Frankfurt airport is one of the world’s most important air traffic hubs. The airport saw 58 million passengers in 2013 alone. In addition, there were 473,000 take-offs and landings, two million tonnes of air freight and 20,000 employees. The airport also plays an important role in international transfer. Almost every second passenger is passing through and transfers in Frankfurt. Given the expected major increase in air traffic the airport will be further expanded by 2015.
However, the massive air traffic is also a burden on the people in the region. The wake vortex of aircraft frequently tears tiles off the roofs of houses in the airport corridor which were constructed before 2007. These tiles often land on the ground. The wake vortexes are tubular, counter-rotating air turbulences which are created by the difference in air pressure behind an aircraft when taking off or landing. This turbulence can vary in size depending on the strength of the wind and the weight of the aircraft. To protect the residents and their roofs, the Hessian State Government and Fraport AG hired the roofing company, Klemens Ott, to implement a roof protection program unique in Germany.
“As a long-standing family-owned company, we have a lot of experience and an extensive knowledge of the roofing trade. Yet this job presents its own additional challenges. We secure the tiles on the roofs of houses whose inhabitants would prefer that the aircraft were not flying at all. This requires a lot of tact and consideration when carrying out the work”, explains the Managing Director, Peter J. Ott. Despite the difficult situation, Peter J. Ott and his roughly 40-person team succeed in securing one or two roofs every week. The company’s Sprinter is a constant companion.”We have relied on vans from Mercedes-Benz for 20 years. We need vehicles which are durable, robust, safe and provide plenty of cargo space. We are very demanding when it comes to driver comfort, fuel consumption and range because we travel roughly 100 km to Frankfurt and back every day. The Sprinter fulfils all of our requirements and the value for money is also excellent!” explains Peter J. Ott. “This means we are perfectly equipped to handle the roughly 600 to 700 houses whose roof tiles we will have to fit and secure in the coming months and years.”
Photos: Deutschen Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.