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Dallas Fort Worth International Airport tests autonomous towing airside

The TractEasy autonomous tractor proved to be both safe and efficient, working seamlessly as intended. The vehicle travelled a half-mile circuitous cargo loop reliably and on-demand, transporting goods across the airport’s West Cargo airfield.

 

 

Moving tons of cargo on a fixed route, autonomously


Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) trialed an autonomous towing vehicle for airside operations. The TractEasy electric tow-tractor was used to move tons of cargo on a fixed route. 

DFW partnered with EasyMile and Menzies Aviation to bring this concept to reality. TractEasy proved to be both safe and efficient, working seamlessly as intended. The vehicle travelled a half-mile circuitous cargo loop reliably and on-demand, transporting goods across the airport’s West Cargo airfield. 

“DFW is committed to building a future based on efficient operations, business resiliency and leading-edge safety and security,” said Paul Puopolo, EVP Innovation at DFW Airport. “Electric, autonomous vehicle trials like this help us understand their potential more clearly and aid longer-term operations and infrastructure planning. Partnerships like this one with Menzies and EasyMile bring to life real opportunities to help deliver on our promise of ‘Travel. Transformed.’”

Leaner, greener operations

“At TLD, Smart Airport Systems, we are delighted to see DFW as the first major passenger hub to test autonomos towing live for ‘Leaner & Greener’© operations, aiming as well for zero ground emissions,” says Maxime Mahieu, CEO of Smart Airport Systems.


“Electric, autonomous ground support vehicles have the potential to improve productivity and reduce emissions, which is why we were excited to be involved in the TEZ trial,” said Robert Fordree, EVP World Cargo Services at Menzies Aviation. “We are exploring the very latest technologies and ways to collaborate with airports, customers and suppliers across our global network to enhance our cargo operations and help advance our goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030, Menzies 200th anniversary. With efficiency and sustainability in mind, we are already investing in a range of solutions such as automation, warehouse robotics and GPS tracking to ensure we are at the forefront of the air cargo industry.”  


Global users of the autonomous tow tractor solution include BMW, Daimler, and other major automotive manufacturing plants and logistics centers in Europe and the United States. It has also served other airports outside of the US including Narita International in Japan, Schiphol in the Netherlands, and operates in a fleet at Changi Airport in Singapore. 
 

With efficiency and sustainability in mind, we are already investing in a range of solutions such as automation, warehouse robotics and GPS tracking to ensure we are at the forefront of the air cargo industry.

Robert Fordree, EVP World Cargo Services at Menzies Aviation