HIAL unveils multi-million pound upgrade for airport fire service fleet

Scottish airports operator HIAL - who run Stornoway, Benbecula and Barra Airports - has unveiled a multi-million pound plan to replace its fleet of emergency fire fighting vehicles with new, state of the art appliances.

The company is to invest £7m on a new fleet of 20 fire appliances over the next five years.

The fleet will be built to HIAL’s technical specifications, ensuring they meet the diverse needs of the group’s airports. Following a competitive tender process, ITURRI Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of rescue and fire fighting vehicles, has been commissioned to build the new appliances, which will include a mix of 4x4 and 6x6 vehicles. By the time the proposed replacement programme starts next summer, the oldest appliance will be 24 years old.

As well as offering greater reliability, the new vehicles will also conform to the latest EU emission standards, and are expected to have a life expectancy of 20 years.

Inglis Lyon, managing director of HIAL, said: “Safety is our number one priority. The airport fire service is the front line responder in the event of an emergency and it is vital that our fire fighters have access to the latest technology.

“This investment will ensure that our airport fire service, one of the largest in the UK, is even better equipped for the future, with a modern fleet of purpose built appliances.

“We are delighted to be working with ITURRI Group, a world leader in this technology, and look forward to progressing this ambitious project.”

George Farquhar, chief fire officer at HIAL, added: “The airport fire service performs a vital role ensuring the safety of passengers and staff across all our airports. This contract will deliver built to order appliances that reflect the diverse nature of the HIAL network, which includes coastal locations and city airports, and a varied mix of passenger and business traffic, as well as Search and Rescue and Air Ambulance facilities. This investment will ensure that our fire service is even better equipped to deal with emergency situations, wherever they arise.”