Norwegian state-owned airport operator Avinor AS has entered an eight-year framework agreement with Øveraasen, a snow removal equipment manufacturer.

Under the $47.1m (Nkr400m) contract, Øveraasen will be responsible for the supply of the first tranche of 12 autonomous sweepers and blowers.

For a period of eight years, the contract also includes the delivery of runway sweepers to all Avinor airports. The airport company has nearly 150 runway sweepers at its disposal.

The autonomous sweepers and blowers will allow automation of lawn mowing and sweeping.

Avinor CEO Abraham Foss said: “We want to be in the driving seat when it comes to new ways of thinking and innovation. With this procurement, Avinor is taking a step into winter operations of the future in which autonomous runway sweepers are part of the solution.

“We are among the first in the world to put a concept like this into operation and it will enable us to fulfil our goal of being a leader in terms of winter operations over the coming years.”

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Technology company Yeti Move was appointed as the subcontractor and will be responsible for providing the autonomous technology and IT systems used in the autonomous solutions.

During the winter of 2021 or 2022, many autonomous vehicles are planned to commence operations at Oslo Airport (OSL).

Øveraasen CEO Thor Arve Øveraasen said: “Technological development is constantly moving forward and it will be most gratifying to deliver the autonomous vehicles to Oslo Airport.

“Many airports around the world are following closely what is happening at Avinor and are eager to participate in this exciting journey in future.”