Klaus Bayha: We've been looking to add a compact jet sweeper with a sprayer to our winter service fleet for a long time. At Stuttgart, we've been running an Otto 104 - if you like, the 'grandfather' of today's Schmidt CJS-DI - since 1998. We have been big fans of this compact design since the very beginning. It helps us to clear snow and ice from the tarmac in the shortest possible time, which ensures that flights run on time during the winter. Our Otto 104 is getting a bit long in the tooth now, and the requirements in terms of digital systems, for example track-and-trace [functionality], are also a major factor for us. This means the development of the Schmidt CJS-DI is really positive from our point of view.
We were in regular contact with Schmidt during the development process, so we were able to contribute our own ideas and suggestions. The brand-new CJS-DI was in service with us from 11 December 2017 to 15 February 2018. So far, we have been very happy with it and we are convinced the machine is the ideal addition to our existing winter fleet. After a few small adjustments, Schmidt's team of specialists turned it into exactly the machine we have in mind for clearing aprons in the future.
Up to now, with the Otto 104 we had a spraying width of 3m (vehicle width). The Schmidt CJS-DI has a spraying width of 15m, so it's about five times wider. The new machine has also made a quantum leap in terms of manoeuvrability, cutting-edge technology and intelligent assistance systems. The Schmidt CJS-DI is definitely the best in its class in all these areas. The vehicle is also a major improvement, in terms of ergonomics and comfort for our drivers. Thanks to the hydro-pneumatic chassis, it is much more comfortable to drive, which means it is fatigue-free and subsequently safer to ride. Drivers are also very pleased with the user-friendly, self-explanatory control panel; you can see they really enjoy driving the machine. The size of the fluid tank is another big advantage; with the Otto 104 it was 3,000L; now we have up to 5,000L liquid capacity.
In a 'normal' winter, we need an average of 2.2 million litres of spraying agent, but in harsh winters we've used as much as 3.0 million litres in the past. It varies, of course, depending on the conditions, whether the winter is particularly harsh, how long the winter lasts and what the average temperature is.
That completely depends on the size of the airport and the numbers of runways, taxiways and apron areas. I think the demand for compact, high-performance jet sweepers that can be used for de-icing will continue to rise, because apron areas have to be cleared as quickly as possible to keep flights running.