Weihai, China-headquartered GSE manufacturer Weihai Guangtai Airport Equipment Co is seeing strong growth for its wide range of GSE products and is adapting its product offering to meet changing customer requirements
Ben Xu, general manager of Weihai Guangtai’s International Business Division, and public relations manager Genna Liu tell Airside that the performance of the Guangtai group was – unsurprisingly – affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, although the last year has seen a return to significant growth in its international GSE business.
Indeed, “The overall development trend of Guangtai’s international business in 2023 has now exceeded pre-pandemic levels, and it is estimated that our business performance could reach more than three times that of last year,” they point out.
Demand for Weihai Guangtai’s products is growing globally, not just in one particular region, Xu and Liu continue, creating “the outstanding growth of international orders [enjoyed by] Guangtai this year”.
Weihai Guangtai is a one-stop service provider of a wide range of GSE. Its conveyor belt loaders, container/pallet loaders and aircraft tow tractors are currently in short supply but in high demand, the two inform.
Weihai Guangtai is also moving with the times. Many countries and whole regions of the world are switching to electric GSE, Xu and Liu note. Meanwhile, “In China, the demand for electric products in the airport sector is higher than that for diesel, due to the support of some government policies.
“Environmental protection and energy conservation are the themes for the future development of the aviation industry,” they suggest.
“We already have a range of electric GSE, like our Leap Tiger [electric pushback], e-GPU [electric ground power unit], electric container/pallet loader, and others, and we will develop more new electric products in the future.
“Our electric aircraft de-icer is popular, and customers who buy this are usually located in colder areas. Our electric de-icer is a reliable helper in any cold winter and offers high efficiency – 85 degrees Centigrade heating in less than three minutes.”
Meanwhile, “Safety has always been a major concern for electric products. Electric GSE equipped with advanced safety devices is necessary. Guangtai e-power GSE currently adopts CATL LFP [lithium iron phosphate] batteries with an IP68 protection level. Plus, automatic fire suppression, aircraft damage prevention systems and so on can ensure the safety of equipment during operations.”
Weihai Guangtai’s all-new battery recharging and swapping station has been successfully developed and launched on the market. “Some airports have purchased it for use with high praise,” say Xu and Liu.
The battery recharging and swapping station is not all that Weihai Guangtai has recently developed. Over the past two years, “We have conducted product R&D [research and development] and upgrading to meet market requirements.
“In terms of autonomous technology, we have collaborated with the leading companies in autonomous technology and have made breakthroughs in its application for our baggage tractors. Furthermore, other products such as our container/pallet loader and aircraft tow tractors, amongst others, may also be equipped with autonomous technology.
“Our new boarding bridge is now available on the market, and some customers have placed orders to purchase it. We can also provide an integrated passenger boarding system including boarding bridge, solid state converter, cable retriever, aircraft air conditioning and management system,” Xu and Liu inform.