UK airports information

TRANSIT Project Grant

A new grant of £1 million has been awarded to Aviation Engineering Specialists to develop their TRANSIT Project, funded by the UK’s EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council).

TRANSIT – Towards a Robust Airport Decision Support System for Intelligent Taxiing – will see leading industry experts and researchers work together to develop and trial a new ‘on the ground’ system to reduce aeroplane taxi times, operating costs and environmental impact at airports around the world.

The project will be lead by the University of Lincoln, in collaboration with University of Sheffield, University of Stirling, and Cranfield University, and also involves major industry partners, including Rolls Royce, Air France KLM, BAE Systems, Manchester Airport and Zurich Airport.

It’s well documented that the inefficient movement of aircraft is a major factor to unnecessary fuel burn, which is a major source of pollution, as airports struggle with capacity and overloaded facilities.

As a result, this could lead to operational increases of 50% at some of the world’s busiest airports.

Dr Jun Chen, an expert in artificial intelligence and control systems from the University of Lincoln’s School of Engineering and Principal Investigator for TRANSIT, said: “There is an imminent need to make better use of existing aviation infrastructure as air traffic is predicted to increase 1.5 times by 2035. As many airports are operating at or near to maximum capacity, we understand that infrastructure must be improved. In addition, inefficient operations lead to delays, congestion, and increased fuel costs and noise levels inconveniencing all stakeholders, including airports, airlines, passengers and local residents.

“Ensuring efficient movement of aircraft on the ground is a key way to save time, reduce costs and improve carbon emissions, so the critical problem we need to address is the balancing of these conflicting objectives. By modelling aircraft and their movements more accurately, we believe that highly efficient taxi routes can be generated while still maintaining safety standards. TRANSIT aims to develop realistic and cost-effective methodologies in order to build a system capable of making intelligent decisions to meet these multiple objectives.”