Dungannon, Northern Ireland-based GSE manufacturer Mallaghan has launched a new brand of eco-friendly and electric equipment. Its i-tec range will encompass GSE involved in ground handling, cargo handling, passenger transportation, aircraft catering and cleaning, and maintenance
The new i-tec GSE will be developed at Mallaghan’s manufacturing facilities in Northern Ireland and in Georgia, in the south-eastern US.
Director Niall Mallaghan comments: “New technology and alternative energies will be two of the most significant drivers as the aviation industry strives to reduce carbon emissions.
“We are therefore very proud to play our part in this by developing electric GSE that will help our customers achieve their environmental targets and responsibly future-proof their operations.
“Mallaghan undertook significant research to understand the unique needs and requirements of our aviation colleagues, and these findings were central to the development of our i-tec portfolio,” he continues.
“Details of the electric products have been warmly welcomed by customers who are now looking to the future after an incredibly difficult year.”
Niall Mallaghan tells Airside that the company is developing electric GSE with both lithium and lead acid batteries as their power source, depending on which battery type best suits its customers’ operations. “Electric-powered vehicles and GSE is gaining momentum in all our markets and is doing so worldwide,” he advises. “A few of the ground handing companies have set carbon-free dates, so I guess [they are] leading the way, but other ground handling companies are definitely also making enquiries of us with regards to electric GSE.”
Niall Mallaghan adds: “Innovation for aviation has been the motto at Mallaghan since our inception in the 1990s, and the electrification of our product ranges is a significant step for the company.
“We have always sought to provide GSE to our customers that not only supports their operational requirements but also assists with achieving their organisational objectives. With sustainability high up on the aviation agenda, we’re delighted to play a role in supporting our partners meet their green targets.”
The i-tec brand is building on current strength within Mallaghan, which already offers a wide range of GSE that can be powered electrically, including its apron bus, its Bendibelt aircraft baggage loading equipment and both towable and self-propelled passenger stairs. The rollout of i-tec equipment already takes in deliveries of passenger stairs to markets including Scandinavia, Dublin in Ireland, the UK and Italy. An electric bus is also expected to be delivered to an airport in London as this magazine prepares for publication.
Overcoming difficult times
The i-tec brand is just one example of how Mallaghan has innovated in what is an incredibly challenging time for the aviation industry and those manufacturers that support it.
“The aviation sector has had a tough 18 months and I don’t think anyone has escaped,” Niall Mallaghan observes. “We were fortunate to have a very large order book prior to the lockdowns and have also used our time to carry out product improvements as well as production improvements by installing the latest steel-cutting machinery, including a tube laser and other computer programs to aid production systems.”
And, despite the market downturn, demand has held up relatively well in the US, and Mallaghan has also received significant orders from the UK and Middle East in recent times.
“Every new day now is a day closer to the end of this pandemic and the new normal, whatever that will be,” Niall Mallaghan notes. “But aviation will thrive, as we all by human nature want to travel, whether for holidays or business, and love the feeling of getting away to visit relatives and foreign countries.
“Mallaghan too will thrive and is very well placed to provide both diesel and electric GSE for airport needs, thanks to our worldwide office locations, large modern production factories and our great staff to make it all happen,” he concludes.
Mallaghan’s global network of customers includes airlines, airports and ground handling agents (GHAs). Today, operators of Mallaghan GSE include Aer Lingus, British Airways (part of IAG), China Eastern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad, Menzies Aviation, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Ryanair, SAS and Swissport.