NAV CANADA and NATS begin flight trials to reduce GHG emissions

NAV CANADA, NATS, and Air France have begun flight trials to demonstrate new procedures to save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) for international flights transiting the North Atlantic airspace. Airlines participating in the trials include Air France, British Airways, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. A report of the trials results will be tabled at an international meeting scheduled for October 2011 in Montreal, Canada.

The results of the first trial are very encouraging and have exceeded our initial estimates, said Rudy Kellar, Vice President of Operations. Savings of over 800 litres of fuel and a reduction of more than 2,100 kg in GHG emissions, which translate to a cost savings of nearly $700 for an Air Canada flight !

The trials are part of the ENGAGE Corridor Project, part of the AIRE initiative and co-sponsored by the SESAR Joint Undertaking. The Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) agreement between the European Commission and the FAA, is an important part of the green component of the SESAR programme. It enables the implementation of environmentally friendly procedures for all phases of flight. The SESAR JU is responsible for its management from a European perspective.

This consortium is very dynamic and we are extremely pleased to see their green commitment, said Alain Siebert, Chief Economics and Environment. Most importantly, these trials show that flying greener with new procedures is at our fingertips and that their results could be implemented on a large scale in the very near future.

In these ENGAGE trial flights two procedures will be used: progressive or continuous altitude change; and a corresponding change in aircraft speed (Mach), within an approved airspace block. ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) is the technology used to reduce aircraft separation, thereby increasing airspace capacity and allowing variable altitude and speed.

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