Quora: Why don’t aircraft turn off their engine when waiting near the runway before take-off?

Is it too bothersome for pilots to turn of aircraft engines on idling aircraft or is there another reason why they don't?

Quora: Why don’t aircraft turn off their engine when waiting near the runway before take-off? I have observed they wait more than 15 mins near the runway when there are more aircraft landing.

An aircraft engine has multiple functions. It is used for generating electricity to power the various systems in an aircraft. It also draws in air that’s needed inside the cabin. If the engines are switched off then the pilot has to turn on the APU or Auxiliary Power Unit — a generator under the tail of the plane. When an aircraft is parked at the gate, it draws its power from the ground power units. It also takes at least 3 – 5 minutes for the APU to power up the engines if these are switched off. That is a lot of time in an over crowded airport like Mumbai — which has only one functional runway.

A more detailed answer here on Quora.


Brian Pereira

Brian Pereira is an Indian journalist and editor based in Mumbai. He is the Founding Editor of Digital Creed, which he founded in 2015. A technology buff, former computer instructor, and software developer, Brian has 28 years of journalism experience (since 1994). He is sound and confident about his knowledge of business technology concepts. And he is a believer in continual education/learning. Brian is the former Editor of CHIP and InformationWeek magazines (India). He has written hundreds of technology articles for India's leading newspaper groups such as The Times of India and Indian Express Newspapers (among others). And he has conducted more than 300 industry interviews during his journalism career. Brian also writes on Aviation, cybersecurity, startups, and topics directed at small and medium businesses. He achieved certifications from the EC-Council (Certified Secure Computer User) and from IBM (Basics of Cloud Computing). Apart from those, he has successfully completed many courses on Content Marketing and Business Writing. Follow Brian on Twitter (@creed_digital) and LinkedIn. Email Brian at: [email protected]

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