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Airport buses


Eyersey1234
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I've just seen a brand new Yutong airport bus being transported on a low loader. Does anyone know if a vehicle is used solely in an airport going between the terminals etc and never gets used on the public road does it need to be registered?

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At Faro they were still using maybe mid seventies Mercedes OM buses, if they’re maintained they’ll last a good while longer than as a service bus. The Port of Dover used 1972 ‘L’ played Leyland Nationals until around 10-12 years ago, long after they’d been rendered obsolete as a service bus. 

Not a bus but at Arrecife, Cepsa use mid Seventies Mercedes refuelling tankers still, because of how well engineered they are in that environment they’ll keep running indefinitely. 

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Last time I flew into Edinburgh Airport there was still at least one M or N plate Dennis Dart parked up airside, which probably hasn't clocked up more than a few thousand miles.

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3 hours ago, mk2_craig said:

Last time I flew into Edinburgh Airport there was still at least one M or N plate Dennis Dart parked up airside, which probably hasn't clocked up more than a few thousand miles.

No, but I suspect that it's engine will have about a millionty hours on it's...

I'm fucked if I know what you call the thing that records running hours.

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14 hours ago, Eyersey1234 said:

I've just seen a brand new Yutong airport bus being transported on a low loader. Does anyone know if a vehicle is used solely in an airport going between the terminals etc and never gets used on the public road does it need to be registered?

I saw this going up the M1 last night. 100% zero emissions plastered all over the side.

I do wonder what the eco credentials really are when this thing is absolutely knackered in little time and with zero parts availability.

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15 hours ago, barefoot said:

The TUGs at UPS and a multiplicity of other service vehicles at EMA don't wear number plates, so I guess they're never registered with DVLA.

Yeah I had a summer job there back in the stone age - a lot of the baggage vehicles (one was a Karrier Bantam) were unreg.  - no tax (none needed) as they stayed 100% airside.

Also true for some tractors that never left the farm - in the olden days at least.  My mate bought a 1950s grey Fergie in the late seventies and it got a T suffix plate when he registered it as it was the first DVLA had heard of it.  These days it'd have an age related plate, but that was how it worked then - you used to see 50s Chevies with an S or T suffix as that's when they were first UK registered. 

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19 minutes ago, Ian_Fearn said:

I saw this going up the M1 last night. 100% zero emissions plastered all over the side.

I do wonder what the eco credentials really are when this thing is absolutely knackered in little time and with zero parts availability.

I wondered that too

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Like people have said, short answer is no. The rules of the Airport, particularly airside in the Restricted Zone do not follow those of the public road.

We had a Mercedes Sprinter van that stayed on the field so never wore plates. It had an airport safety test annually but aside from that it was considered like any other piece of equipment on the airfield (and insured as such too, driving anything into an airplane is expensive).

Our fuel tankers had plates but that's because they were owned by the fuel farm and would sometimes need to go on the road. We never did, only airside. Driver licensing was also RZ so I drove a 44 ton fuel truck having passed my airport license and safety.

It's a whole another world inside the RZ. It's almost like it's own country. The rules of the plebs outside need not apply.

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My mate works as a fireman at Glasgow Airport. Their appliances can’t leave the airside area thus any emergencies at the airport that require fire services outside the terminal building are attended by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. Even when the  2005 terror attack occurred the fire service called was the then Strathclyde Fire Brigade. 
 

 

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1 hour ago, GregZX said:

My mate works as a fireman at Glasgow Airport. Their appliances can’t leave the airside area thus any emergencies at the airport that require fire services outside the terminal building are attended by Strathclyde Fire and Rescue. Even when the  2005 terror attack occurred the fire service called was the then Strathclyde Fire Brigade. 
 

 

Any idea if the diesel for vehicles airside is dyed purple?

