September 25, 2017
British Airways to introduce high-tech remote controlled devices to push back aircraft
British Airways has become the first airline to introduce high-tech remote controlled devices to push back aircraft across its short-haul operation. The airline is modernising its operation to maintain and further improve punctuality for its customers. In partnership with Heathrow, the eco-friendly Mototok tugs will allow British Airways staff to prepare aircraft for departure more efficiently. The airline is the first commercial operator to deploy the devices across multiple aircraft stands. The equipment, used to move Airbus short-haul aircraft, replaces traditional diesel tugs, allowing a single ramp agent to push an aircraft backwards from the gate remotely. Emissions-free and capable of moving planes with precision, five Mototoks are currently in operation across 25 stands at Terminal 5. They were integrated into the operation in August, and more than 100,000 customers have benefited from smoother departures already. British Airways plans to roll out the Mototok across its short-haul operation by the end of the year, and is exploring the possibility of introducing the technology to push back long-haul aircraft in the future. The Mototok’s electric battery can hold its charge for up to three days, and charging points will be installed on each of the 25 stands at Heathrow’s T5.