Series of A380 transatlantic green flights planned as SESAR selects 18 AIRE 2 carbon reduction projects
The Airbus A380 is to take part in a series of green transatlantic flights
Thu 15 July 2010 – The European SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) has selected 18 new projects to expand the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) programme that supports flight trials and demonstrations to reduce aviation CO2 emissions from surface, terminal and oceanic flight operations. A highlight of the programme will be a series of green transatlantic flights with the Airbus A380 superjumbo involving Airbus, Air France, NATS (UK) and NAV Canada. Seven of the 18 proposals include green gate-to-gate projects, among others between France and the French West Indies. In total, some 40 partners will be involved in the 2010/11 AIRE, including 13 airlines, four airport authorities and 13 air navigation service providers (ANSPs), with the FAA and NAV Canada supporting some of the gate-to-gate projects.
In 2009, the SJU supported 1,152 green flight trials under AIRE, involving 18 partners in five locations. The second AIRE call for tender yielded more partners from additional locations such as Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, Morocco, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
“AIRE 2 means more partners in more locations with more trials for more results,” said Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the SJU. “We will demonstrate that green flight operations can be applied everywhere immediately, when partners agree to work together with a common goal. This is not the future, this is SESAR’s reality.”
AIRE was launched in 2007 by the European Commission and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with the SJU responsible for its management from a European perspective. As well as the green transatlantic flights, new features of the programme include gate-to-gate trials performed between European city pairs, with some projects conducted in the most congested European airspaces and at the busiest airports, such as Amsterdam Schiphol. Other projects will focus on vertical and speed optimization, while partners who have already participated in 2009 will expand on achievements made so far with a strong link to routine use of green procedures.
In another trial, Aéroports de Paris and Air France will study operational situations in adverse conditions, caused by bad weather or other factors that constrain runway use. Lufthansa, in cooperation with DFS and Germanwings, propose to trial a new procedure coupling the arrival flows at Dusseldorf and Cologne. This complex area has a high traffic density with the potential for significant environmental benefits.
Four en-route/oceanic projects have been selected covering five new locations: Portugal, Canada, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the United States. NAV Portugal, TAP Portugal and ONDA, the Moroccan airports authority, will aim for the shortest flight paths across the flight information regions of Lisbon and Casablanca to heavy long-range aircraft that operate the routes.
As well as the green transatlantic flights, the seven gate-to-gate projects include one looking at green shuttle flights between Paris and Toulouse.
The contracts with the 40 partners are expected to be signed in September, followed by an immediate start of projects.
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) programme, one of Europe’s most ambitious research and development projects, is the technological and operational dimension of the Single European Sky. Reducing the environmental impact per flight by 10% is one of the key goals of the programme.