SAS and Avinor undertake green approach testing at one of Norway's most demanding airports
Fri 21 Aug 2009 – SAS and Norwegian airport operator and air navigation service provider Avinor have carried out a green approach landing test at topographically challenging Tromsø Airport, which reduced emissions by 300kg of CO2 compared to a normal flight. Although many such landings by SAS aircraft have taken place in Sweden, the procedure was the first of its kind with this level of navigational accuracy, said Avinor. The Boeing 737 Next Generation SAS aircraft, with experts from Avinor and the Norwegian CAA on board, took off from Tromsø Airport on August 11 at 00.30 and landed an hour later after carrying out a series of optimal approaches using satellite systems.
“This technology offers new opportunities at airports where the terrain currently causes a longer flight path than optimal,” said Torbjørn Henriksen, Environmental Coordinator with Avinor’s air navigation services division. “As with SAS, Avinor works towards reducing emissions from the aviation industry, and this is one of several important measures to achieve this.”
Most of the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedure is carried out automatically by the aircraft, which glides downwards with idling engines in a perfect arc during much of the approach. The pilots monitor the systems and take over the controls just before landing.
“The effect on the environment is most important, but it will also allow Avinor to reduce investment in ground-based navigation equipment in the years ahead,” said Henriksen.
Avinor will now prepare RNP procedures for this type of green approach, which must then be approved by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority. Avinor said the procedures will lead to an international breakthrough in reducing aviation emissions.