You may not have noticed, but this past Christmas Santa went green. No, his outfit was still red but his flights took advantage of improved air traffic routing, a token contribution to reducing CO2 emissions.
From a press release from Avinor airport group:
The annual Santa Clausflights to Rovaniemi, Finland, from the UK will be allotted “green”routes this year from Avinor when they fly through Norwegian airspace.The aim is a reduction in CO2 emissions of 12-15 tons each day.
Earlier mostof the British Santa Claus flights had to fly point to point routes,which often led them outside Norwegian airspace on their way up toFinland. But international cooperation by Norway, Finland, Sweden,Denmark and the UK has now paved the way for shorter travel routes inNorwegian airspace and on to Finland.
“At peak times 35 planes are headed in each direction daily, andby cutting 7-800 nautical miles off the trip each way, we are talkingabout a significant reduction in emissions from this traffic,” says JanGunnar Pedersen from Avinor’s Air Navigation Services.
No disruption to air traffic
“The Santa Claus traffic is high enough in the airspaceso that it does not cause delays for ordinary passenger traffic inNorway. Most of the flights take place during the weekend. Avinor hastherefore set up shift schedules so that staffing matches the timesduring the weekend when the traffic is the heaviest.
“So far there are no indications that we will have problems withthis year’s ordinary Christmas traffic. We are committed to gettingpeople quickly and safely home for Christmas,” concludes Pedersen.