 

Many years ago I bought a golf diesel from an airport fireman and the fuel filter was stained purple 🤣

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Before I was a bus driver I did eight years airside at Glasgow as a load controller; our airside buses were a couple of DAFs (H104 VUB & R987 FNW) and four Dennis Lances (L21/3 AUS, M726 HHS, K740 YPJ), as was mentioned Edinburgh had some Pointer Darts - M882-4 XSC and N301 HSC from memory.

"Proper" airside buses are generally built to a 3m width and are very difficult, if not impossible to road register as they don't really meet C&U regs.

Generally speaking most of our airside kit was pretty done but a lot of it had been road registered in the past if it wasn't too specialised; it wasn't uncommon for rebodying to happen, where stuff like Air Start Units were mounted on multiple chassis as they tended to last pretty long and were expensive to replace. British Airways registered almost everything until well into the 1990s, ULD loaders, cargo kings, electric tugs, pushback tractors, the lot; I went to the chippy in a Douglas DC10H registered C608 XLF, before it was rapidly deregistered and replated as AV02 212 🤣

We tended to replace the road registrations with fleet number plates when vehicles went airside only, Servisair tended to remove every trace of ID and just number them - this was a requirement for Airside Operations for ID purposes; the same Volvo FL6.17 in three photos here, G635 VMM at Gatwick in Midland livery, then as AV01 635 with aviance, then 29-3744 with Servisair.

@Urkoas an aside, no matter what chassis it actually was, any flatbed baggage lorry in our place - Transits, LDVs, EuroCargos, Ford Cargos, DAF 45s, anything at all - was always referred to as a bantam. It was the end of 2010 when I left...

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When I worked at British Steel in Port Talbot during the summer of 1988 I used to travel around their massive site in a Morris Ital van.  
 

On the road it would have been illegal years earlier, but without the restrictions of being safe or legal, it was free to live out its dotage on the limiter in every gear, bouncing off pot holes on their terrible roads.

Same as airports I guess - private land

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1 hour ago, garethj said:

When I worked at British Steel in Port Talbot during the summer of 1988 I used to travel around their massive site in a Morris Ital van.  
 

On the road it would have been illegal years earlier, but without the restrictions of being safe or legal, it was free to live out its dotage on the limiter in every gear, bouncing off pot holes on their terrible roads.

Same as airports I guess - private land

As somebody who worked for British Steel and it's successors from 1978 until 2016, the fact that Port Talbot didn't quite* apply the companies rules (ie all internal vehicles must be kept to a minimum of MoT standard) isn't a surprise. 

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Luton Airport had odd taste in buses back in the day. They were the one and only UK customer for the Renault PR100, probably for political reasons and not because they were any good as Renault UK's head office was just down the road in Dunstable. Only two others were registered here, both as demonstrators.

Luton Airport G940 LFV

Then there were these beasts, three of them. LHD Mercedes O305Gs with Maxeta Flexibus bodywork built by Lex to a Heuliez design featuring just 35 seats, three doors on the UK offside and two on the nearside. I believe this one was destroyed by Richard Hammond in the Top Gear airport vehicle race.

Luton Airport UBH 394W

Other things I never saw included such delights as Reeve Burgess-bodied Bedford VASs, some hideous Commers and a trio of Leyland Swifts. All long gone and today's airside fleet consists of the usual Cobuses and some of the surplus London Citaro bendies.

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From what I remember the UK registered Renault PR100s were lent out to a few UK operators to try them out but none of them put any orders in.  Quite a modern design for something dating back to the early 1970s, & wouldn't look out of place until low floor buses became standard.   Some were earlier exported to Australia which was why they had a RHD version available.

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13 hours ago, Richard_FM said:

Some were earlier exported to Australia which was why they had a RHD version available.

They were very popular with ACTION, the government run transit body in Canberra.

image.jpeg.30edee2b77f79b05cbaf156d0e274b38.jpeg

The last ACTION PR100 was retired exactly 2 years ago today, 1/7/2020.

CORRECTION: the last MK3 was retired in 2020, but there are still 74 MK2s still in service!

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