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Low-emission ground devices: “Green Gate” at FRA opened

Written by editor

The E-PORT AN initiative partners – Fraport AG, Lufthansa Group, the State of Hesse and the Rhine-Main model electro-mobility region – opened the first “Green Gate” at Frankfurt Airport today.

The E-PORT AN initiative partners – Fraport AG, Lufthansa Group, the State of Hesse and the Rhine-Main model electro-mobility region – opened the first “Green Gate” at Frankfurt Airport today. At Lufthansa Gate A15 passengers can now inform themselves about the numerous electric mobility projects at Germany´s largest airport. As an important project component, the “Green Gate” presents aircraft ground services which in the future can be largely carried out with electric vehicles. The partners present their activities using models, information panels and animations, including solar-powered passenger airstairs, electric conveyor belt vehicles, hybrid aircraft tugs and electric pallet trucks.

Up to 20 different vehicles are used to service an aircraft. As a first step E-PORT AN is consolidating existing electric vehicles and integrating new electrically driven developments into the aircraft servicing process. Emissions and noise will thus be reduced, improving both the environmental footprint and working conditions on the apron. In addition, the effect of large-scale use of electric vehicles on the airport´s power grid is being considered. The aim of all E-PORT AN participants is to deploy more

Quotes from the participants

Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure:

“The use of electric vehicles in aircraft servicing and rolling and towing traffic can substantially reduce noise and emissions at airports. This protects the environment and the staff on the ground. As part of the Rhine-Main model electro-mobility region, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is funding the E-PORT AN project with a total of eight million euros. I am delighted that from today passengers on the spot can inform themselves about this `Green ground service´. Simultaneously incentives for imitation are created, because the added value of electro-mobile aircraft servicing for the future is obvious.”

Tarek Al-Wazir, Hessian Minister of Economics, Energy, Transport and Regional Development (HMWEVL):

“As a transit state in the middle of Germany and Europe, Hesse is highly dependent on mobility and this mobility must be sustainable. Therefore, we welcome and support the commitment of the Frankfurt Airport to reduce the noise and pollutant emissions in air traffic. E-PORT AN is a pioneering project that deserves to be made visible. Practical concepts for the sustainable mobility of tomorrow are essential for Hesse as a business hub.”

Dr. Stefan Schulte, CEO of Fraport AG:

“In addition to the energy optimisation of the terminal, the use of electric vehicles at the airport is an essential starting point for us to reduce CO2 emissions. Electrically powered vehicles are principally ideal for use at airports with, as here is the case, short-haul traffic. This is especially true for special vehicles for aircraft servicing, such as towing vehicles, ground support equipment or pallet trucks. We want the proportion of special electric vehicles used here on-site to further increase.”

Klaus Froese, Board Member, Operations & Hub Frankfurt, Lufthansa German Airlines: “We are pleased to present our electric mobility projects at the ‘Green Gate’. Thus our passengers can enjoy not only the usual Lufthansa quality on their flight, but beyond that also experience a green ground service. In addition to our investment in particularly efficient and low-noise aircraft, we are also engaged in innovation on the ground. With the TaxiBot, for example, we have a worldwide unique aircraft tug with hybrid drive, which can be controlled on its way to the runway by the pilot himself. Since he pulls the plane without running engines to the takeoff runway, our ground processes will be not only quieter, but we also save fuel and protect the environment.”

The electric powered container transporter in action on the apron at Frankfurt Airport.


E-PORT AN is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure via the Rhine-Main model electro-mobility region. The model electro-mobility regions are nationally coordinated by the NOW GmbH National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology. The regional co-ordination lies at the project management center of the Rhine-Main model region, which in turn is located at the Stadtwerke Offenbach Holding GmbH. Through the integration of E-PORT AN in the state “Strom bewegt” (“Power moves”) initiative the visibility of the project of the airport environment and beyond is ensured. The German Federal Government awarded E-PORT ON the title of “lighthouse electromobility project” (Leuchtturmprojekt) in 2013 and is supporting the project with funding totalling 8.1 million euros. In 2014, the initiative won the renowned GreenTec Award in the Aviation category and in 2015, it was listed as one of the ATAG 100 Aviation Climate Solutions. For more information and images, please click here.