|NATS and IAA extend XMAN initiative to reduce Heathrow holding stacks for flights through Irish airspace|
Fri 24 Mar 2017 - The air traffic management system to reduce the fuel-intensive and polluting holding stacks of aircraft arriving into London's Heathrow Airport, the busiest hub in Europe, has now been fully extended to include flights travelling through Irish airspace. First trialled by UK air navigation service provider (ANSP) NATS in 2014, the XMAN (Cross-Border Arrival Management) system aims to instruct pilots to slow down the speed of their aircraft up to 350 nautical miles from Heathrow to avoid delays and unnecessary fuel burn. NATS, which has also been collaborating with ANSPs in France and the Netherlands, says XMAN is so far delivering over 4,700 tonnes of fuel savings for airlines annually, representing nearly 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. It is a key concept of the Single European Sky initiative, which will require 24 airports across Europe to deploy XMAN procedures by 2024. Read more ...
|Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia attract international interest in developing homegrown jet biofuels|
Wed 22 Mar 2017 - A year after issuing a joint Request for Information (RFI) from parties interested in supporting the development and production of sustainable aviation fuel in the region, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia say they have had strong interest both locally and from abroad. The airlines have now completed an extensive review of more than 30 responses from organisations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe and the United States. When announcing the RFI, the airline partners said that while the aviation biofuel development was accelerating internationally, it was not the case in their region. A roadmap report published in 2011 by the Australian government science research agency CSIRO found that by 2020 a 5 per cent bio-derived jet fuel share could be possible in Australia and New Zealand, expanding to 40 per cent by 2050. Despite both airlines having engaged in a number of early alternative fuel initiatives, progress so far has been slow however. Read more ...
|Using aviation biofuels could reduce aircraft engine pollutants and non-CO2 climate impacts, find scientists|
Mon 20 Mar 2017 - Using biofuels to help power jet engines reduces particle emissions in their exhaust by as much as 50 to 70 per cent and so can help reduce contrail formations that produce climate warming effects, say research scientists led by NASA. The findings, published in the journal Nature, follow a series of flight tests undertaken in 2013 and 2014 as part of the Alternative Fuel Effects on Contrails and Cruise Emissions Study, or ACCESS, in which NASA partnered with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the National Research Council Canada (NRC). The tests involved flying NASA's workhorse DC-8 as high as 40,000 feet while its four engines burned a 50/50 blend of conventional jet fuel mixed with camelina-derived biofuel. A trio of research aircraft took turns to fly behind the aircraft at distances ranging from 300 feet to more than 20 miles to take measurements and study contrail formation. Read more ...
|Etihad comfortably surpasses industry target with a 2.5 per cent fuel efficiency improvement in 2016|
Tue 14 Mar 2017 - Etihad Airways claims to have improved fuel efficiency across all operations by 2.5 per cent in 2016, which represented savings of nearly 190,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of 1,200 flights between Abu Dhabi and London. The UAE's national airline says it is working on several key initiatives to optimise efficiency, both with the aircraft fleet itself and through external collaboration with aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus. These include efforts to reduce the weight of onboard items and investing in new technology to ensure flight crews have the latest information on weather patterns to allow them to plan for optimum fuel efficiency of their aircraft during flight. Airport staff are also supporting efforts to ensure emissions reductions from using ground power instead of auxiliary power units when aircraft are at gates. Read more ...
|CANSO encourages air navigation service providers to adopt carbon footprinting and issues a best practice guide|
Mon 13 Mar 2017 - With vast communications and navigation infrastructure, and a need to operate safely and resiliently on a 24/7 basis, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are energy intensive businesses. They therefore have a role to play both in terms of the influence they can have in reducing aircraft emissions through more efficient operations but also directly in terms of the impact of operating their facilities. To help ANSPs address their environmental performance, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) has published a best practice guide to carbon footprinting. Focusing mainly on the management of carbon impacts from powering buildings and the infrastructure associated with delivering operations and services, the guide aims to provide ANSPs with a framework to establish tailored programmes to measure, monitor and reduce their emissions. Read more ...
|Heathrow sets out long-term vision of a zero carbon airport and creating a centre of sustainability excellence|
Thu 9 Mar 2017 - Although we're passionate about the environment, we weren't previously punching our weight, admitted Heathrow Airport's Executive Director Expansion Emma Gilthorpe at the unveiling last week of Heathrow 2.0, a self-styled bold and ambitious long-term sustainability strategy for the airport. The UK government has signalled its support for major expansion and a third runway but there are still considerable challenges for the airport, not least over environmental and climate change concerns. Goals set out in the plan include becoming carbon neutral by 2020 and a zero emissions airport by 2050; all flights serving the airport by the time of the new runway opening in the middle of the next decade to be subject to the global CORSIA carbon-neutral growth scheme; and creating a Centre of Excellence for aviation sustainability research and innovation. Read more ...
|Unanimous adoption by ICAO Council paves way for introduction of new aircraft CO2 emissions standard|
Mon 6 Mar 2017 - The ICAO Council unanimously adopted on Friday (Mar 3) the Aeroplane Carbon Dioxide Emissions Certification Standard that was recommended last year by ICAO's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP). After seven years of development, the new standard is part of the ICAO 'basket of measures' to reduce aviation emissions and is intended to encourage more fuel-efficient technologies into aeroplane design, covering propulsion, aerodynamics and structures. It has been criticised in some quarters for its lack of stringency as a result of being too heavily industry-driven, but is claimed to be the first global technology standard covering CO2 emissions for any sector. Current ICAO Annex 16 Standards include aircraft noise (Volume I) and engine emissions in respect of local air quality (Volume II), and the new CO2 standard is expected to become applicable as Volume III during the latter part of this year. Read more ...
|ICAO negotiations on CORSIA scheme challenging, European climate chief tells EU environment ministers|
Thu 2 Mar 2017 - The goal of stabilising rather than reducing emissions from international aviation through the use of international carbon credits fell below EU climate ambitions but the agreement reached at the ICAO Assembly last October on the CORSIA scheme starting in 2021 was a welcome and necessary first step on climate action for the sector, Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told EU environment ministers at a Council meeting on Wednesday. The EU's responsibility now, he said, was to make the scheme work and improve it over time, consistent with the goals agreed under the Paris Agreement. Intensive ongoing negotiations at ICAO on the rulebook and governance of the scheme were challenging, he reported. The Commission proposes a continuation of the EU ETS 'stop the clock' (STC) legislation until 2020 to allow for the discussions to continue, with further assessment needed to ensure the aviation sector contributed to EU 2030 climate targets. Canete urged the Council to swiftly reach an agreement with the European Parliament on STC. Read more ...
|Strategic decisions on EU aviation biofuel deployment urgently required to overcome cost obstacle|
Tue 28 Feb 2017 - Despite efficiency improvements and a global agreement to stabilise carbon emissions from international aviation at 2020 levels, due to rapid growth in the sector there is likely to be a gap of 232 million tonnes of CO2 between 2020 and 2030 within the EU alone. Although carbon offsetting may plug this gap, it is not a long-term solution and renewable jet fuels will be an essential element of structurally reducing these emissions but a number of obstacles need to be overcome in order to stimulate their use, says a new report. A major stumbling block is overcoming the price premium and researchers at Utrecht University and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) estimate that replacing five per cent of all regular aviation fuel by 2030 will cost upwards of €10 billion ($10.6bn). Their report looks at the pre-conditions for the ramp-up of biofuels for aviation in the EU and conclude that rapid strategic decisions are required to realise the required significant long-term emissions reductions. Read more ...
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