British Airways (BA) is exploring the possibility of using 3D printers to create aircraft parts in the future.
It said that the printers, which would be located at airports around the world, would help to reduce delays for customers and emissions caused by transporting items.
The airline stated this in a statement by Tiarhan Oghenejode of QuadrantMSL.com, the agency that handles the media activities of BA in Lagos.
The statement said that the airline’s non-essential cabin parts would be the first on the list of items to be generated.
It listed other items to be generated to include pieces of tray tables, entertainment systems and toilets, cutlery.
It added that it would also include products for amenity kits such as toothbrushes or combs, aircraft windows, In-flight entertainment screens, seats, and baggage containers.
The statement quoted Ricardo Vidal, Head of Innovation at British Airways, as saying that this area of technology had never been more important to ensure sustainability and a seamless travel experience.
“We work with start-ups and innovation partners from around the world to explore and implement the very latest technologies, from artificial intelligence to speed up turnaround times to biometrics.
“This helps us to deliver a seamless airport experience for customers. 3D printing is yet another advancement that will keep us at the forefront of airline innovation,” he said.
According to Vidal, 3D printing is an essential step toward the sustainable future of aviation because printers can produce parts that, while as strong and durable as traditional components, weigh up to 55 per cent less.
“Every kilogramme removed saves up to 25 tons of CO2 emissions during the lifespan of an aircraft,” the statement said.
Vidal in the statement said that the research conducted by BA also had predicted that jet lag could become a thing of the past, with 3D printers producing personalised health supplements.