NAV CANADA, partners continue fuel savings project
Nov. 8, 2012, Ottawa - NAV CANADA has announced the launch of the second phase of the ENGAGE Demonstration project, a collaborative initiative to reduce aircraft fuel burn and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the North Atlantic – the world's busiest oceanic airspace.
NAV CANADA is leading the ENGAGE II Demonstration project in partnership with Air France and NATS, the United Kingdom's air navigation service provider.
The ENGAGE II Demonstration will build on and further expand the successes of the ENGAGE flight trials that were completed last year. A Consortium of NAV CANADA and Air France was awarded the ENGAGE II project by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) as part of its Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) Program.
"We are pleased that the SJU continues to show confidence in our ability to employ new technology and procedures in the global efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the aviation industry," said Rudy Kellar, NAV CANADA Vice President, Operations. "ENGAGE I was a proven success which demonstrated real benefits in cost savings as well as the reduction in GHG emissions."
As part of ENGAGE I, some 25 flight trials were executed over the North Atlantic. Through the application of more efficient flight profiles, the average reduction in GHG emissions per flight was nearly 1,300 kilograms while the fuel saving per flight was close to 500 litres.
Those flight trials tested the viability of two concepts on North Atlantic operations: progressive or continuous altitude change; and corresponding changes in aircraft speed (Mach) in place of the more traditional single speed, single altitude flight profile over the Ocean.
As a flight transits the ocean, fuel is consumed and the weight of the aircraft decreases, resulting in the most efficient flight level becoming higher (assuming zero wind). Therefore, an efficient flight profile may include a progressive or continuous altitude change and/or change in Mach.
"In ENGAGE II, we plan to significantly increase the number of flight trials using variable altitude and variable speed," said Kellar. "We have more carriers participating in an expanded oceanic region and we expect to execute over 100 trials – a four-fold increase from phase one of the project."
In addition to the increased flight trials to confirm the viability of the concept over an expanded region; the demonstration flights will also permit the collection of data necessary to support the future implementation of the procedures after the trials have concluded.
The first trials began in late October and early results are encouraging. The project will continue until the fall of 2013.