Airlines consider weighing passengers to conserve fuel

Posted on 9 September 2019

A UK startup is encouraging airlines to consider weighing passengers as a way to manage fuel expenditure to cut costs and lower carbon emissions. 

According to MSN, Fuel Matrix is proposing that airlines weigh individual passengers to calculate flight fuel requirements to reduce fuel wastage. 

The current formula for calculating fuel usage is based on an estimated gender-weight ratio for passengers. This considers the average weight of men, women and children and calculates the overall weight based on the number of each on board. 

Fuel Matrix, the company proposing this system, said that airlines burn 0.3-0.5% more fuel due to the extra weight of carrying extra, unnecessary fuel. By reducing the cost, carriers could save as much as $1.35 billion (nearly R20 billion).

The company proposes that airlines take measurements discreetly, using pressure pads at baggage drop-off points, and that the information remains confidential.

“Our patented technologies are relevant to both airports and airlines in reducing fuel burn, CO2 emissions and carbon footprints,” Fuel Matrix COO Nick Brasier told The Sun.

The company is apparently in negotiations with  “several long-haul airlines” in the UK about the possible implementation. 

Similar interventions have been discussed or implemented by other airlines in the past. In 2015, Uzbekistan Airways said it would weigh passengers and exclude some overweight people from busy flights or smaller planes if a weight limit was exceeded.

In 2017, Finnair launched a voluntary weighing study to help determine the fuel requirements of its flights.

Image source: Pixabay

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