Airservices Australia's Flex Tracks programme completes 10 years of fuel and emissions savings for Emirates
Wed 11 Dec 2013 – A collaborative effort between Australia’s air traffic management provider Airservices Australia and Emirates Airline to deliver shorter journeys and reductions in fuel burn and emissions has marked its tenth anniversary. Designed to make the best use of high altitude jet-stream winds, Flex Tracks help airlines increase an aircraft’s speed and reduce fuel consumption on long-distance flights by identifying tailwinds and avoiding strong headwinds. Emirates commenced using a Flex Track on a flight between Dubai and Sydney on 1 December 2003, the first airline to do so in Australian airspace at that time. Since then, the two partners have worked to improve Flex Track procedures, which have now been adopted by other airlines and between an increasing number of cities.
Airservices currently produces 17 Flex Tracks daily between Australia and airports in Asia and the Middle East, and last month an average of 31 flights per day used the tracks.
Over the last 12 months, Flex Tracks have saved over 3,800 tonnes of fuel on Emirates’ daily flights to Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, representing more than 12,000 tonnes in carbon emissions savings.
“Airservices’ Flex Tracks solution has been an important part of our flight planning activities for ten years and continues to provide noticeable results,” said Tim Clark, Emirates Airline’s President. “Commercial aviation needs practical solutions to reduce fuel burn, flight time and CO2 emissions – not only for environmental reasons, but to ensure each flight is as cost effective as possible.
“Emirates is focused on flying efficiently, investing in the youngest fleet in the skies today and using technology like Flex Tracks to achieve results. Air infrastructure and policy needs to keep up with developments and enable these types of initiatives. These figures demonstrate the potential benefits that can be achieved when air navigation service providers are forward thinking.”
Emirates is also working with IATA to implement similar routing systems across the world as a standard operating procedure, including on flights between Dubai and São Paulo in Brazil. Using iFlex technology on this route, the airline can save up to 18 minutes of flight time and 7,700kg of CO2.