International Airport Fire Engines

International civil aviation regulator ICAO has available specific rules such as Annex 14, Chapter 9 for implementing rescue and firefighting operations at airports, such as response time not exceeding three minutes or having minimum capacity and discharge rates based on airport size. You can download a copy of ICAO Annex 14 here.

[Redacted: While as far as we know there are no international standards for firefighting operations at airports, it is interesting to note how similar they all are - after all, all international airlines landing at United States airports have to be approved as having safe aircraft, and there are several things to note about them: they are big, they carry a lot of people, and ignition is always a likely possibility.]

The China Airlines Flight 120 incident on August 20, 2007 required rapid intervention and rescue and ultimately saved the lives of all 165 passengers after it caught fire. Image courtesy of runner301.

Here at we’ve highlighted some of our finds worldwide. Nearly all airport fire apparatus carry some form of foam - usually, Class B foam - which suppress the volatility of flammable liquids and vapors. We’ve also noticed that the Austrian company Rosenbauer is the leading manufacturer and provider of choice at many international airports.

A Rosenbauer ‘Simba’ tender operating out of Frankfurt am Main Airport, for which it was specially designed. Courtesy of Peter von Marion.

A Scania P380 6×6 short cab vehicle operating out of Oskarshamns, Sweden. Photo courtesy of Scania group.

Another Rosenbauer unit at Delhi International Airport. Photo courtesy of vm2827.

A German Lentner “Avenger” airport crash tender built on a Dutch space-frame Terberg 6×6 chassis at the Bydgoszcz Szwederowo Airport, Poland. It can carry up to 12,000 liters of water as well as 1,500 liters of foam. Image courtesy of corarz.

30-ton Carmichael International Cobra 2 fire engines at Manchester Airport, UK. Image courtesy of DM Aviation Images.

Another Carmichael unit with a different paint job at the East Midlands Airport in the UK. Photo courtesy of John Hartley.

Fire training at Schipol Airport, Amsterdam. Image courtesy of virtualpilot88.

Oshkosh Striker 1500 ARFF Truck 815 of Portland Airport Fire Rescue in the United States. Oshkosh is a familiar manufacturer in the United States for heavy duty vehicles as airport emergency trucks. Courtesy of F18E777.

An airport fire service lifting unit from Italy, on tour in Hanover, Germany. Image courtesy of tragesessel4350.

A Rosenbauer ‘Tiger’ unit at Bengaluru International Airport, Bangalore, India. Image courtesy of photoyogi.

Notice the similarity between the unit in Bangalore with this one in service at Dubai International Airport, a Rosenbauer ‘Panther’ 8×8 unit. It weighs nearly 40 tons, and has a a capacity of 3,830 gallons (14,500 liters) of fire extinguishing agents and a maximum speed of 87 mph (140 km/h). It won gold at the International Design Excellence Award in 2008.
Photo courtesy of tragesessel4350.

What I believe to be a Unipower chassis - fabricated by UMW Wagon Engineering, at a Malaysian airport. Image courtesy of Nick.

Iveco Magirus’s Super Dragon X8. Iveco manufactures a lot of mainland Europe’s fire engines. Image courtesy of Jacopo Prisco.

A Rosenbauer unit with telesquirt at Macau International Airport. Courtesy of Melinda.

A pair of E-One Titan HPR spotted at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands. It has a pump capacity of 7800 lpm and can carry 11750 litres of water. Photo courtesy of Netherlands Air Force 001.

There you have a fairly comprehensive survey of the different apparatus you might see as you land at the next airport. Hopefully you won’t be seeing them headed to your aircraft, however!

Update: If you’re interested in reading more about standards and protocols that are upheld by the FAA, read the Airport Emergency Plan Advisory Circular 150, released September 1999, in PDF form here.

