Iberia fits Airbus A340 with air quality sampling equipment as part of IAGOS climate change research project
Mon 10 Mar 2014 – Iberia is to take part in the IAGOS air quality and composition measurement project, a part of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures. The IAGOS – Integration of Routine Aircraft Measurements into a Global Observing System – project measures the chemical composition of air samples taken from an aircraft at cruising altitude. The Spanish airline has installed air sampling equipment on an Airbus A340-300 used on routes to Latin America and will measure quantities of H2O, O3, CO, CO2, NOx and aerosols. To show variations over time, the aircraft will collect and report the data for several years. The data will also be reported to weather services almost in real time. Other airlines participating in IAGOS include Lufthansa, China Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Air France. The German airline was the first to join the project, equipping an A340-300 in July 2011.
Commercial flights allow large numbers of observations to be made at high altitudes, which would be beyond the scope of dedicated research aircraft or other means, such as satellites or by ground-based weather stations. The findings are intended to contribute to further scientific understanding of the impact of climate change.
“Our participation in the IAGOS project is an example of Iberia’s major contribution to environmental protection, which includes the incorporation of cleaner aircraft and numerous initiatives to reduce harmful emissions and put our business on an increasingly sustainable footing,” said Sergio Turrión, Iberia Corporate Development Manager.
The airline claims fleet replacement, aircraft laden weight reduction and route and speed optimisation have led to a reduction in its carbon emissions by 5% since 2009. It is also involved in alternative aviation fuel research projects, including one based on microalgae.