Over the next 12 months, UK carrier easyJet plans to find out if they can improve the efficiency of their operations by removing moisture weight from their aircraft, the airline announced Wednesday. The carrier's yearlong test involves installation of 66-pound "Zonal Dryer" systems in four Airbus A320 aircraft. It is hoped that the system, provided by CTT Systems of Sweden, will remove up to 550 pounds of moisture per flight from the jets. The carrier says the weight is equivalent to removing 12 bags from the cargo hold and that could save nearly 10 million pounds of fuel, per year. The company also claims passengers will see a benefit.
According to easyJet, the move is in keeping with their efforts to be "as environmentally responsible as possible" and "using the latest technology to minimize the fleet's environmental impact." If the dryers work, the airline expects they could shave down the roughly $2.35 billion it spends on fuel each year while also "improving air quality for the passenger." The system works by using a fan, heater and moisture-absorbing silica-impregnated rotors to reduce water retention and channel dry air to particular parts of the aircraft to inhibit water retention. According to easyJet flight operations manager, Captain Chris Foster, "We're confident that we'll see significant and positive results on completion of the trial."