21 Responses to “International Airport Fire Engines”

  1. In reference to one of your photos. I think the umw wagon engineering vehicle is based on a 8×8 MAN chassis. my reasons for saying this is that it has the wrong type axles and engine behind the cab. The engine behind the cab is a dead give away for me.I worked for unipower for 13 years in prototype and production of all vehicles that were produced. I hope this helps.
    Best regauds

  2. It is very interesting collection of Air Field Crash Fire Tenders provided by you ,but the opening statement indicates that you are not aware about airport fire fighting standards. Internation Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO Annexe 14 and Doc 9137 part 1 specifies the international standards for Rescue and fire fighting vehicle for airports,and that’s why they all look almost similar. FAA standards 414 also specifes in detail the technical capability of the fire figting vehicles, The advancement inthe technology and upgradation of the airports made a revelution, in these monster fire fighting vehicles

  3. I am totally agree with above remarks, All airport emergency responding services have been specified for its appliances, equipments and manning and certified by ICAO and Civil Aviation certifing bodies of respective nation.

  4. DEAR SIR,

  5. ah !! those austrians always making good trucks

  6. A Rosenbauer unit with telesquirt at Macau International Airport.

    You wrote this as your description…

    The unit is a SNOZZLE not a Telesquirt…

  7. Beautiful trucks.
    Rosenbauer is the best in all over the world.


  8. I like receive arff ,aircraft fireman aircraft airport, video, cd, dvd. Thank you. JR


  9. Would anybody have images of the RFW fire tenders that the malaysian & New Zealand Air Forces had in the late 1970’s?
    They where Hand built in Sydney Australia by Bob Whitehead (R.F.W.)

  10. I am currently working on a comprehensive history of airport and military airfield fire apparatus. I would like to obtain additional photographs and information on the apparatus shown in this website article. I look forward to hearing from interested parties in this regard.

    Previous books published include the History of the Kennedy Space Center Fire Department, Navy and Marine Corps Fire Apparatus, Firefighters, Firefighting With Henry’s Model T.

    Thank You

  11. My father-in-law was an airport fireman during the war, and still can’t resist an airport fire truck. We went to a recent open day at an RAF base and he managed to get in the cab of something like one of these. He was there for over an hour and was like a dog with two tails !

  12. I would like to receive training videos on bombeioros airports and aeronautical emergency operation with fire.

  13. I am the Manager of the Rescue and Fire Fighting Service, Airports Fiji Limited, Nandi International Airport, Fiji Islands and am shopping around for 4×4 & 6×6 ARFFS Fire Trucks and Rescue Boats for our airport.
    HISTORY : 1950′S - We had the American Marmon Herringtons & the International Harvesters R-160’s & R-190,s; In the 1970,s we had the British Thornycrofts; And in the 1980’s, we had the SIDES of France; Finally in the 1990,s we are currently using the E-One 8×8 & 4×4,s. Any suggestions, please as we want to have a steady Replacement programme.

  14. We are currently needing 2x rosenbauer fire trucks to operate on our Moro Airport for Oil Search Limited PNG due to worlds’ largest Gas prject/LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) in Papua New Guinea.

    If you are selling one or two of your rosenbauers please, let me know and we’ll be interested come around and have a look.

    Your response is very much appreciated.
    Mr Berry Ogla

  15. All beautiful trucks! Rosenbauer the best!

  16. Hansa is looking for 2 airport fire engines:-
    1.Large 12,000lt water/foam type
    2. Smaller Rapid responce vehicle.
    Please send tech specs and price quotation.
    Thank you,
    Brian Woods
    Airport Systems
    La Paz - Bolivia

  17. Hi

    Abdul Gafoor,RAK International Airport on August 11,2010 at 0527am
    I am the HOD of the ARFFS at RAK International Airport.
    The Rosen Bauer 6×6 Panthers which is I have in my fleet is just great.These trucks meet all the mandatory requirements as per regulations.Also they looks beautiful.

  18. A very extensive variety of “mean machines”. You should get the new Oshkosh Striker into the gallery, it was shown at Interschutz 2010. Rosenbauer is a top of the line builder, but there are many others; Iveco/Magirus, Oshkosh, Zeigler, Sides, and more. A Spanish builder, Iturri, has built a number of units for Spanish civil and military aviation and exports to several countries.

  19. In response to Bob Killen, I have a good supply of Gloster Saro crash truck photographs, 1973-1997, are these of interest ?



  21. We have a Unipower rescue tender which was purchased in 1992 from Carmichael. Now the problem are breaks but the it self is very strong . The spairs are not found within reach. Does Carmichael have agents in Southern Africa?

    M . Chilota

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