The aviation industry is using the downturn in air traffic as a result of COVID-19 to implement additional measures to reduce the environmental impact of aviation. CANSO – the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation – in association with IATA, A4E, ERA, AIRE, IFATCA and the EUROCONTROL Network Manager, is launching an ambitious environmental initiative to facilitate ‘Perfect Flights’ while traffic volumes are lower than usual.
Tanja Grobotek, CANSO Director Europe Affairs explains: “Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) across Europe are still playing a vital role enabling the transportation of urgent medical supplies and food, and the repatriation of individuals, but clearly traffic numbers are much lower than before the pandemic. So CANSO and our partners are using this downtime to facilitate optimum flight paths that will deliver environmental and economic benefits by reducing fuel burn, emissions, noise and fuel costs.”
Normally, in order to manage traffic safely and efficiently into and out of busy airspace, ANSPs apply airspace restrictions to maximise capacity, reduce complexity and organise aircraft into specific flows. These restrictions may however contribute to reducing horizontal and/or vertical flight efficiency. In the current low-level traffic scenario, most of these airspace restrictions can be lifted, which enables more direct routes and allows aircraft to fly their optimal vertical profiles. “There is no reason right now why an aircraft should not be flying its ‘perfect flight,’” Tanja Grobotek added.
This initiative is testament to CANSO, IATA, A4E ERA, AIRE, IFATCA and the EUROCONTROL Network Manager’s commitment to reducing aviation’s carbon emissions – both today and in the future.