Airways NZ gives the all clear for world-first flight

The future of air travel will take off from Auckland Airport this week with the world’s first test flight to measure the impact of optimum flight conduct on reducing carbon emissions. Airways New Zealand,  along with key aviation partners in the US, Tahiti and NZ, will provide optimised air traffic control services to an Air New Zealand commercial Boeing 777 flight NZ8, re-named ASPIRE I, between Auckland and San Fransisco.  “ASPIRE 1 will demonstrate the potential for the commercial aviation industry to reduce carbon emissions by millions of tonnes annually. We’ve been working closely with Air New Zealand and our international allies to enable the flight to operate under optimum air traffic management flight planning conditions, which means using concepts and technologies to maximise efficiency throughout all phases of the flight” said manager of Oceanic Services for Airways NZ, Mark Goodall.

The aviation sector represents around 2-3% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Technological advancement has significantly reduced aircraft emissions on a per passenger basis over the last 30 years, but the steady growth in air transport activity is a challenge globally, and for the Asia Pacific region in particular.

“Through collaboration with the FAA [the US Federal Aviation Administration] and Air Services Australia, Airways NZ has become a world-leader in developing initiatives which help airlines in their quest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ASPIRE 1 is a tangible example of the willingness of airlines, industry and governments to work together to reduce aviation emissions on a global scale” said Goodall.

ASPIRE I will take off from Auckland Airport on September 12. As well as fare-paying passengers, the flight will also be carrying a number of industry and media representatives from throughout NZ, Europe, the UK and America and will showcase the advances being made towards ‘sustainable aviation’ - through a demonstration of the capabilities of the most advanced Air Navigation Services and airline fuel optimisation initiatives in current operation. This means the flight will have all practical operational restraints, including air traffic congestion control vectoring, air traffic fixed route structure, procedures, flow restrictions and airline restraints removed. It will result in a clear and measured understanding of the potential savings achievable (based on current technology). ASPIRE 1 is the first of several demonstration flights to be undertaken. The other demonstration flights are UAL B747 and QFA A380 between USA and Australia, both to be undertaken within the next 6 months.
ASPIRE (Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions) is a partnership in which the FAA, Air Services Australia and Airways New Zealand, as the air navigation service providers, works closely with governments, airlines and other air navigation service providers in the Asia Pacific region, to:

  • accelerate the development and implementation of operational procedures to reduce the environmental footprint for all phases of flight on an operation by operation basis, from gate to gate;
  • facilitate world-wide interoperability of environmentally friendly procedures and standards;
  • capitalize on existing technology and best practices;
  • develop shared performance metrics to measure improvements in the environmental performance of the air transport system; and
  • provide a systematic approach to ensure appropriate mitigation actions with short, medium and long-term results.
  • As part of the current program, ASPIRE is also developing a fuel and emission reduction metrics model.  This model will be used to establish the reductions already made through the implementation of reduced separation standards (such as 30nm oceanic enroute and 1,000ft reduced vertical separation), optimized arrivals and user preferred routes.  The model will also be used to determine fuel and emission impact of new operation procedures and separations, an as such will form part of the business case for their introduction.


Source: Airways New Zealand
For further information about Airways New Zealand, click here

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