Aircraft turnarounds to be studied at Exeter Airport

Reducing the environmental impact of aircraft turnarounds will be the focus of a study carried out by Regional & City Airports, TUI and Cranfield University.

The study will look at decarbonising ground operations and reducing environmental impact by analysing TUI aircraft turnarounds at Exeter Airport in Devon, which is owned by Regional & City Airports.

Experts from Cranfield University’s Centre for Air Transport Management will use the TUI data, airport vehicle usage data and other information to create an emissions inventory of ground operations.

Examining the different elements of the turnaround in detail will address a gap in current research and identify tangible emissions savings which can be made in the short term and where bigger changes may be needed in the future.

Andrew Bell, Chief Executive of Regional & City Airports, said: “This project is the latest in our ongoing collaboration with Cranfield University to help drive innovation across our industry, and is a vital part of RCA’s commitment to make our own airport operations net zero by 2040. We’re excited to be involved and look forward to seeing how the findings could be put into practice across our airport estate.”

Exeter Airport will act as a living laboratory for Cranfield’s experts to study aircraft turnarounds in detail.

Working with ground handling staff and using TUI’s passenger flights, they will track every aspect of the ground handling process to measure emissions.

The next step will examine potential mitigations, including the use of electric and alternatively fuelled airside assets, as well as other operational measures that can be adopted by the airport.

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