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Equipment

Finnish team trials Runway Snowbot

17 May 2019
The Snowbot autonomous snow removal vehicle was trialled at Ivalo Airport in Finland. Source: Finavia

Finavia and four other Finnish companies have trialled autonomous snow removal methods and technology for application at airports that experience harsh winter conditions.

The Runway Snowbot concept includes pre-programmed and optimised runway snow clearance patterns for an unmanned, autonomous biofuelled vehicle with “effective snow clearing equipment and… optimal driving properties with top-notch tyres”, Finavia stated on 14 May.

Finavia and its teammates Valtra, Nokian Tyres, Vammas (Fortbrand), and Neste created the Runway Snowbot concept, which was tested successfully in the winter 2018–19 season at Ivalo Airport in Finland (one of the northernmost runways in Europe).

“As an airport operator we need to be able to create summer conditions on Finnish runways even in the middle of the winter,” said Finavia technical director Henri Hansson. “To meet this challenge, we are constantly searching for new solutions.”

Autonomous tractor specialist Valtra wanted to demonstrate that one of its vehicles could be adapted for snow clearance, using the Valtra Connect telematics service for remote fleet management.

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To contact the author of this article, email Ben.Vogel@ihsmarkit.com


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