The BYU football players and other athletes who make up a majority of charter flights in and out of Provo Airport are a little safer now that Provo city has invested $35,000 in an updated airport fire truck.

The lime green ARFF -- aircraft rescue and firefighting truck -- may be nearly 20 years old, but airport manager Steve Gleason said it is new enough to give the airport a big safety advantage.

"For the last several years we have used an ARFF from 1972. It took our mechanic, Dan Snyder, nothing short of witchcraft to keep it working," Gleason said.

All airports that service charter passenger flights with more than 30 people are required to carry a 139 certificate, and the airport has to have working ARFF equipment to retain the certificate.

Gleason said although he does not know an exact number of the airport's yearly charter flights, he said almost all the flights carry BYU football players, their opponents or other athletes.

The truck purchase is in line with the vision the city administration has for upgrades and

expansions to the airport, Gleason said.

"We are not really trying to recruit more charters, but we are making sure we are up to safety standards for those we do have," he said. "This is all about safety."

The new ARFF carries up to 1,500 gallons of water, compared to the 300-500 gallons on a basic firetruck. It shoots water 320 feet, and instead of long hoses, the truck shoots water from many spouts.

The main one is in the front and is controlled by electronic joysticks, said Mayor Lewis Billings.

"When people fly into this airport, they assume that we are going to do everything we can to make it safe," Billings said.

The city acquired the truck at a Salt Lake International Airport auction. Before the auction, the city offered the Salt Lake airport $50,000 for the truck. Billings said he is proud of the savings the city received when they bought the auctioned truck for $35,000.

The ARFF will be housed at the airport and manned by firefighters from the station on Geneva and Provo Center Street for 15 minutes before and after every 30-passenger plane takes off or lands and in case of emergency, Fire Chief Coy Porter said.