In June 2021 the County of Cornwall hosted the G7 summit of world leaders. Cornwall Airport Newquay was upgraded to CAA CAT 9 status to cover this prestigious event and the Venari Group loaned the airport a new Ziegler Z-Class Z6 ARFF vehicle, ahead of its official UK launch, to add resilience to their existing fleet. They are officially the first airport in the UK to evaluate the new Z-Class in a fully operational setting and over an extended period.
The 47th G7 summit was held on 11–13 June 2021 in Carbis Bay in Cornwall. The G7, or Group of Seven, consists of Great Britain, Canada, France, the USA, Italy, Germany and Japan. Each year a member state acts as president and hosts the G7 leaders’ summit between heads of state and representatives of the European Union. This year Great Britain is acting as president and Carbis Bay was chosen as the location to hold this prestigious event. The Prime Minister Boris Johnson also invited the leaders from India, South Korea, South Africa (Cyril Ramaphosa) and Australia to attend, discuss and agree on action on the world’s greatest challenges. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II also hosted the G7 world leaders at an evening reception. Three generations of the royal family were present at this event at the world-famous Eden Project for the presidents and their partners.
Planning for this event started way in advance of the planned summit and intensified as the months ticked away. From January 2021 there were multi-agency meetings at different levels every week but due to the ongoing pandemic and social distancing guidelines the majority of these meetings took place via Microsoft Teams.
Representatives from Cornwall Council EM, the Environment Agency, the Military, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, the NHS, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, Public Health England, all utilities, the Met Office, Government officials, Highways England, Cornwall Airport Newquay and Exeter International Airport were all actively involved.
It is reported that the final security bill to cover this major event exceeded over £70 million! Over 6,000 police officers were drafted into Cornwall from every Force across England and Wales plus Police Scotland to keep law and order and to provide close protection to the attending global leaders plus members of the royal family.
The British Armed Forces also provided a range of visual capabilities including various Royal Navy vessels anchored off the Cornish coast, logistics support facilities and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams. Other local measures included significant pre-planned road closures, manned security checkpoints and the installation of temporary steel fences across the seaside resort of Carbis Bay.
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, HM Coastguard and the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service also provided significant additional resources at key locations in the county to cover the risks arising from this ‘once in a lifetime event’ for the County of Cornwall.
A key contributor to the success of this summit was Cornwall Airport Newquay, which was temporarily upgraded from CAA CAT 6 to CAT 9 status to accommodate the larger aircraft movements. After a very lean period of business for all airports as a direct result of the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, the G7 summit resulted in this airport’s busiest five-day period on record.
In anticipation of the arrival of much larger aircraft and the need to park many types of aircraft at the airport at one time, late in 2020 the airport was awarded £7.8 million of funding by the UK government to improve, strengthen and to resurface specific taxiways plus existing aircraft stands. Official statistics record 152 aircraft movements over the period of the summit which included Boeing 747, 757, 777-300 ER aircraft and multiple USAF C17 aircraft movement (plus significant heli-ops). An interesting statistic emerging from the event highlights that the airport on a day-to-day basis maintains a static fuel reserve of 150,000 litres, but with intricate delivery schedules and the addition of ‘bridging bowsers’ this was increased to meet demand to the magic figure of 1 million litres of availability, for the period of the summit.
From Wednesday, 9 June through to Sunday, 13 June, Cornwall Airport Newquay Fire and Rescue Service upgraded from CAA CAT6 to CAT 9 status to cover the main days for the arrivals and the departures of the ‘missions’ (VVIPs). An annual leave embargo was imposed at the AFS from 8 to 15 June to ensure sufficient staffing availability and the three watches of nine crew were reduced to two watches of 12; blue watch being split between red and white watches for the temporary CAT 9 status. Additionally Exeter International Airport Fire and Rescue Service made available RFFS staff on ‘standby’ for resilience and two of their firefighters actually covered two night shifts.
In order for the AFS to maintain this enhanced category in the event of one of their own fire engines going off the run, various UK fire engine manufacturers were contacted for the loan and support of a major ARFF vehicle for the key days of the event. Venari Group headed by Oliver North was quick to respond with a very interesting proposal.
They guaranteed the airport the loan of a brand new Ziegler Z-Class Z6 demonstrator, ahead of its scheduled arrival in the UK later that month for its official launch at the Airport Fire Officers Association mini conference on 29 June. The offer of this Z-Class demonstrator was kindly accepted by the airport and Venari and Ziegler arranged for the transportation of the Z6 into the UK from Germany in good time for the G7 summit. Venari also provided two of their own skilled engineers for on-site crew familiarisation plus the support of this state-of-the-art fire truck while it was in Cornwall. They even went to the trouble of branding the Z6 in the Cornwall Airport Newquay livery, which was a great touch.
Cornwall Airport Newquay Fire and Rescue Service can boast being the first UK airport fire service to successfully evaluate the new Ziegler Z-Class Z6 in an operational setting and over a successful extended period.
The Ziegler Z-Class of ARFF vehicles was first launched at Interschutz 1988 in Hannover. Nürnberg Airport in Germany received the Z1 in 1990 and also the first prototype Z8 in 1992. The latest generation of the Z-Class was officially introduced in September 2020. It is of a modular concept available in 4×4, 6×6 and 8×8 configurations – manufactured in accordance with ICAO on a uniform platform. The new Z-Class incorporates Ziegler’s latest innovations including the all new Z-Cab AiR crew safety cabin, Z-Control operating software concept, the innovative Z-Vision signal and lighting system plus this new eye-catching GRP top-deck hamper design. The Z-Class is available with multiple options to suit individual customers’ exact requirements and it exceeds the requirements of the relevant CAA, NFPA and ICAO standards. Since its introduction in 1990, 10 x Z4, 141 x Z6 and 118 x Z8 models have been delivered worldwide.
Albert Ziegler Fire-Fighting Vehicles are exclusively distributed in the UK and the Republic of Ireland by the Brighouse-based Venari Group.
For more information, go to www.venari-group.com