Thomson Airways and aircraft manufacturer ATR set the standard for international environmental certification
Fri 22 July 2011 – Leisure carrier Thomson Airways and regional turboprop aircraft manufacturer ATR have each been awarded ISO 14001 certification for their operations. The international standard sets out how business organisations can put in place an effective Environmental Management System to help minimise environmental impacts. Thomson Airways claims it is the first airline in the UK to roll out the standard across engineering operations, while ATR says it is the first regional aircraft manufacturer to obtain certification covering the entire lifecycle of the aircraft.
In order to achieve the certification, Thomson Airways introduced a documented system outlining its approach to environmental management. It enables the airline to identify which engineering activities have the most significant environmental impact, so ensuring the processes that require improvement programmes are prioritised. The system is subject to bi-annual external audits to ensure continuous improvement is maintained.
Changes to engineering operations on board its aircraft have resulted in savings of 2,500 tonnes of CO2, reports Thomson. Weight-saving measures to achieve this include removing non-essential engineering spares, introducing lighter aircraft paint and removing a cargo loading system.
The airline, which is part of the TUI Travel holiday and leisure group, says ISO 14001 will be rolled out across all airline functions over time with a target of full airline certification by 2014.
Thomson Airways has committed to reduce waste and energy consumption by 10% and 15% respectively by 2013/14 compared to 2009/10 levels and reduce paper consumption by 50% by the same target date compared to 2008/9.
The airline will carry out the UK’s first commercial biofuel flight next week (July 28) on a flight from Birmingham to Palma and expects to continue with regular weekly flights for a period of a year (see story).
The ISO 14001 certificate was presented to ATR by certification body Det Norske Veritas Business Assurance France (DNV) during the recent Paris Air Show at a ceremony attended by France’s Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, and Thierry Mariani, Secretary of State for Transport.
The extended certification covers the company’s headquarters in Blagnac, near Toulouse, as well as its production site in St. Martin-du-Touch, where assembly, customisation, ground and in-flight testing, and sales and customer support activities take place.
It covers all stages of the production lifecycle, taking in design, parts and equipment purchases, transportation of aircraft subassemblies, customisation, painting, plane operations by airlines, technical and operational support, and specific customer support to the -500 and -600 series ATR aircraft.
“Respect for the environment is becoming a major responsibility in aviation,” said Eric Salaun, CEO of DNV. “All players, both aircraft manufacturers and airlines, need to make every effort to reduce their impact on the environment.”
ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato said the certification recognised the company’s commitment to the environment since it started over 30 year ago. “Today, our aircraft are the most environmentally-friendly planes in their class, with CO2 emissions just half those of regional jets and with the lowest noise emissions out of respect for those who live in close proximity to airports.”