George Best Belfast City Airport Fire Service has taken delivery of a new 33-tonne fire-fighting vehicle, to ensure its continued compliance with the highest safety regulations.

Purpose built by the Spanish firm Iturri, the new vehicle offers the latest technology in aviation fire-fighting and rescue. The culmination of a five-year procurement and manufacturing process, it is the first of three new fire tenders, each representing an investment in the region of £1 million.

Additionally, the new fire tenders are part of an overall £15 million capital investment programme at the airport. When complete, it will include a new security search area and refurbishment of the departures lounge with an enhanced retail offering.

“Our vision for the airport is to deliver an experience that exceeds our customers’ expectations. This encompasses every service at the airport including the vital work that is carried out by our fire service behind-the scenes,” said Mark Beattie, operations director at the airport.

Meanwhile, Seamus MacMahon, Chief Fire Officer and Head of Emergency Planning at Belfast City Airport declared that: “Belfast City Airport Fire Service is responsible for safety of all aircraft within the airfield.”

He added that: “In addition, our 33 full-time fire fighters are trained first medical responders to the three million visitors to the airport each year.

“The new fire appliance was custom-built in Seville and comes equipped with full thermal imaging and infra-red driver vision, meaning the tender can operate in zero visibility. It can also fight fires whilst on the move, carrying 11,500 litres of water.

“It is equipped with an electronic control system and the latest communications systems ensuring we are ready for any eventuality should it occur.”

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