As I understand, sometimes APU is running during the passenger boarding. How much fuel do the APU consume during this process? Of course, it must depend on the total boarding time, so I think it should be estimated in amount of fuel consumed per minute.

Is there an approximation for different aircraft sizes? How does it change if the aircraft is connected to GPU or PCA?

  • $\begingroup$ APU's and GPU's are not necessarily the same thing. Many GPU's are gas or diesel reciprocating engines with much lower fuel burn than a jet APU. Typical Recip GPU are 10-20 gph while APU's are 50-200 gph. $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Aug 29, 2018 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ Another complication is that a typical GPU does not provide compressed air and so cannot be used for starting the propulsion engines: the APU needs to be started at some stage, (or yet another huffer/ASU cart lugged over). $\endgroup$ Aug 30, 2018 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


This depends on the aircraft and airport and how they are equipped. The time varies as it takes between 30 and 120 minutes to turn around an aircraft. So ill provide GPH numbers that can be used as desired.

Some airports have umbilicals that can provide ground power. This is often fed via a cable that feeds out of the terminal. This is usually fed from what ever power supply is feeding the airport.

Some airplanes (many these days) have an APU (auxiliary power unit). These are capable of feeding the power demands during a turn around. The also make it far safer for the ground crew by not having the engines running when there is crew on the ground working around them. The fuel burn of an APU can be found in the answer to this question.

Some airports supply power through the use of a ground power unit. These can be diesel powered or run on Jet-A and their output varies. They even have them for the small GA aircraft I fly to charge the battery if it dies on the ramp. This article lists a burn of 5 gallons an hour for a GPU although sizes vary. This maker lists their GPU's by Gallon per kilowatt hour which may be more appropriate for matching load demands.

  • $\begingroup$ Some ATR also have the possibility to use an "hotel" mode (and also maybe some helicopters) aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/1790/… Not sure if it is worth mentioning since it seems to be rather an edge case $\endgroup$
    – Antzi
    Aug 28, 2018 at 6:21

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