Airports Can Cut Noise & Pollution by Having Planes Taxi with One Engine Turned Off
Photo: Michael Graham Richard
Cutting Fuel Use and Noise for Planes on the GroundA coalition of companies with interests in the aviation sector (including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Heathrow Airport, etc) have published a document called "New airport departures code to cut noise & emissions plus improve local air quality". As the name states, the goal is to reduce noise and emissions at and around airports. The beauty is that it doesn't require expensive changes like buying new planes or building new structures. It's rather all about using what we already have in a smarter way.
Okay, that plane isn't taxying, but I thought that guy was funny. Photo: Michael Graham Richard
What They Propose
The Code notes that shutting down an engine during taxi-in operations can deliver reductions of 20 to 40 per cent of the ground level fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and 10 to 30 per cent 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, will deliver significant improvements to local air quality at airports and reduce fuel burn as well as costs to airlines.
Seems like a no-brainer. As long as it is safe, why use two engines when one would do? This would be especially good in very busy airports where delays are routine and planes can be stuck taxying around the airport for long periods of time.
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