Torino Airport forms 100 per cent green aircraft turnaround process

Posted: 21 September 2022 | | No comments yet

Torino Airport has launched a fully electric powered fleet to reduce the environmental impact of aircraft ground handling operations.

Aircraft turnaround at Torino Airport (TRN) has become 100 per cent green. With an electrically powered fleet and airport procedures aimed at increasing sustainably, Torino Airport is reducing
the environmental impact of aircraft ground handling operations, with the positive effect of eliminating CO2 emissions for a better airport experience.

Torino Airport thus adds an element to the sustainable initiatives put in place as part of the ‘Torino Green Airport’ project and seeks to anticipate the achievement of Net Zero 2050 targets before 2050 deadline, as well as fulfilling the commitment of the ‘Toulouse Declaration’ for an increasingly sustainable air transport industry.

Turnaround (i.e. the set of aircraft ground handling operations required between flights), involves several activities, each one handled through specific procedures carried on with different vehicles. 

The vehicles include:

  • Baggage tractors: useful for underboard approach of vehicles requiring towing
  • GPU-Ground Power Units: mobile generator for powering the aircraft and their equipments when the
    engines are off
  • Passenger ladders: ladder for the descent/ascent of passengers from/to the aircraft
  • Baggage belts: for loading/unloading baggage embarked in the hold
  • Ambulifts: lifting platform for boarding/disembarking passengers with reduced mobility
  • Towbarless aircraft tractors or pushbacks: useful for pushing the aircraft in reverse to exit the parking.

Carrying out a turnaround with electric vehicles allows several advantages, first of all from an environmental point of view: about 100kg of CO2 deriving from the use of conventional diesel-powered vehicles is not released. With the current availability of green vehicles, the reduced impact of CO2 emitted per day is more than one tonne.

To make some examples, the average fuel consumption of traditional vehicles and the respective amount of CO2 emitted are given below:

  • A traditional diesel-powered baggage tractor results in the use of 1.70kg of fuel, equivalent to 5.4kg of CO2 released
  • A traditional diesel-powered GPU results in the use of 14.5kg of fuel, equivalent to 46kg of CO2 released
  • A traditional diesel-powered baggage belt results in the use of 10.5kg of fuel, or 33.3kg of CO2 released.

This amount of CO2 emitted is totally reduced to zero thanks to the use of electric vehicles, which at Torino Airport are powered by 100 per cent certified renewable energy source.

Torino airport has also expanded the number of parking aprons where passengers can be boarded by walk-in/walkout procedures, thus avoiding the use of diesel-powered buses (1.66kg of fuel, equivalent to 5.3kg of CO2 emitted).

The renewal of the airport fleet is a process that has been underway for several years, and the goal is to have at least 40 per cent of hybrid or full-electric powered vehicles by 2023.

The existing fleet will also be joined by an electric minivan dedicated to executive services in General Aviation and soon by an electric ambulance to carry out the medical service in the apron.

Andrea Andorno, CEO of Torino Airport commented: “Aware that the sustainability of our operations must drive the development of the airport, we are proud to be able to offer airlines that choose our airport a zero-impact turnaround, thanks to the investments we have made on the continuous renewal of our fleet with electric vehicles and the purchase of 100 per cent electricity from certified renewable sources”.

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