We are involved in developing a pioneering new aircraft routing and scheduling system that could see operations increase by 50% at some of the world’s busiest airports. The aim is to change the way in which we manage an aircraft’s propulsion system during ground operations so it is more efficient and environmentally friendly.
  • DatesJuly 2016 – June 2019
  • SponsorEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
  • FundedCirca £800,000.
  • PartnersThe universities of Lincoln, Sheffield, and Stirling, together with industrial partners Rolls-Royce, Air France KLM, BAE Systems, Manchester Airport, and Zurich Airport.

With increasing global demand for air travel and overloaded airport facilities, the inefficient movement of planes (or ‘airport taxiing operations’) is identified as a major contributor to unnecessary fuel burn and a substantial source of pollution.

A three-year collaborative project known as TRANSIT (Towards a Robust Airport Decision Support System for Intelligent Taxiing) is developing a new on-the-ground system that will reduce plane taxi times, operating costs and environmental impact at airports around the world.

Complex mathematical algorithms created during the project, using data from airports worldwide, will quickly compute the most suitable route for guiding aircraft from one location to another. These will be fed into our cutting-edge aircraft simulator, with testing carried out by pilots from our own National Flying Laboratory Centre (NFLC).

It is hoped that the TRANSIT system will eventually be adaptable for different-sized airports all over the world, and could even pave the way for automated taxiing.