Emirates to conduct world's longest green flight trial to coincide with launch of new service to San Francisco
Emirates Boeing 777-200LR
Wed 10 Dec 2008 – Emirates Airline is set to trial the longest green flight to date next Monday (December 15) to coincide with the airline’s inaugural flight from Dubai to San Francisco. Christened the Emvironment flight, the 16-hour, non-stop, cross-polar journey has been plotted with the cooperation of government agencies in Dubai, Russia, Iceland, Canada and the United States, and will involve multiple fuel and emission saving measures that the airline hopes will save an estimated 30,000 pounds (13.6 tonnes) of carbon emissions.
Following negotiations with the Russian Government, a more fuel-efficient south-north route, rather than east-west across northern Europe, has been planned through Russian airspace, with the flight crossing near the North Pole and then through flexible routings within Canadian airspace down to the US West Coast. In conjunction with aerospace manufacturers, Emirates has already operated three flights over the Polar region to evaluate the route and operating conditions.
Preparations for the green flight will start with one of the airline’s new Boeing 777-200LR “eco-efficient” aircraft being specially washed beforehand to minimize drag. A list of additional fuel-saving and environmental measures includes:
·The aircraft will use electrical power on the ground in Dubai rather than running its auxiliary power unit;
·Dubai Air Traffic Control (ATC) will give the aircraft priority clearance for both taxiing and departure;
·A pre-planned priority departure route out of Dubai will provide an unimpeded climb through to cruise altitude, allowing the aircraft to reach its optimum cruise altitude as quickly and efficiently as possible;
·Real-time updates of current weather and wind conditions will allow the flight crew to modify their flight path en-route;
·The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and San Francisco ATC will seek to offer optimal routings for arrival and, if possible, a continuous descent approach (CDA) to minimize fuel burn;
·The aircraft will use minimal thrust on landing and a single-engine taxi to its gate; and
·All on-board glass, newspapers, aluminium and paper will be collected for recycling.
“After months of planning, Emirates’ Emvironment flight is a best-practice trial of how airlines, governments, manufacturers, technology providers and airports can work together to be as eco-efficient as possible,” commented HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group.
“Emirates is seeking to reduce the environmental impact of our operations wherever we can and the Emvironment inaugural flight is a perfect example of these ambitions. The development of new technologies, flight operation procedures and advanced air traffic management proves that our industry is making real gains in environmental performance.”
Last month, San Francisco International Airport hosted the arrival of a United Airlines’ B747-400 from Sydney, the first US airline to undertake a green procedures flight, as part of the ASPIRE trans-Pacific initiative (see story). Europe recently announced that it planned to carry out around 100 green procedures flight trials during the course of next year as part of the SESAR programme (see story).