In a significant move to enhance its emergency response capabilities and improve airfield safety, Rwanda Airports Company (RAC) has partnered with RESQTEC, a leading Dutch company specializing in aircraft recovery solutions. The collaboration aims to equip Kigali International Airport with cutting-edge aircraft recovery equipment, training, and services, reducing the impact of runway excursions and minimizing runway closure time following incidents.
Through the acquisition of RESQTEC’s latest aircraft recovery technologies, including the innovative R2S lifting system, Kigali International Airport is projected to reduce runway closure time by over 50% after an incident. The R2S lifting system has been specifically designed to facilitate controlled and continuous lifting in a single operation, accommodating the new generation of larger and heavier aircraft with innovative wing designs. This advanced equipment is quick, user-friendly, and highly durable, enabling the swift removal of disabled aircraft without compromising stability or incurring secondary damages.
The partnership between Rwanda Airports Company and RESQTEC was forged during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kigali from 20 to 25 June 2022. RESQTEC provided dedicated equipment, comprehensive training, and on-site expertise to ensure Rwanda Airports Company’s staff were well-prepared for any potential scenarios during the event, demonstrating RESQTEC’s commitment to safety and preparedness.
Charles Habonimana, the Managing Director of Rwanda Airports Company, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “Rwanda Airports Company is thrilled to acquire RESQTEC’s cutting-edge aircraft recovery technologies. This strategic investment propels us to the forefront of airfield safety innovation, paving the way for a remarkable reduction of over 50% in runway closure time following any unforeseen incidents.”
Habonimana further highlighted the significance of the partnership, stating, “With this groundbreaking technology at our disposal, Rwanda Airports Company demonstrates unwavering commitment to enhancing our emergency response capabilities, ensuring the utmost safety of our airports and passengers. As a result, we are now better equipped than ever before to swiftly and effectively address aircraft incidents across all our facilities. Moreover, we stand poised to share our invaluable expertise with our neighbors in the region should the need arise. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, we aim to fortify the entire aviation ecosystem, cultivating a safer and more resilient environment for all.”
Martijn Poen, the International Sales Manager at RESQTEC, expressed pride in Rwanda Airports Company’s decision to adopt their aircraft recovery solutions, stating, “We are very proud that Rwanda Airports Company has chosen RESQTEC’s aircraft recovery solutions as part of their effort to prepare their airport for incidents with disabled aircraft. With their investment and future development plans, Rwanda sets the standard for aircraft recovery preparedness in Africa. RESQTEC is honored to be part of that process.”
The project reached completion on July 7, 2023, following the successful delivery, commissioning of the equipment, and training of the dedicated aircraft recovery team at Rwanda Airports Company.