The owner and operator of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has submitted an action plan to reduce the use of auxiliary power units (APUs) by stationary aircraft parked on the apron.

The plan has been submitted to the Netherlands’ Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT).

APUs are usually mounted in the aeroplane’s tail to provide autonomous starting power for the main engines, as well as electricity.

The units also supply pneumatic pressure required for various functions, including air conditioning on board.

Their use has been criticised as they run on kerosene and can cause harmful emissions, as well as noise for apron workers when operating.

Schiphol expects reducing APU use to create healthy working conditions for apron workers while cutting the aviation sector’s overall carbon emissions.

Some of the key measures that Schiphol has outlined in its action plan include shortening the use of the APU from 20 April this year.

APU will be operational only five minutes before departure, halved from the current time of ten minutes.

Their use can, however, be increased for pre-conditioned air.

Schiphol will provide PCA units and install them on suitable aircraft stands, as well as increase the monitoring of APU use.

The airport operator’s Airside Operations division will determine whether APU use can be permitted on a case-by-case basis using established criteria.

Schiphol also plans to transition to sustainable fuels and promote the use of fixed electrical ground power.

In addition, it will run an awareness campaign for all its employees to explain the significance of reducing APU use.

Earlier this year, Schiphol began major maintenance works at the airport’s Zwanenburgbaan Runway, which are due to continue until next month.

The operator also announced plans to upgrade the airport’s baggage basements, including redesigning its baggage process, work areas and rest areas.