New ASPIRE routes by Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian expected to save over 5,200 tonnes of CO2 annually
Capt Brian Beres, Hawaiian Airlines operations chief pilot and First Officer Jason Akina conduct pre-flight checks prior to ASPIRE flight between Honolulu and Brisbane
Thu 27 Oct 2016 – Two new routes involving fuel and emission reduction strategies have been opened up as a result of the Asia South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) programme. Since its establishment in 2008, the initiative’s partner airlines and air navigation agencies have implemented 30 ASPIRE Daily City Pairs across the region and the latest additions involve Singapore Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. The Singapore Airlines’ service, dubbed the Capital Express, is a new multi-sector route inaugurated last month between Singapore, Canberra and Wellington. Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS), Airservices Australia and Airways New Zealand say all flights on the route will make use of ASPIRE practices that should save around 1,500 tonnes of fuel and 4,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions over the course of a year. Hawaiian’s three weekly flights using an Airbus A330 aircraft between Honolulu and Brisbane are expected to realise potential annual savings of 670 tonnes of emissions.
ASPIRE was initially formed by Airways New Zealand, Airservices Australia and the US Federal Aviation Administration, and has now been extended to include six air navigation services and 10 partner airlines. After early one-off demonstration flights, in February 2011 the first Daily City Pair flight was launched between Auckland and San Francisco. The flights operate under optimal flight plan conditions, utilising a range of practices such as making use of favourable winds, user-preferred routes, reduced airborne holding, continuous descent arrivals and reduced taxi times.
Each Daily City Pair is certified with a star rating system based on the number of best-practice procedures available, with a maximum of five stars awarded. To qualify as a Daily City Pair route, aircraft must be equipped with advanced avionics, including satellite-based Required Navigation Performance avionics and the Future Air Navigation System. Airlines track and report usage of their nominated ASPIRE practices through IATA.
The results from the inaugural Capital Express flights were achieved by using 25 of a possible 32 efficient flight operations and air traffic management practices on all four sectors, so achieving a four-plus star rating.
In 2010, Singapore Airlines was the first to fly a multi-sector demonstration flight when it saved 10,686kg of fuel and 33,769 kg of carbon emissions on its Singapore to Los Angeles via Tokyo route.
“We are pleased to have added our new Singapore–Canberra–Wellington flights to the successful ASPIRE programme and thank our partners for helping make it possible,” said the airline’s SVP Flight Operations, Captain CE Quay.
Added Airservices’ Executive General Manager Air Navigation Services, Stephen Angus: “The new route is another excellent example of airlines, airports and air navigation agencies working together to reduce aviation greenhouse gas emissions globally.”
The ASPIRE flights, which will also benefit from a further saving of five minutes per flight as a result of introducing new direct route segments across the Tasman, could reduce the airline’s fuel costs by over a million dollars a year, said Paul Zissermann, Aviation Emissions Manager at Canberra-based Airservices.
The nine-and-a-half-hour Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to Brisbane implemented seven ASPIRE practices, covering taxiing, in-flight and landing procedures. These included User Preferred Routes, which allow airlines to customise a more efficient flight path based on factors such as fuel optimisation and forecasted winds; Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedures, or the ability to conduct multiple in-flight route adjustments in response to updated atmospheric conditions; and Optimised Descent Profile, which permits an aircraft to approach and land with minimal changes in engine thrust. Other strategies include 30/30 Reduced Oceanic Separation, which reduces safe separation of aircraft between aircraft from 100 nautical miles to 30; Time-based Arrivals Management; Arrivals Optimisation; Departures Optimisation; and Surface Movement Optimisation.
“As a Hawaii-based airline in the centre of the Pacific Ocean, we are particularly mindful of the importance of minimising our impact on the environment and our island home,” said Captain Ken Rewick, the airline’s VP Flight Operations. “It was an honour for our employees in Honolulu and Brisbane to collaborate with our Australian partners and the FAA to achieve remarkable operational efficiencies.”
The Brisbane route becomes the airline’s second City Pair, following an inaugural ASPIRE flight from Auckland to Honolulu in April.
Airservices is hosting the next ASPIRE annual meeting in Melbourne on the sidelines of the Avalon Airshow in late February.