The beautiful landscaping and clean surroundings on the approach roads leading to T3 give a world class feel as one drives through to the international airport. These approach roads are maintained by Lion Services.
Lion Services has been associated with the airport in all three areas – air side, building and the land side. Responsible for the maintenance of the approach roads to T3, Subhash Soni, General Manager, says it’s a demanding job. This long stretch is also a convenient place to park vehicles. “People park at a short distance from the airport building and tend to litter that place. Until people learn to park at the right place and not litter anywhere, regular cleaning & maintenance is essential to retain the beauty of these roads.” Lion Services is maintaining not just the roads, but also the water bodies, signages, the footpaths and the infrastructure. Since these are high speed roads, cleaning machines have to be deployed. “We have over 100 people engaged in cleaning. We are also looking at bringing in better technology for better results. We have five sweeping machines running in T1, T2 and T3 besides high pressure jet for doing the storm water draining, streetscape furniture, bus stops and footpaths.
“The sweeping machines run at a slow pace 24/7 amid fast moving vehicles. We are planning to put traffic indicators and manage traffic on these roads for undeterred operations of cleaning and smooth flow of vehicles.
“We are also running a patrol van in order to assist any breakdowns or accidents or guide people who have lost their way on these roads. Being a landside operator, we feel it our duty to be of assistance. We not only want to do what is expected of us but much more than that.”
In the last couple of months, there have been two accidents on these roads. A timely help could go a long way in assisting the victims or in directing the road traffic. Similarly, the high pressure truck mounted jet machines deployed by us for cleaning are of a much higher capacity than required. “In case there is flooding or a choke, our suction machine could assist in clearing it up.” This high pressure jetting-cum-suction machine of TPS can do high pressure washing, suction and line clean-up too. “As part of our role in spreading awareness, we want to discourage people from throwing plastic bottle and bags into the storm water drains. These tend to choke the bell mouth. We will be putting up picturesque messages at the bell mouth to make people understand. Besides, we will also be clearing it periodically.”
The experience of working with T3 is like giving an examination that one has to pass every day – three shifts per day for 365 days. It’s very tough property to maintain with auditing being done each day or rather each moment. Every passenger’s satisfaction matters, says Soni.
After the approach roads, the most critical areas to be maintained at an airport are the apron and runway. The pavement consists of taxiways, runways, parking bays, aerobridges and the baggage make-up & break-up areas. All these together form the apron in an airport. “Simply put apron cleaning basically involves cleaning of the floor surface of the pavement besides cleaning of the perimeter or service roads running along the pavement,” explains Atif Ansari, Regional Manager-Operations, A.L.L. Services Under 1 Roof (I) Pvt Ltd. The apron area of T1, T2 and T3 at the IGIA, Delhi, is being maintained by All Services.
Oil spills are a common sight in the pavement area which needs to be constantly monitored. Such spills should be controlled and treated instantly. “The moment oil spillage is spotted it has to be removed, as it could be a fire hazard. We use various methods to stop it from spreading, like putting sawdust, soaking pads or using Spiral (Diversey) or Wizzard (Roots Multiclean Ltd) chemicals to loosen the hardness of the oil on the rough floor. Thereafter, the spot needs to be scrubbed, cleaned and treated with chemicals. We have around seven mechanical sweeping machines of Schmidt, supplied by Manmachine India; TPS Infrastructure Ltd, Delhi; and Yantai (a Chinese machine purchased at the 2009 Clean India Pulire Show in Mumbai).” It is necessary to have machines with bigger suction capacity, given the time restriction. “Machines with at least five cubic metre suction capacity, are good. This is because we get to clean the bay in about an hour or two. Cleaning the entire surface within the stipulated time is a challenge. High capacity machines speed up the cleaning. We are also in the process of procuring more sweepers with increased suction power.”
Besides oil spillage, the clearing of the FOD (foreign object damage) is equally critical. Sweeping machines designed for airport cleaning have magnetic suction power which is required to clear objects like FODs. “These machines have side and front brushes with good suction power and are ideal.”
About 300 staff, including 16 supervisors and several operators, work in three shifts to clean 16 lakh sqm area. “Besides, sweeping machines, we also have four scrubber-driers for the baggage make-up and break-up area and floor areas; four Dulevo industrial vacuum cleaners and four high pressure jet diesel-operated machines of Inventa for cleaning of bays. The jet machine comes with the option of both hot and cold water.
“At all the three terminals, T1, T2 and T3, we work on a rotation by cleaning up about three aerobridges, three bays and baggage area per day, besides doing spot cleaning as per requirement and deep cleaning as per schedule. T3 is equipped with accessories like water supply outlets and power connections which help save time.”