Military airports in France – More efficient. More innovative. More sustainable.

A new era of winter maintenance is beginning for the French Air Force.

At French military airports, it was common practice for a long time for the superseded engines from the old Mirage to be used for snow-clearance purposes. These engines from the fighter aircraft were fitted onto a special truck and this was the method used to blow the snow off the runways with a huge blast of hot air. Following an in-depth review of the old fleet, the representatives from the French Air Force decided that the winter maintenance equipment urgently needed to be upgraded to the latest technology.

Ultimately, a lack of spare parts and less and less capacity to carry out maintenance persuaded the French Air Force to invest in modern winter maintenance equipment. Since the end of 2015, ten Mercedes Unimog, UGE 423 Euro 6, fitted with the Schmidt FS105 snow cutter blower have been deployed at France’s military airports. The snow IMG_1169cutter blowers have proved to be efficient at eating through the white masses of snow and deliver optimum clearing performance even on hard and icy snow. Impressed by the high quality of the winter maintenance equipment, the representatives of the French Air Force decided to purchase eight jet sweepers of the Schmidt TJS-C 630 model. “The Schmidt TJS-C 630 is a high-performance machine delivered worldwide and we now look forward to the first deployment from the winter of 2017/18,“ says the delegation of the French Air Force. “In addition, conserving natural resources is very interesting. Thanks to its low fuel consumption, the Schmidt TJS 630-C produces massively lower CO₂ emissions.”

The carrier vehicle is also optimally attuned to the needs of the military airports and so the Schmidt TJS-C 630 is supported by a Mercedes-Benz Arocs, 4×4, Euro 6. The ease of operation via a central control console will be appreciated by the garrison. The graphical colour display and the practical joystick enable the driver to control the operating functions of the plough, sweeper and blower quickly and reliably. The intuitive control and the driver’s menu, which is adapted to suit the customer’s specific needs, also enhance the overall perspective when clearing snow and ice. Particular mention should be made of the fact that the level of noise emissions within the cabin is well below the specifications of French labour law.

Although the Schmidt TJS-C 630 with a plough that is eight metres wide does not have the same clearing width as the old fleet with a width of 14 metres, its more efficient operating speed and remarkable manoeuvrability thanks to its all-wheel steering means that it is able to clear runways more quickly. “The French Air Force is an important customer for the ASH Group and we are delighted that we have been able to expand our partnership,” says Franck Fargier, Key Account Manager Airport for France. „In addition to a good price-performance ratio the customers benefit from energy-saving technology and in so doing conserve the environment. Furthermore, they enjoy reliable customer service from Europe Service and have better control of their costs notably through the outsourcing of maintenance work.” The jet sweepers are distributed across the four strategically important bases.

Franck Fargier
Key Account Manager Airport France