Brisbane Airport aviation trial leads to reduction of 650 tonnes of aircraft GHG emissions
(photo: Airservices Australia)
Wed 19 Mar 2008 – A trial conducted by Airservices Australia that integrates Required Navigation Performance (RNP) aircraft approach and departure procedures into a busy international airport environment is estimated to have saved 200 tonnes of jet fuel burn and 650 tonnes of CO2 emissions in the first 12 months.
Named the Brisbane Green Project, government-owned Airservices Australia has worked closely in the trial with Qantas Airways (who has pioneered the introduction of the procedure into Australia), Naverus (a US-based RNP procedure design specialist) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia (CASA).
As well as fuel and CO2 reductions as a result of savings in flight time of 4,200 minutes and distance flown of 17,300 nautical miles, there has been a reduction in the total aircraft noise footprint and reduced traffic delays resulting from shorter arrivals for RNP aircraft, reports Airservices.
Under RNP, suitably equipped aircraft fly existing flight paths with much greater precision utilizing the latest state-of-the-art avionics and navigation systems.
“The trial at Brisbane Airport, which is the nation’s third busiest by passenger movements, clearly shows that the adoption of technologies available in today’s aircraft and by air traffic control organizations such as Airservices Australia can potentially deliver significant environmental benefits to the community and efficiencies to industry,” said Airservices’ CEO, Greg Russell.
The successful introduction of Stage One of the project has led to the adoption of this procedure at nine airports across Australia. The broad range of environments where RNP is being deployed demonstrates its suitability as a global solution, believes Airservices. Stages Two and Three take place this year and in 2009, and will involve the additional participation of other airlines.
At present there are six RNP approach and 12 RNP departure procedures deployed at Brisbane. In the first twelve months of the project, over 15,500 RNP procedures were conducted, including more than 8,000 approaches. Of these approaches, 1,612 were conducted in night or instrument conditions that required an instrument approach.
The company says the intent of the project “is to foster collaboration and harmonization with the international community in the interests of a safer, environmentally sustainable, more efficient and performance-based Air Traffic Management system.”
In February, Airservices, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Airways New Zealand created the Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) Partnership. Airservices says Brisbane Green is an example of the work to be advanced under ASPIRE and “demonstrates the benefits of a collaborative approach”.
Details of how the RNP procedure operates, together with an environmental analysis of the findings of Stage One can be found in a report published by Airservices (link below).