Airways New Zealand, New Zealand’s air navigation services provider, is providing a of range service efficiencies, improved procedures, and world-leading initiatives to assist airlines in their quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they fly into and over New Zealand’s 37 million square kilometres of airspace. Airways’ estimates of the annual value of the company’s existing fuel saving efforts through efficient vectoring and flow control are in the vicinity of NZ$20 million per year to the New Zealand airline industry. Airways New Zealand Communications Manager, Ken Mitchell, says these existing fuel savings are being realised every day in the skies over New Zealand through the professionalism and expertise New Zealand’s air traffic controllers and their commitment to finding flight efficiencies for every aircraft they control.
"But a number of new initiatives will play an increasingly important role in airline fuel economies by focussing on flexible and efficient routing, and further promoting collaborative working practices between airline operators, airport companies and Airways New Zealand," says Mr Mitchell.
"Among the new initiatives is the development of an online Collaborative Arrivals Manager involving the sharing of real-time information between airlines, airport companies and Airways New Zealand, to ensure agreed scheduling during disruptive weather conditions," says Mr Mitchell.
Developed by Airways New Zealand and scheduled to be operational in September, the Collaborative Arrivals Manager system will enable New Zealand’s airlines to actively co-operate to get priority flights moving.
"The result will be fuel economies driven by more effective scheduling, with a subsequent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as holding patterns in the air and engine idling on the ground are significantly reduced."
User Preferred Routing, which has been operational over New Zealand’s oceanic airspace for a number of years means pilots can elect to alter their routes while they are airborne to achieve better flight efficiency through the benefit of prevailing wind patterns.
"The recent introduction of a reduced 30/30 nautical mile horizontal separation standard within our Oceanic sector - a world first for such a reduced separation standard - provides for further efficiency and emission reductions for international flights through improved access to their preferred routes and flight levels, with no reduction in safety."
Airways New Zealand has also been working with Air New Zealand and Qantas to conduct an Optimised Arrival Trial which allows landing aircraft to follow continuous descent approach procedures into Auckland airport. The ‘optimised descents’ have been flown with aircraft engines set at idle, thereby significantly reducing fuel burn and greenhouse gas emissions.
"The trial will establish what the actual fuel burn is for an arriving flight and gauge the potential fuel savings and associated emission reductions of using these types of optimised descent approaches."
"The anticipated emission reductions from the trial are expected to be significant, and once the results of the trial are digested, plans will be developed to explore ways to include these types of descent profiles into regular operation."
Produced in 2006, Airways’ ‘Strategic Vision of Air Traffic Management in New Zealand in 2015 and Beyond’ sets out the expectations of New Zealand’s future air traffic management system featuring improved safety, greater capacity, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Known as ‘Required Navigation Performance’ (RNP), this project sets out a the blueprint for the future of New Zealand’s air traffic management environment, by reducing the track miles and designing routes which optimise unrestricted climb and descent, further minimising greenhouse gas emissions.
"Airways’ vision of the future and its embraced philosophy of partnership with its customers combine to lead the industry in its approach to future Air Traffic Management development. Airways New Zealand recognises that aviation has an environmental impact and is committed to doing everything it can to limit the industry’s impact on the environment," says Mr Mitchell.
Source: Airways New Zealand
For further information about Airways New Zealand, click here