A coalition of aviation interests in the UK has published a new interim Departures Code of Practice to help cut aircraft emissions by reducing on-ground fuel burn from aircraft at airports, which will also improve noise and local air quality.
The Code notes that shutting down an engine during taxi-in operations can deliver reductions of 20 to 40% of the ground level fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and 10 to 30% of ground emitted oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, depending on aircraft type and operator technique. This technique, which would only be carried out when other safety considerations have been assured, would deliver significant improvements to local air quality at airports and reduce fuel burn as well as costs to airlines, according to the authors.
This interim voluntary Code of Practice has been compiled by a group representing airlines, airports, air traffic control, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and A|D|S, the UK’s aerospace, defence and security trade body representing aircraft manufacturers. It has been published ahead of the full version of the Code that is expected to be finalized early next year, which will also include advice on the use of airport terminal and ground power rather than running the aircraft’s Auxiliary Power Unit; as well as issues such as Continuous Climb Departures; and Collaborative Decision Making to deliver yet more improvements.
The interim Code of Practice recommends that aircraft operators review their Standard Operating Procedures in order to help promote taxiing with less than all engines operating for aircraft taxiing-in from the runway to the airport terminal. Adherence to this technique should then be encouraged as long as all safety and procedural concerns are able to be met. For some aircraft types, advice is available from manufacturers, and the document also recommends that manufacturers are involved in the development of engine-out taxi procedures. Shutting down an engine during taxi-in operations should be planned in advance, and accomplished as early as possible during the taxi to obtain the maximum environmental benefits and reduction of fuel burn.