SESAR announces 100 emissions-reducing European green procedure flight trials to take place in 2009
Patrick Ky, Executive Director, SESAR Joint Undertaking
Thu Nov 19 2008 – The SESAR programme, the operational and technology component of Europe’s Single European Sky (SES) air traffic modernization legislation, has received a kick-start with the announcement that over 100 flight trials, involving 17 partners representing airlines, airports, air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and industry, will take place during next year under the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) framework. Greener flight procedures could potentially reduce carbon emissions per flight by 10%.
The SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research programme) Joint Undertaking (JU) is managed by the European Commission and Eurocontrol, and is designed to ensure the development of a sustainable air transport system in Europe. By 2020, the aim is to bring – along with the 10% reduction in the environmental impact of flights – a threefold increase in capacity, improvements to safety by a factor of 10 and to cut ATM-related costs by 50%.
During the course of this year, the JU has been negotiating agreements with the industry partners to define and agree on the allocation of work and resources. The total estimated cost of the development phase of SESAR is €2.1 billion ($2.65bn), to be shared equally between the EC, Eurocontrol and industry. Given the nature of the programme and its scope, the EC contribution will come equally from Research and Trans-European Network funds.
Europe sees an important harmonization with the United States’ NextGen ATM modernization project and AIRE is an agreement between the two that aims to develop emissions-reducing operations on transatlantic routes. Over the past two months, the US FAA has been conducting similar new technology-driven transpacific flight trials under the ASPIRE initiative with Qantas, Air New Zealand and United Airlines, together with the two Australian and New Zealand ANSPs.
The 17 SESAR industry partners are Airbus, Air France, DSNA, Aéroports de Paris, Thales, ADACEL, AVTECH, Egis Avia, Nav Portugal, TAP Air Portugal, Isavia, Icelandair, AENA, INECO, Iberia, LFV and Novair.
The trials will be conducted for ground movements and also terminal and oceanic procedures. In certain cases, data from the various flight trials will be coordinated to provide a gate-to-gate overview.
Green ground movement trials with Air France at Paris CDG, in cooperation with DSNA (the French ANSP) and Aéroports de Paris, will seek to demonstrate the effectiveness of a new collaborative decision support system which will minimize taxiing time and allow for single-engine taxi operation, thanks to enhanced time predictability.
Green Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs) and climb trials are planned at Madrid, Paris CDG and Stockholm airports. Europe’s first Required Navigation Performance (RNP) CDA has been arranged to take place at Stockholm Arlanda in cooperation with Airbus.
Ever increasing traffic flows between Europe and North America are leading to inefficient fuel consumption with current systems. Trials will take place on selected routes between Europe and North/Latin America in 2009 involving green Oceanic procedures and techniques.
“Greener flight procedures could reduce the environmental impact per flight by 10%,” commented Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the SESAR JU. “To make this happen, we need to validate these new procedures under real operating conditions. Each flight demonstration and trial project will aim to demonstrate the environmental, operational and economic benefits which modern, environmentally friendly solutions will bring to air traffic management.
“To take an example of a Stockholm to New York flight operated with an Airbus A330, today’s consumption is about 46 tonnes of fuel, equivalent to 144 tonnes of CO2. It is estimated, thanks to greener air traffic management, savings of 14.4 tonnes of CO2 could therefore be achieved.”
Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner for Transport, said he was confident that green procedures would soon be put into daily practice, “reducing the costs and the effects on the environment and on the people living around airports.”