British Airways’ remote-control pushback vehicles reach 100,000 departures

Mandeep Johal pushed the 100,000th British Airways aircraft using a Mototok ©BA

British Airways has celebrated its 100,000th aircraft pushback using the airline’s fully-electric, remote-controlled Mototok devices, which have been used to swiftly manoeuvre the airline’s 140-strong short-haul fleet out to the runway for take-off for the last two years.

British Airways is the first and only airline to use the eco-friendly, emissions-free Mototok tugs, which replace traditional diesel tugs and are part of the British Airways’ wider environmental commitment to run an emissions-free airside operation.

The airline’s team of highly skilled pushback operators use a remote-control to move the Mototok Spacer 8600. They wear a wireless headset to keep in direct contact with the pilots on board the aircraft while it is pushed out to the runway.

The devices move planes with exacting precision and British Airways now has 25 in use at Heathrow, with a vehicle ready to go on each one of its short-haul aircraft stands at Terminal 5. Previously, the airline used diesel tugs to push its smallest aircraft back, but these were shared between stands and could slow down the departure process.

Email Post to a Friend Email Post to a Friend