The UK’s largest regional airline, Loganair, has achieved its first all-electric turnaround of an aircraft, at Stornoway Airport in the Outer Hebrides.

The milestone follows Loganair’s £2m investment in state-of-the-art ground handling technology. The airline is acquiring almost 100 new pieces of ground equipment across its operation including electric baggage tractors, electric luggage belts, solar-powered boarding ramps, and hybrid ground power units (GPUs). GPUs provide power to aircraft while they are parked at the gate, allowing crews to switch off their engines and reduce fuel consumption.

Once fully incorporated across Loganair’s ground operations in the Highlands and Islands, the new equipment will mitigate the need for over 70,000 litres of diesel annually, delivering greener operations that reduce the environmental impact of flying and providing a quieter, cleaner working environment for staff.

Being first out the block is a great achievement for our Stornoway staff, and great for the island community.

George Farquhar, HIAL

Maurice Boyle, chief operations officer, Loganair, said: “We are incredibly proud of this historic moment. Our new electric equipment replaces diesel-powered machinery, reducing our use of fossil fuels but also creating a much cleaner and user-friendly working environment for our staff.

“Being first out the block is a great achievement for our Stornoway staff, and great for the island community. I hope our customers will welcome our progress and get on board with us as we continue our journey towards sustainable aviation.”

Highlands and Islands Airports (HIAL) airports in Sumburgh, Kirkwall and Benbecula will be next to benefit from Loganair’s new electric ground equipment, with the last remaining pieces of diesel-powered ground equipment being phased out by the end of this summer.

George Farquhar, director of airport operations at HIAL, said: “Our ambition is to become a net zero regional airport group. We have worked closely with Loganair to decarbonise airside ground operations and supporting infrastructure. 

“We are delighted that Stornoway Airport completed its first all-electric aircraft turn around and we look forward to continuing this joint initiative with Loganair at our other airports.”

Image: HIAL