SEPANG – Safety remains a top priority for Malaysia Airports with the replacement of 17 aging fire vehicles, which are reaching their maximum lifespan, at 13 airports nationwide. The new fire vehicles are to serve the Airport Fire and Rescue Service (AFRS) and will be delivered in four phases by year 2023. This replacement exercise of fire vehicles is in accordance with the safety compliance guidelines by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in operating an airport. The new vehicles with 750 horsepower engines will enable the AFRS team to meet the standards of reaching the incident site within three minutes after initial call from the air traffic control tower. They are also fitted with the latest state-of-the-art technology including robust surveillance cameras that will provide surrounding views to avoid possible obstructions and detect the source of heat more accurately through thermographic imaging sensors. This will result in enhancing the efficiency of the team while attending to emergencies.
According to the group chief executive officer (Group CEO) of Malaysia Airports, Dato’ Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh, “Airport safety remains paramount, and we continue to enhance our readiness through our top line first responder unit, the AFRS, who specialises in firefighting and rescue services within the aerodrome areas. Although we are diligently exercising measures of cost containment within the organisation considering the current COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to prioritise on our important asset replacement projects to ensure that our service standards are not compromised as we anticipate the recovery of air travel. The replacement of the fire vehicles is one example of the priorities to ensure we can respond efficiently to emergencies and protect the users at our airports.”
Another highlight of the new fleet is the online centralised management system to check the state of the vehicles across the airports in real time. The system enables automatic detection of any technical vehicle faults which will then alert both the AFRS team and the manufacturer to take immediate corrective actions. This further elevates the assurance of safe vehicle governance and optimum performance throughout its lifespan.
The fire vehicle named Lion 6x6 Volkan weighs a massive 37.8-ton and is equipped with the standard 12,000 litre water tank and 1,500 litre foam tank. So far, six units of the fire vehicle have reached Malaysia with Melaka Airport being the first recipient whereas the five other units will be delivered to Kota Bharu Airport (KBR), Limbang Airport (LMN), Ipoh Airport (IPH) and Terengganu Airport (TGG) respectively. Eight other airports that will be receiving the fire vehicles include Mulu Airport (MZV), Miri Airport (MYY), Sandakan Airport (SDK), Bintulu Airport (BTU), Tawau Airport (TWU), Sibu Airport (SBW), Lahad Datu Airport (LDU), and Alor Star Airport (AOR).