Wings Magazine

NAV CANADA trials seek to reduce GHG emissions

Aug. 30, 2011, Ottawa - NAV CANADA has begun flight trials, with its consortium partners NATS of the UK and Air France, to demonstrate new procedures to improve fuel efficiency and reduce aviation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for international flights transiting the North Atlantic airspace.

August 30, 2011  By Carey Fredericks

The flight trials, which began with an Air Canada flight from Frankfurt to Toronto on August 9, will continue through the fall of 2011. In addition to Air Canada, participants in the trials include Air France, British Airways, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines.

A report detailing the fuel savings and GHG reductions of the trial flights will be tabled at an international meeting scheduled for October 2011 in Montreal, Canada.

"The results of the first trial are very encouraging and have exceeded our initial estimates," said Rudy Kellar, Vice President of Operations. "Analysis of the Air Canada flight shows a savings of over 800 litres of fuel and a reduction in GHG emissions by more than 2,100 kilograms. At today's fuel prices, this translates to a cost savings of nearly $700 for this one flight," Kellar added.

Preliminary estimates for these trials predicted a saving of approximately 250 litres of fuel and 650 kilograms of GHG emissions compared to normal operations on similar trans-Atlantic flights.


The trials are part of the ENGAGE Corridor Project, an initiative of NATS, Nav Canada, and Air France co-sponsored by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), aimed at improving the efficiency of the 350,000 flights per year that cross the North Atlantic. ENGAGE is being undertaken as part of the SJU "Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions" (AIRE) Program. The Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) agreement between the European Commission and the FAA is a programme which aims to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate the pace of change by taking advantage of air traffic management (ATM) best practices and capitalise on present aircraft technology. It enables the implementation of environmentally friendly procedures for all phases of flight. AIRE is an important part of the green component of the SESAR programme and the SESAR Joint Undertaking is responsible for its management from a European perspective.

The ENGAGE trial flights will measure fuel and emissions savings through the use of two procedures: progressive or continuous altitude change; and a corresponding change in aircraft speed (Mach), within an approved airspace block.

This project uses technology NAV CANADA has implemented including Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) to reduce aircraft separation, thereby increasing airspace capacity and allowing variable altitude and speed.


Stories continue below