Aspire targets the launch of daily flights using optimized routings

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Now that five airlines participating in the Aspire programme have completed transpacific flights using fuel saving procedures, the group expects those methods could be used in daily operations beginning in June of this year.

The Asia and South Pacific initiative to reduce emissions (Aspire) was formed in February 2008 by Airservices Australia, Airways New Zealand and the FAA. Subsequently Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore have joined the group.

Air New Zealand, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qantas and United have all participated in flights to demonstrate and measure gate to gate emissions and fuel savings using optimized routing and other existing air traffic management technologies.

Combined the flights saved a total of 32,386kg (71,398lb) of fuel and 101,986kg (224,840lb) of carbon dioxide, said FAA's lead for international NextGen projects Maria Dipasquantonio during the ICAO Colloquium on Aviation and Climate change on 13 May.

Senior policy advisor on aviation and environment for New Zealand's aviation authority Shannon Scott says it is time to bring the ideas from those trials into regular operations. Aspire is targeting June of this year to launch a daily flight using those concepts, says Scott, who tells ATI that Air New Zealand is likely the first carrier to perform a flight using those procedures.

Working with one of those airline partners to use Aspire concepts on a daily city-pair route is one of three goals the organisation has developed for its daily flight programme. Other targets include expanding the city pairs and airlines operating Aspire flights and tracking and reporting progress of those aspirations.