- Maintenance Towing
In a pushback, an aircraft with crew and passengers or cargo on board is pushed out backwards from its parking position to a taxiway from which it can taxi under its own power to the runway.
In repositioning operation, an aircraft is towed from one parking position to another. This may be necessary, for instance, when the current parking position is needed by another aircraft.
A maintenance towing operation involves moving an aircraft from the handling aprons to the hangar area when it needs maintenance or repairs. Repositioning and maintenance towing are carried out without passengers and crews on board.
In pushback, we distinguish between walkout and single man pushback.
In a walkout, the tractor driver is accompanied by a walkout assistant. The walkout assistant handles communications between the tractor driver and the cockpit and is responsible for safety during pushback and engine start-up.
Single man pushback is handled by the tractor driver alone. The tractor driver is in direct contact with the cockpit and apron control, and also performs the tasks of the walkout assistant. This ensures a faster and more economical pushback.
For pushback and towing operations we utilize state-of-the-art towing tractors. Our towbar tractors are produced by Trepel, KAMAG and Schopf and our towbarless tractors are produced by Goldhofer and Kalmar.
When a towbar tractor performs pushback or towing operations, the towbars are generally provided by our customers. However, EFM has numerous towbars of its own.
A towbarless tractor raises the aircraft’s nose landing gear and positions it on the tractor’s transport platform. The landing gear is mechanically locked, securely attaching it to the tractor. Locking in the nose gear makes it possible to perform the towing operation much faster than with a towbar tractor.
In addition, towing without a towbar improves safety because there is no towbar that can fracture. Finally, towbarless tractors can be used more flexibly because there is no longer any need for the – usually incompatible – towbars for the various aircraft types.
As a result, tractor drivers do not have to go to the central towbar storage area after every pushback operation to exchange towbars. This considerably reduces vehicle running times and fuel consumption.