Singapore joins Asia-Pacific emissions reduction initiative and schedules first green demonstration flight
Fri 29 Jan 2010 – The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is joining the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE), a partnership of air navigation service providers (ANSPs) focused on environmental stewardship in the region. A formal joint agreement is to be signed this coming Monday (Feb 1) and will be marked on Sunday (Jan 31) by the world’s first multi-sector demonstration green flight, a two-leg flight operated by Singapore Airlines from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo. By flying optimal routes and other fuel reducing measures, significant savings can be made in carbon emissions. Singapore now joins the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the work programme.
ASPIRE was started in February 2008 by the US Federal Aviation Administration, Airways New Zealand and Airservices Australia, with the first demonstration flight taking place in September 2008 of an Air New Zealand Boeing 777 aircraft flying from Auckland to San Francisco. Two further trans-Pacific flights took place shortly afterwards involving a Qantas A380 and a United Airlines B747-400. The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau joined the programme in October 2009 and Japan Airlines operated a B747-400 green flight from Honolulu to Osaka.
The purpose of the green demonstration flights is to show the gate-to-gate fuel savings and emissions reductions that can be achieved using existing efficiency procedures with constraints removed where possible. The four flights so far conducted have produced combined savings of around 22,000kg of fuel and 69,000kg of CO2 emissions.
CAAS is partnering with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to conduct the first ASPIRE flight covering two sectors. SIA flight SQ11 is scheduled to depart Los Angeles International on Sunday (Jan 31) for Tokyo Narita, finally arriving in Singapore on Tuesday (Feb 2). Fellow ANSPs in the US and Japan will work together with CAAS and SIA to facilitate the flight from beginning to end.
The best practices and initiatives in air traffic management and flight operation procedures employed for the flight, as well as actual fuel savings and reduction of carbon emissions achieved by the flight, are expected to be announced on the day of arrival in Singapore.
Yap Ong Heng, Director-General of CAAS, commented: “CAAS’ participation in ASPIRE demonstrates its commitment to adopting best practices in air navigation to play its part in addressing aviation emissions and the environment.”
Singapore Airline’s Senior Executive Vice-President Operations and Planning, Bey Soo Khiang, said: “Singapore Airlines is proud to participate by operating the first multi-sector demonstration green flight. The experience gained will not only set benchmarks in terms of best practices, but also help to encourage responsible environmental performance in the air transport industry.
“Even though we have a very young and modern fleet, we continue to adopt best industry practices to further improve fuel efficiency and therefore reduce carbon emissions. This includes strict control on the aircraft weight, regular engine wash, and airframe wash and polish programmes. For this particular flight, on top of these regular measures, we will employ real-time updates of weather conditions to chart the most efficient routing for the aircraft instead of flying a predetermined route. And upon arrival, a continuous descent approach to the airport will be adopted if conditions permit.”