DHL Express invests ?16m in electric ground service equipment at …

DHL Express UK has invested £16m (US$20m) in electric ground service vehicles and infrastructure at East Midlands Airport (EMA) in the UK.

Split across three years, the investment will see the introduction of 100 pieces of electric ground service equipment as DHL aims to make its airport ground-handling operation fully electric by 2032. The new equipment includes 28 electric tugs, five electric ‘nose lifter’ vehicles that lift aircraft to push them back from their parking stands, five high-loaders and five electric belt-loaders.

The investment in electric ground service equipment is part of a wider commitment to making DHL’s International Express operation more sustainable and follows recent major announcements such as DHL’s investment in sustainable aviation fuel and the addition of new fuel-efficient 777 Freighters.

To drive further improvements to its airport ground-handling operation, DHL is investing an additional £7m (US$9m) in replacing and improving non-electric ground support equipment such as de-icing rigs.

James Neill, vice president of operations at DHL Express UK’s EMA Hub, said, “We are excited to be making this investment in our operations at EMA and showcase our commitment to using the latest green innovations. As well as making progress in reducing emissions resulting directly from flights and aviation fuel, it’s important that we’re looking at every aspect of our operation to make gains everywhere we can.”

Steve Griffiths, managing director of EMA, said, “DHL’s investment is a positive development as we, as an industry, take steps to decarbonize. We’re committed to becoming a net zero airport by 2038 and innovations like DHL’s help move us a step closer to that goal. As the UK’s largest pure air cargo hub, the port of East Midlands Freeport, an early adopter of green innovation in the aviation industry and a site with further untapped potential, I believe there is a bright future for us.”

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