Faster, higher, further: Mexico City International Airport, or MEX for short. With over 41 million passengers every year, the airport is Mexico's most important interchange. With this much traffic, reliable personnel are a must. Roughly 1000 people are out there daily, keeping "Benito Juárez International Airport", as it is known officially, running smoothly. One of these people is Sergio Garcia. As General Director, the Mexican works in so-called "Passenger Moving Service", a type of passenger transport between the terminal and the plane. This transfer is offered exclusively to VIPs and last-minute guests. On these exclusive special transfers, during which Garcia takes his guests directly to the gangway, not a thing may go wrong. Frequently, every second counts, so the passengers have to get into the shuttle quickly. In addition to quick access, they need sufficient space for their hand luggage. And obviously, safety is the top priority. Garcia and his colleagues therefore count on a partner they know will be a reliable support for these special transfers: the Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz. As special tasks often call for special measures, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in action at MEX have undergone a general overhaul - and received very untypical interior fittings.
With the seats reversed and in a U-shape, the seating in the Sprinter has been reorganized to give passengers and their belongings more space, making the ride more comfortable. UHF radio, a rear camera and air conditioning are just a few of the available functions for the convenience of the drivers and their guests. Why isn't this seating arrangement installed for normal road traffic? Sergio Garcia knows the answer: "The maximum speed on the airfield is 20 km/h. The safety of our passengers is not at risk at this slow speed. In everyday life, however, this constellation would be unthinkable!"
Flexibility and reliability are the basic prerequisites for the MEX fleet of vehicles. This is not always easy, due largely to the climatic conditions the Sprinter are exposed to: 0°C in the morning, up to 40°C close to the plane - extreme fluctuations in temperature such as these are not uncommon in the Mexican capital. A particular challenge for the engines in the Sprinter; they have to adjust to the ambient conditions within a very short time. And that's not all: Mexico's natural catastrophes make additional demands on both man and machine. Earthquakes and floods - precise handling of these situations is planned at MEX with the help of safety protocols. "This is a good moment to also mention the air pollution caused by the plane turbines," says Sergio Garcia, seriously. "These are all uncommon conditions in which the Sprinter have to operate. They continue to surprise us, though, and never fail us, even under the most difficult conditions."
In plain terms: a lot of demands are placed on MEX' own fleet of vehicles. Sergio Garcia knows why he ultimately opted for the Mercedes star. His superiors also tested other vans, he admits. "But the Sprinter easily scored best. They offer a high level of comfort and excellent safety."
MEX has relied on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter for eleven years already - and now has four vehicles in its fleet. According to Sergio Garcia, this number will change in the not too distant future. Garcia reveals: "We would like to extend our fleet of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter in the future."
Photos: Sergio Garcia