‘Capital Express’ Aspires to reduce aviation footprint

- Wellington, New Zealand.

The new ‘Capital Express’ service between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington has today been unveiled as the newest addition to the Asia South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) programme.

Airservices Australia, Singapore Airlines, the Civil Aviation Authority Singapore (CAAS), and Airways New Zealand today announced that all SQ291 and SQ292 flights will be as environmentally friendly as possible through the utilisation of a range of ASPIRE practices, including:

  • making use of favourable winds,
  • reducing airborne holding,
  • enabling efficient ‘continuous descent’ arrivals; and
  • reducing taxi times.

The ASPIRE programme is a partnership between six air navigation agencies and ten partner airlines, focused on reducing the environmental impact of aviation through operational means across Asia and the Pacific.

Under the ASPIRE programme, the inaugural ‘Capital Express’ flights on 20 and 21 September saved almost 7,000 kg of fuel across the four sectors, which equates to an approximate saving of around 22,000 kg of carbon emissions.

The results were achieved by using 25 of a possible 32 efficient flight operations and air traffic management practices on all four sectors of the new service.

It is expected that over the course of a year the ASPIRE programme will help the ‘Capital Express’ flights save around 1.5 million kilograms of fuel and 4.6 million kilograms of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 970 cars off the road.

The new ‘Capital Express’ service has also been declared an ASPIRE Daily City Pair, achieving a four-plus star rating, out of a maximum of five possible stars.

Airservices Executive General Manager Air Navigation Services, Stephen Angus said the new ASPIRE Daily City Pairs are the result of the collaborative efforts of Airservices Australia, Canberra Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Airways New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Changi Airport Group and Wellington International Airport.

“The new Singapore–Canberra–Wellington route is another excellent example of airlines, airports and air navigation agencies working together to reduce aviation greenhouse gas emissions globally,” Mr Angus said.

Director-General of CAAS, Mr Kevin Shum, said “CAAS has been an active participant of the ASPIRE programme since 2010.”

“We are delighted that the programme continues to grow and make impactful progress,” Mr Shum said.

“CAAS and our ASPIRE partners are committed to achieve sustainable aviation growth in the Asia Pacific region. By working closely together and adopting best practices in air navigation, we can enhance air transport operations and reduce aviation emissions.”

Airways Head of Auckland Operations Tim Boyle says the flight is another great example of the progress being made towards sustainability in aviation.

“For New Zealand, issues of our distance and emissions are particularly relevant and this has driven a commitment from Airways to do all it can to work towards improved sustainability.

“Collaboration with industry partners through programmes like ASPIRE is assisting us in achieving this goal.”

Singapore Airlines Ag Senior Vice President Flight Operations, Captain CE Quay said the addition of the new ‘Capital Express’ service to the ASPIRE programme was an excellent example of Singapore Airlines’ commitment to protecting the environment.

“We believe we have a long-term responsibility to help protect the environment, which is why we have programmes in place to ensure that sustainable practices are implemented across the Company,” Captain Quay said.

“We constantly ensure that our operations are carried out in a responsible manner through a framework designed to manage issues related to carbon emissions, waste, noise and the consumption of energy and resources. We are pleased to have added our new Singapore – Canberra – Wellington flights to the successful ASPIRE programme and thank our partners for helping make it possible.”

Since its establishment in 2008, ASPIRE partner airlines and air navigation agencies have implemented 30 new ASPIRE Daily city pairs across the Asia Pacific region, helping the airline industry save millions of dollars in fuel and thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Singapore Airlines was the first to fly a multi-sector demonstration green flight in 2010 when SQ11 flew from Singapore to Los Angeles, via Tokyo saving 10,686 kg of fuel as well as 33,769 kg of carbon emissions.


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