SOURCE: Los Angeles World Airports

September 14, 2006 11:35 ET

Los Angeles Airport Receives Alternative-Fuel Airfield Buses

Articulated Bus Fleet Arrives to Serve New Large Aircraft

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 14, 2006 -- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has received 12 higher-capacity airfield buses from North American Bus Industries, Inc. (NABI), with a capacity of over 100 passengers that operate on compressed natural gas (CNG).

At a cost of $659,000, each bus has seating for 22 plus standing capacity of 80 with carry-on bags including space for wheelchairs, strollers, etc. There are two wheelchair ramps.

The new higher-capacity airfield buses are needed to accommodate the arrival of new large aircraft, such as the Airbus 380, that will begin service at LAX. Seven international air carriers have announced plans to operate the A-380, starting in the spring of 2007 through 2010. The A-380 can carry between 555 and 800 passengers, depending upon seating configuration.

These new 60-foot-long articulating buses will transport passengers between the terminals and the remote boarding gates more efficiently than using the airport's existing fleet of 20 airfield buses that accommodate 60 to 80 passengers each. These new buses replace five 22-year-old diesel buses that are at the end of their operating service life.

"The new buses are state-of the-art, alternative fuel, ADA compliant, fully air-conditioned and will be useful on and off the airfield if there is a diversion for on-airport activity," said Mark Baskin, a bus operator supervisor. "LAX bus operations logged 659 operations carrying 123,282 passengers in April alone so these buses will more easily accomplish that."

"I believe the low-floor 60-BRT is a unique fit for airfield shuttle service," said Bill Coryell, NABI vice president of Sales. "The low-floor entry at all doors and smooth, quiet ride on these air-conditioned vehicles will ease passenger accessibility and transport to and from remote terminals."

Built in Anniston, Ala., by NABI and driven to the facilities of its regional service division in Ontario, Calif., as part of the company's road test program, the buses were then delivered to LAX.

There are nine security cameras on each bus as an extra security measure for personal safety of the passengers.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is committed to identifying and replacing fossil-fuel vehicles and equipment with alternative-fuel models. LAWA currently operates over 500 alternative-fuel vehicles in its fleet. Alternative fuels include liquefied natural gas (LNG), liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), CNG, electricity, solar power and hydrogen fuel cell. All of the buses in this purchase will be powered with CNG and will be configured to comply with access requirements mandated in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Los Angeles World Airports is a City of Los Angeles department that owns and operates four facilities: Los Angeles International, Ontario International, Palmdale Regional and Van Nuys Airports.