will also include the installation of charging infrastructure at the airport. Each partner is contributing its expertise to the project, the university in the area of sustainable energy, optimization of charging protocols and data analysis, and the airport with the infrastructure requirements.
As one of the largest service providers in the aviation fuel industry, Skytanking will help develop and operate the first all-electric airfield refueling truck with a capacity of 40,000 liters. There have been projects with smaller refueling vehicles in the recent past, but a fully electric tanker weighing approximately 52 tons presents a very special challenge. This requires innovative and new solutions, which are the focus of this research and development project.
The project is another important milestone on the way to emission-free apron traffic at Stuttgart Airport. The aim is to complete the project by 2026, with local emissions being reduced through the use of new vehicles from as early as 2024 and a concomitant improvement in air quality. The consortium will also consider the entire life cycle of the equipment during the selection process and test optimized charging strategies. For other airports and refueling service providers, the site will serve as a live demonstrator and also support the standardization process.
Skytanking is a subsidiary of PrimeFlight Aviation Services, a U.S. company that provides a wide range of aviation services – from ground handling to aircraft preparation and de-icing to aviation fuel storage and refueling. Skytanking is a leading aviation fueling and engineering services provider that builds, owns and operates aviation fuel storage and hydrant facilities and provides services to airlines, airports and petroleum companies. Skytanking handles 24.7 million m³ of aviation fuel annually and refuels 2 million aircraft at 90 airports in 14 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and Australia.