Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Emirates A380 outruns a flashing car on the runway — but what is going on?

The dramatic chase appears to be like a scene from a Hollywood movie

The car gives chase as the Emirates A380 prepares for takeoff. Courtesy Emirates
The car gives chase as the Emirates A380 prepares for takeoff. Courtesy Emirates

"Wait, wait, you've forgotten to pack your toothbrush!"

There's a multitude of potential reasons why a car with its lights flashing is speeding down a runway in pursuit of an Emirates Airbus A380.

In this clip, shared by the Dubai airline, the car dramatically enters the scene as if giving chase in a Hollywood movie — think James Bond or an early Nicolas Cage action set-piece.

The car never gets close to the accelerating superjumbo, which soars off into the night sky.

But rather than a scene from a film you might see in a future trip to the cinema, it was, as Emirates said, simply a "follow me" car.

The footage was taken at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany, which joined in the fun on social media, replying that next time the car would "shift up a gear".

The role of a "follow me" car is to go on to the runways and taxiways to carry out routine inspections to make sure they are clear of debris or any obstructions.

They are also used sometimes to guide aircraft to their parking positions and gates.

Such cars are also in operation at Dubai International Airport.

“At Dubai International (DXB) we operate a fleet of airside operations vehicles that have a number of different service tasks, one of which is to provide a “follow me” to any aircraft that may not be aware of the airfield layout, or have radio transmission issues,” a Dubai Airports spokesperson said.

Given the need to move swiftly to avoid causing any delays on the runway, it can help if the "follow me" car is capable of some serious speed itself.

As of this summer, Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport in Italy is in possession of a new Lamborghini Huracan, having first introduced the Huracan for duty at the airport in 2016.

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Updated: August 27, 2019 12:39 PM

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