DFW International Airport Takes Delivery of New Airport PeopleMover Bus
New vehicle for passenger off-loading and transport now part of Airport contingency plans for “irregular operations”
DFW AIRPORT, TX (July 16, 2009) – Preparing for the worst of winter on a 100- degree day, DFW International Airport today took delivery of its new COBUS Airport People Mover, designed to off-load passengers during any type of “irregular operations” situation at the Airport.
The COBUS Airport People Mover bus has the capacity to safely and efficiently off-load and transport up to 112 passengers from an aircraft. DFW will primarily use the $530,000 vehicle during “irregular operations” events including include deplaning aircraft with mechanical issues, emergency response situations, snow and ice storms, or severe thunderstorms. The vehicle’s high capacity reduces the frequency of trips needed to off-load a flight, and reduces the amount of time that passengers will spend on a stranded aircraft.
“We’re going to be far more able to respond to delay situations with a safe and fast solution, thanks to this vehicle,” said Jim Crites, executive vice president for operations at DFW. “Our passengers will see excellent customer service at those times they need it most, and our partner airlines see this people mover bus as a tool that can assist them deliver great customer service as well.”
The COBUS vehicle arrived last week and the DFW Operations team has been undergoing training with the bus for the past several days. The COBUS Airport People Mover bus is the first of three major equipment purchases that DFW will utilize to address “irregular operations” events. A covered air stair vehicle and a disabled passenger lift vehicle are expected to arrive at the Airport this fall.
“This airport people mover bus will give DFW a huge amount of flexibility and capability in many different types of circumstances,” said Erwin Zimmermann, vice president of sales for COBUS Industries, the vehicle’s distributor for North America. “With its six extra-large doors, a low boarding step and a flat floor, this people mover will be very efficient at loading and unloading passengers in a safe and timely manner.”
The airport people mover bus and the other vehicles to come are part of a coordinated effort by DFW and its partner airlines to address the needs of passengers in unusual circumstances, as identified by a national task force from the Department of Transportation.
DFW staff led the way in creating a multi-national push to address the needs of passengers in delay situations, by hosting the first meeting of airports and airlines to jointly identify the problem and draw up solutions in 2007.
The U.S. Department of Transportation last year formed a task force and drew up a set of recommendations for contingency plans for airports, airlines and aviation partners to better handle delay situations cooperatively.