Brussels, 13 July 2010. The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) selected 18 projects involving 40 airline, airport, ANSP and industry partners to expand the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE). Under the initiative, the SJU supports integrated flight trials and demonstrations validating solutions for the reduction of CO2 emissions for surface, terminal and oceanic flight operations. Seven of the 18 proposals include green gate-to-gate projects, among others between France and the French West Indies. One highlight of the programme will be a series of green transatlantic flights with the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner.
AIRE was launched in 2007, designed to improve energy efficiency and aircraft noise in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The SJU is responsible for its management from a European perspective. In 2009, the SJU supported 1,152 green flight trials under the AIRE umbrella. 18 partners in five locations participated in the trials.
As a result of a complementary call for tender, more partners will be involved in AIRE in additional pioneer locations such as Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, Morocco, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. “AIRE 2 means more partners in more locations with more trials for more results. We will demonstrate that green flight operations can be applied everywhere immediately, when partners agree to work together with a common goal. This is not the future, this is SESAR’s reality”, says Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the SJU.
Other new features of the programme are for example gate-to-gate flight trials performed between European city pairs as an addition to complete green transatlantic flights. Some of the validation projects will be conducted in the most congested European airspaces and on the busiest European airports (e.g Schiphol). Some projects will focus on vertical and speed optimisation, while partners who have already participated in 2009, will expand on the results achieved so far with a strong link to routine use of green procedures. AIRE is building the first blocks of the SESAR Concept of Operations by testing SESAR 4D trajectory-based operations and SESAR’s concept of performance-based navigation.
Key green projects. The second AIRE call for tender sought for commercial flight trial projects for energy-efficient air traffic management (ATM) operations enabling lower engine emissions and aircraft noise:
Two proposals were selected for green surface trials. The project “Greener airports operations under adverse conditions” executed by DSNA in partnership with Aéroports de Paris and Air France will for example study operational situations in adverse conditions, caused by bad weather or other factors that constrain runway use.
Out of the five projects selected for terminal operations, one is conducted by Lufthansa in cooperation with DFS and Germanwings. The partners propose to trial a new procedure coupling the arrival flows of Dusseldorf and Cologne. This area has a high traffic density and is a complex area entailing the achievement of significant environmental benefits when implemented.
For en-route/oceanic, four projects are selected covering five new locations (Portugal, Canada, Morocco, the United Kingdom and the United States). NAV Portugal will for example with TAP Portugal and the Moroccan ONDA (Office National des Aéroports) aim to offer shortest flight paths across the flight information regions of Lisbon and Casablanca to heavy long-range aircraft that operate those routes. The miles and minutes saved using this procedure entail significant fuel savings and CO2 reduction.
In total, seven gate-to-gate projects will be conducted through the programme. Amongst others, Airbus, Air France, NATS, and NAV Canada will perform a series of transatlantic green flights with the A380. Another one is looking at green shuttle flights between Paris and Toulouse.
Partners involved. In total, some 40 partners involving airlines, airports, air navigation service providers, and aircraft manufacturers will demonstrate that significant efficiency gains can be achieved through new procedures using existing technology. The 2010/11 AIRE partners will include:
Airlines (Air Europa, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, Germanwings, Iberia, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, Novair, SAS, SWISS, TAP Portugal), air navigation service providers (Aena, Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic, Austro Control, Belgocontrol, DFS, DSNA, DGAC, NATS, NAV Portugal, ONDA, LFV, LVNL, Skyguide), airport operators (Aéroports de Paris, Brussels Airport, Flughafen Zürich AG, Goteborg Landvetter ) and industry partners (Adacel, Airbus, CRIDA A.I.E, GE aviation, INECO, National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), Pildo labs, Quovadis, Rockwell Collins, SENASA, Swedavia).
In addition to the partners listed above, the FAA and NAV Canada will also directly support some of the gate-to-gate projects. The respective contracts are expected to be signed in September 2010 followed by an immediate start of projects.
The SESAR programme is the operational and technological answer to the major challenges of European air traffic growth. The aim of the SESAR Joint Undertaking is to ensure the modernisation of the European air traffic management system by coordinating and concentrating all relevant research and development efforts in the Community. Partnership, sustainability and user-drive are key concepts of the SESAR Joint Undertaking approach. Founded by the European Commission and by Eurocontrol, fifteen companies are members of the SJU: AENA, Airbus, Alenia Aeronautica, the DFS, the DSNA, ENAV, Frequentis, Honeywell, INDRA, NATMIG, NATS (En Route) Limited, NORACON, SEAC, SELEX Sistemi Integrati and Thales.