ASPIRE procedures move into regular operations as daily green flights across the Pacific become a reality
(photo: Air New Zealand)
Tue 22 Feb 2011 – Regular green flights across the Pacific took a step further yesterday with the first ‘ASPIRE-Daily City Pair’ flight from Auckland in New Zealand to San Francisco. The ASPIRE (Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions) collaboration introduces advanced air traffic management routing procedures to reduce fuel burn and emissions. Five ASPIRE demonstration flights involving Air New Zealand, Qantas, United Airlines, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines have taken place since the launch of the programme in 2008. Data gathered from these flights indicated fuel savings of an average 4 per cent and up to 15,000kg reduction of CO2 emissions. Other ASPIRE-Daily routes will come on line over the next four months, with several routes across the Eastern and Western part of the Asia-Pacific region.
“The fundamental reason for ASPIRE is to highlight what can be achieved by collaborating for the environment,” said Doug Scott, Chairman of the ASPIRE Partnership. “The success of the initial demonstration flights means we can now offer ASPIRE best practice on a daily basis on an expanding number of city-pair routes. Participating airlines will then track and report daily usage to help validate the programme’s performance.”
Airlines flying ASPIRE-Daily routes must be equipped with advanced avionics that allow them to use at least four of the environmentally-friendly gate-to-gate procedures per flight outlined in the programme, which involve the use of satellite-based navigation systems.
The ASPIRE-Daily City Pairs will be certified with a star rating system based on the number of best-practice procedures available, with three stars representing the minimum required and five stars indicating all best practices are available, including user preferred routings, reduced separation and arrival and departure optimisation.
ASPIRE partners include the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Airways New Zealand, Airservices Australia, CAAS (Singapore) and JCAB (Japan).
Mark Goodall of Airways New Zealand said ASPIRE can have far-reaching environmental benefits on a global scale. “Travellers see governments proposing environmental taxes on long-haul flights, yet what they’d prefer to see is an industry taking active steps to reduce its environmental impact,” he added.
“That’s ASPIRE: a network of partners across the region that are collectively committed to implementing the world’s best practice in air traffic management and environmental stewardship – every single day.”
Commented FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt: “This is another significant step in our rollout of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. We are beginning to bring the green benefits of NextGen to the airlines and passengers in the Pacific on a daily basis.”