One of the biggest expense items in airline operations is fuel consumption. The airplanes consume fuel from the moment they start up the engine on the parking stand of departure airport until they turn off the engine at the parking stand of destination airport. This process, the movement of an aircraft on the ground, under its own power, in contrast to towing or push-back where the aircraft is moved by a tug is called taxiing. If we go into a little more detail, the taxi movement made before departure is called taxi out, and the taxi movement made after landing is called taxi in.
The amount of fuel burned during the Taxi period is also quite high. According to the researches, it has been determined that an average of 15 to 25 kg of fuel is spent per minute according to the various aircraft types with narrow body. One of the main factors affecting the fuel burned during taxi is the taxi time of the aircraft. You may guess that the taxi time of the planes depends on the size of the airport, its design, traffic density and etc. Of course, it is understandable that taxi times are relatively long in large and busy airports with high plane traffic.
In this regard, it is necessary to emphasize the importance of effective techniques that will minimize taxi times in airport design, considering the financial burden on companies and environmental impact of the fuel burned during taxi. The statistics which is published every year for two times (in winter and summer season) by Eurocontrol indicates the average “taxi in” and “taxi out” times of some airports around the world.
Let’s look at the airports with the longest taxi times given in the winter season of 2019-2020 published on May 15, 2020.
Average “Taxi in” and “Taxi out” values
When we examine the data, USA, KJFK John F. Kennedy Airport has the longest “taxi out” time in the USA with an average “taxi out” time of 27.1 minutes. JFK is followed by KDEN Denver International Airport with 23.8 minutes.
When we look at the UK, as you may guess EGLL London Heathrow Airport ranks first with a 21.2-minute “taxi out” time. Heathrow Airport is followed by London Gatwick Airport with an average of 18.0 minutes.
Looking across Europe, LTFM Istanbul Airport stands on top with a 23.7-minute “taxi out” time, LEMD Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport has 18.6 minutes’ average, besides LFPG Paris Charles de Gaulle has 15.9 minutes. LIMC Milan Malpensa Airport has an average of 13.9 minutes.
After looking at the “taxi out” times, let’s have a look at the “taxi in” times. We see that “taxi in” times are generally shorter than “taxi out” times.
Again firstly, we look at USA KJFK John F. Kennedy Airport which has an average “taxi in” time of 14.3 minutes. Then the second place in the statistics is KFLL Fort Lauderdale Airport with 12.7 minutes (Ranking in “taxi out” times has changed in “taxi in” times. KDEN Denver International Airport has an average of 11.4 minutes “taxi in” time)
When we look at England it is seen that the average “taxi in” time at EGLL London Heathrow Airport is 8.1 minutes. Then London Gatwick Airport comes with 7.6 minutes.
Finally, if we look across Europe, LTFM Istanbul Airport has an average “taxi in” time of 13.8 minutes. LEMD Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport has an average “taxi in” time of 9.0 minutes and LFPG Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport with an average of 10.0 minutes.