EasyJet and Bristol Airport test: Ultra-low-emission aircraft rotation initiative cuts CO2 emissions by 97%

  • The plane’s test turn – considered the first of its kind – uses electric vehicles on the ground to reduce emissions to almost zero
  • Lessons learned from Bristol Airport trial will help shape future operational changes
  • This initiative is a further step in enabling easyJet’s transition to the goal of net zero emissions

easyJet and Bristol Airport have announced that they have achieved near zero-emission aircraft rotations through the use of electric ground equipment instead of diesel. The initiative is part of a collaboration between easyJet and Bristol Airport to decarbonize ground operations at the airport. The test results showed a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions using daily data produced throughout September.

Switching to electrical ground equipment, including running boards, baggage carts, belt loaders and ground power generators to service the aircraft between flights, is one of many initiatives focused on reducing emissions . It is part of a larger program of cutting-edge developments and operational efficiency initiatives.

easyJet uses Bristol Airport as a test bed to test and implement the latest technological and innovative solutions to decarbonize its operations and reduce waste. Any positive test results will have the potential to be deployed on the easyJet network, which covers 150 airports in 35 countries.

The six-month trial began on September 1, 2021 using two dedicated aircraft stands used by easyJet aircraft. Results to date show a saving of 1721 kg of carbon during the period of use of the electrical equipment with only 59 kg used compared to 1780 kg emitted using comparable diesel equipment. *

The joint partnership works with various associates and expert partners including TCR, DHL, ITW, Up and Away and Terbergh.

Projects and trials will include work in the following areas:

  • Electric ground power units
  • Sustainable aviation fuels
  • electric coach transport
  • recycling and waste management
  • employee carbon saving initiatives
  • supply chain carbon reductions
  • aircraft continuous descent approaches
  • zero carbon aircraft rotations
  • Deployment of NEO aircraft and fleet optimization

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, said:

“At easyJet, we want to play our part in leading the decarbonization of aviation, so we are delighted to see the results of this successful trial which has significantly reduced operational emissions by adopting the technology we have today.

“The lessons learned from the Bristol trial will help us shape our sustainability strategy for future operational changes, which will help enable easyJet to transition to our goal of zero net emissions by 2050.

“In addition to carbon offsetting and efficient flight with a young and modern fleet, reducing the impact of our airport operations alongside our airport partners is an important element of our decarbonisation trajectory while supporting the development of zero emission planes for the future of aviation. “

Dave Lees, CEO of Bristol Airport, said:

“This is an exceptional achievement on the part of all the partners involved. The test resulted in a 97% * reduction in aircraft rotating emissions. This is another demonstration of how by working together, including with partners and experts in their field, we are able to create a positive reduction in carbon emissions today.

“As an airport, we take our commitments to tackle climate change seriously and this trial is just one initiative we are implementing to achieve a net zero airport operation by 2030.

“We will continue to work in partnership with easyJet to enable us to develop joint initiatives and projects to contribute to the decarbonization of aviation and the creation of green jobs. “

Rob O’Dare, Aerodrome Technical and Compliance Manager, Bristol Airport added:

“Leading sustainable development projects of this nature, at the cutting edge of what’s possible, is extremely rewarding.

“This project has been particularly satisfying due to the teamwork demonstrated by the multiple participants, including among others EasyJet, DHL, TCR and ITW that was necessary to bring this project to fruition.

“Many of these partners have invested in the testing significantly in terms of time and equipment, at no cost, knowing that we are investing in the social responsibility of the aviation industry.

“The Emissions Reduction Test is just one of many initiatives Bristol Airport and easyJet are working on as part of our sustainability partnership. “

28 October 2021

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