FUEL EFFICIENCY AND EMISSIONS
The use of ground support equipment (GSE) is a major operational activity at Swissport. For years, we’ve been deploying electrically powered and hybrid GSE (eGSE) wherever possible.
As with all next-generation equipment, eGSE also comes with challenges. Electric equipment requires appropriate battery charging facilities, for example. Where these are not available, Swissport engages with the relevant airport authority to work collaboratively in getting them installed. There are also some technical limitations, as not all eGSE offers the right operational versatility. So, despite our willingness to use eGSE more widely, it is not always possible. These challenges are reflected in regionally varying shares of eGSE; currently, over 70 percent of our eGSE is deployed in the EMEA region.
Despite these challenges, Swissport aims to procure electric equipment wherever technically feasible and economically viable. Equipment types range from small baggage tractors to heavy aircraft pushback and towing tractors and from small utility vehicles to airport passenger buses. In our largest GSE category, baggage tractor units, some 51 percent of our 2019 purchasing volume went towards electric vehicles.
In addition to deploying eGSE, Swissport is exploring different ways of improving the environmental performance of its equipment. To allow for our GSE to be used as efficiently as possible, we plan to install telematic systems. This will help us right-size our fleet, maximize utilization and reduce engine idle running times (engines running while equipment is not in use). This is achieved by sending alerts to relevant equipment managers at predefined times, notifying them that engines are running unnecessarily.
Increasing climate change awareness has brought a sharper focus on the use of fossil fuels. Swissport is aware of its responsibility and is increasingly using electrically powered and hybrid GSE (eGSE) instead of fossil-fuel powered vehicles.