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Safety first

The PANTHER at Düsseldorf Airport. A guarantee for safety for 30 years.



No aircraft takes off or lands without an operational fire department! 162 men in two watch departments are employed at Düsseldorf Airport to staff 37 functions around the clock and to ensure aircraft fire protection as well as building fire protection. All of them are highly educated and trained specialists. In an emergency, only one thing counts for them: speed! As soon as the "railroad alarm" sounds, they have to be in their emergency vehicles within 30 seconds and the last vehicle of the firefighting platoon must have left the station. To ensure that they reach every point on the Düsseldorf runway system within three minutes, the target set by the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO), they start from two stations. In the event of an incident on the main runway, they set off from the south fire station; in the event of an incident on the second runway, the firefighting platoon from the north external station is alerted first.


Two ICAO firefighting units

The Düsseldorf Airport Fire Department operates two completely identical ICAO firefighting trains at its two stations. Same vehicles, same technology, same operation. This allows for maximum efficiency and effectiveness during operations, reduces the amount of training required and also proves advantageous during training operations. Each of these firefighting platoons consists of three Rosenbauer top-of-the-line vehicles: two PANTHER 8x8s with roof-mounted launchers and one PANTHER 8x8 with Rosenbauer STINGER extinguishing arm (16.5 vertical and 11.4 horizontal reach). Together, they have around 43,000 liters of extinguishing agent (37,500 liters of water, 4,500 liters of foam agent and 750 kg of extinguishing powder) on board, which can be deployed in less than 90 seconds when the need arises.


Düsseldorf Airport thus meets the guidelines of the European aviation authority EASA and those of the ICAO for an airport in fire protection category 9, at which aircraft of the size of the Boeing 747-400 are allowed to land/take off. The fact that flights of the Airbus A380 (ICAO category 10) can also be handled at the largest airport in North Rhine-Westphalia is possible not least because the fire department has vehicles with an extinguishing arm with which it can also carry out firefighting from above in the case of wide-bodied aircraft.


One of the safest airports

Düsseldorf Airport, with its sophisticated alarm and information system (28,000 fire detectors, 3,500 fire extinguishers of all sizes, 9,000 loudspeakers, automatic smoke extraction systems, elevator and escape door control, etc.), is considered one of the safest airports in the world. Nevertheless, the airport fire department is equipped for all eventualities. In addition to aircraft fire protection, it provides fire protection for buildings and is also responsible for rescue services, in the event of hazardous materials accidents and for all types of technical assistance. Its fleet of vehicles therefore also includes its own building firefighting platoon, which is stationed in the immediate vicinity of the terminal complex at the South Fire Station and comprises two auxiliary firefighting vehicles, also from Rosenbauer, and a turntable ladder as its main emergency vehicles. In addition, the fire department operates four ambulances, two of which are manned around the clock, and for special situations has swap-body vehicles with thematically loaded roll-off containers (respiratory protection, command and control, rescue, rescue equipment) and special equipment vehicles.


In addition to the two ICAO fire engines, the fire department's fleet also includes a Rosenbauer E5000 rescue staircase to enable safe access to the aircraft and to evacuate passengers quickly via the exits without having to activate the emergency slides.


AAs an integral part of its training operations, the fire department has been using a PANTHER tactics and driving simulator since 2019, on which the entire airport is displayed digitally and realistically.


45-year collaboration

Rosenbauer has maintained a similarly long and continuous collaboration with no other airport in the world as with Düsseldorf Airport. The first Rosenbauer airport fire fighting vehicles were procured as early as 1976, and the first PANTHER was ordered in 1995. Since 2003, the fleet for aircraft fire protection has consisted exclusively of PANTHER, and in 2013 the 999th anniversary vehicle of the series was put into service. The last two PANTHER for the time being were delivered in 2018/2019. They are from the fourth and thus latest generation and replace two PANTHER from 2003, meaning that Düsseldorf Airport now has one of the most modern PANTHER fleets in the world.

All generations of the PANTHER at Düsseldorf Airport.

All generations of the PANTHER at Düsseldorf Airport

The front of the PANTHER presents itself in all its beauty.

The front of the PANTHER presents itself in all its beauty

At full speed.

At full speed

The latest generation of the PANTHER for Düsseldorf Airport.

The latest generation of the PANTHER for Düsseldorf Airport

No compromise on safety.

When it comes to safety, we make no compromises and only operate state-of-the-art vehicles and equipment. Every PANTHER generation so far - and we've had all four in service - has set new benchmarks for airport fire fighting vehicles. Not only have the vehicles become more powerful and the firefighting technology easier and more precise to operate, but crew safety on the approach and during firefighting campaigns has also been significantly improved.
Thomas Jeziorek, Chief of the airport fire department Düsseldorf