Paul Ayers says grass control at airports is crucial to reduce the incidence of bird strikes, which are highly dangerous for aircraft. In New Zealand alone, there are about 1000 incidents reported each year.
“Birds become a problem if grass is too long, too short, or the ground is gouged bare by machinery.”
“The Airport Express is designed to meet the diverse challenges and requirements head on. It can cut in any conditions, right through the wettest times of the year, meaning uninterrupted mowing which provides great efficiencies and savings for airports,” says Paul Ayers.
The Airport Express is based on a four-wheel 70hp tractor chassis built in Austria for alpine use. Its hydraulic cutting decks are made from carbon-fibre interwoven with kevlar. Fieldmaster has applied for a patent for the mower’s ground-following system which instantly adjusts to fluctuations in the ground being mowed.
The mower drivers have a range of technology at their fingertips including digital monitoring of the revolutions per minute and input pressures of each hydraulic cutting head, enabling optimisation of cutting speed to the conditions – essential in the dark, when most critical cutting by the runway is done.
Fieldmaster director Myles Cooper says: “Our initial target market is airports in New Zealand, Australia and Asia, but there is significant export potential for municipal bodies, schools and sports clubs which have large grounds to maintain.”
Fieldmaster is owned by the New Zealand-based investment syndicate Challenge Partners, whose private backers support New Zealand industry and have a healthy desire for innovation. Fieldmaster’s sister company LEP Engineering plastics recently unveiled a leading 3D scanner for its machining and prototyping solutions.