Southampton Airport has taken a leap forward in reducing its carbon emissions, as it switches on its green electricity feeds for stationary aircraft at stands.
Launched by Eastleigh Borough Council’s Councillor Rupert Kyrle and Southampton Airport’s Managing Director, Neil Garwood, the newly completed Fixed Electrical Ground Power (FEGP) will provide a direct electrical feed to aircraft from the airport’s main power circuit, which is from 100% renewable sources.
Before FEGP was rolled out, stationary aircraft that were being offloaded or awaiting passengers were charged by built-in Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) which use jet fuel, or Ground Power Units (GPUs) which are mobile engines powered by diesel.
With FEGP, which has been initially set up at four stands, airlines can now switch off their respective Auxiliary Power Units whilst being cleaned and restocked – eliminating costs, carbon emissions and noise caused by both APUs and GPUs.
Speaking on the launch of FEGP at the airport, Neil Garwood, Managing Director at Southampton Airport, said; “This is the first phase of our Fixed Electrical Ground Power programme, which is one of many ways that will contribute to Southampton Airport becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, we also aim to have Fixed Electrical Ground Power at all 12 stands that same year.
“It will now be obligatory for all airline operators to switch off their engines whilst undergoing the turnaround process meaning a quieter emission free air side for passengers, staff as well as our neighbours.
“This move also complements the many electric handling vehicles already operating on the apron as part of our over-arching Sustainability Strategy.”
Councillor Rupert Kyrle, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Eastleigh Borough Council, added: “Ensuring actions are taken to tackle the climate crisis is essential and it’s great to see that this issue is being addressed by both Southampton Airport and the aviation industry.
“Personally, I welcome the roll out of phase 1 of the Fixed Electrical Ground Power programme and look forward to seeing what the airport will do next to guarantee targets are met in the years to come.”
As well as aiming to be carbon neutral by 2030, Southampton Airport recently joined Sustainable Aviation, a coalition of aviation industry experts comprising airports, airlines and manufacturers amongst many others, set on achieving net zero carbon emissions for the UK’s aviation sector by 2050.
FEGP Fast Facts;
- This is phase one of FEGP with a commitment to complete the site by 2030. Stands 2-5 have been set up with FEGP.
- We mandate that airlines use FEGP as the only source of ground power can expect to save nearly 600 tonnes CO² each year.
This is equivalent to;
- 1,500,000 miles covered by a car
- 260,600 litres of petrol and 221,950 litres of diesel*
- 100 homes’ electricity supply for the whole year
- Could charge up to 76,000,000 smartphones
- 200 tonnes of waste
*Numbers mentioned have been taken from the above source and converted from US to UK measuring units.