Evaluating Alternatives for Aircraft Ground Power, Heating, and Air Conditioning

esa.hostpyramid.net Image

Amid growing public concerns regarding airport-related emissions, and in light of rising fuel costs, airport operators and airlines have been investigating options to reduce aircraft-related emissions and fuel consumption. One option that many U.S. commercial service airports have implemented is to provide ground-based power, heating, and cooling systems to reduce the use of aircraft auxiliary power units (APUs). The APUs combust jet fuel and are a source of criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions.

ESA led the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Project 02-25 which evaluated the environmental, operational, and cost implications associated with alternative methods of providing power, heating, and air conditioning to aircraft while they are parked. Our team developed a handbook and software tool that will help airport, airline, and environmental planners to evaluate mobile, terminal-based, loading-bridge-based, and ramp-based alternatives to APUs. The final handbook and software tool were ground-tested and are easy to use. These tools will help the aviation industry to quantify the potential emission reduction benefits associated with implementing various alternative systems. The tools will also provide qualitative information regarding potential noise reductions associated with reduced use of APUs.

ESA’s sound science and solution-oriented approach considered climatic conditions and other variables that can vary from airport to airport. The final handbook and software meet the ACRP's goal of developing guidance for a variety of end-users, and they will support airport operators and airlines that are interested in reducing aircraft emissions.

Specialized Services

  • Air quality assessments
  • Air quality studies and emissions reduction
  • Carbon management and mitigation
  • Greenhouse gas inventories, mitigation, and emissions reduction
  • Project website; social media management and communication materials development
  • Sustainability and resource conservation