New fuel and emissions savings procedure introduced for A380 superjumbo departures from Heathrow
Singapore Airlines A380 (photo: SIA)
Thu 4 Mar 2010 – London’s Heathrow Airport, Airbus, Singapore Airlines and the UK’s air traffic control services provider NATS have developed a new airline procedure in which Airbus A380 aircraft departing from Heathrow will use less power when taking off. It will, they claim, save around 300kg of fuel per flight, equating to one tonne of CO2 emissions, as well as reducing NOx emissions and remaining within the airport’s noise limits. The four partners have worked on the procedure over the last year and it has now been put into place. Heathrow estimates that by 2020 one in ten flights at the airport could be operated by the superjumbo.
Under the procedure, once a height of 1,500 feet has been reached, the aircraft uses flexible and early acceleration up to 4,000 feet, before continuing on its journey. The NOx benefit is coming from switching from what is known as a TOGA procedure to a FLEX procedure.
“The Airbus A380 is already the most fuel efficient aircraft in commercial service, burning 17% less fuel per passenger than other large aircraft,” said Jane Dawes, Heathrow’s Operational Noise and Air Quality Manager. “By 2020 one in ten flights at Heathrow could use A380s. It is important that we work constantly with our airlines to improve operating processes, and the introduction of these new departure procedures demonstrates our commitment to reducing emissions.”
Captain Gerard Yeap, Senior Vice President Flight Operations, Singapore Airlines, commented: “Our cooperation with Heathrow, NATS and Airbus goes to show what can be achieved when stakeholders share the same goal of reducing carbon emissions and fuel burn. Singapore Airlines is committed to playing its part in ensuring greener skies and sustainable air travel, and we hope this partnership will serve as a model for airport operators and governments elsewhere in the world.”
According to Airbus, the A380 consumes less than three litres of fuel per passenger per 100km and half the noise energy at take-off compared to other large aircraft.
“The A380 represents the most significant step forward in reducing aircraft fuel burn and resultant emissions in four decades, whilst offering greater comfort on board,” said Tom Williams, Executive Vice President Programmes, Airbus.