Australia set to become first country to establish a nationwide network of green flight paths
(photo: Brisbane Airport)
Thu 2 July 2009 – Airservices Australia and Naverus of the US have signed an agreement that will provide Australia with the world’s first national network of green flight paths that could reduce annual carbon emissions by 122 million tonnes of CO2 when completed. In the ground-breaking move, the Australian air traffic control management organization and the global Performance-based Navigation (PBN) solutions provider will develop Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures (a form of PBN) for arrival and departure flight paths at up to 28 major airports around Australia over the next five years.
As well as significant savings in fuel – amounting to some 39 million kilograms per year – and emissions, the programme will also lead to reductions in aircraft noise levels for residents of some airport neighbourhoods.
The new RNP procedures, which can be used by all airlines whose aircraft are appropriately equipped and certified, will be similar to those designed by Naverus for trials carried out in 2007 by Airservices and Qantas at Brisbane. These procedures saved, on average, 2.6 minutes of flying time, 125kg of fuel and 390kg of CO2 per flight compared to standard procedures into the airport.
“The application of these procedures will allow us to deliver benefits to the aviation industry and the community through improvements in aviation safety and efficiency and environmental impact,” said Airservices CEO Greg Russell at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) annual general meeting in San Diego, California.
Naverus CEO Steve Forte said: “Reducing the impact of aircraft on the environment is a priority worldwide for all elements of the aviation industry. We’re looking forward to working with Airservices to roll out this technology and the benefits it can offer.”
Required Navigation Performance ensures the aircraft stays precisely on course and provides additional navigational flexibility, such as custom-tailored, curved paths through mountainous terrain or in congested airspace.
Last month, Naverus was formally registered as an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) supplier of PBN services.