Aspire trials confirm fuel and emisions savings as partners review data

Washington DC
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Two of the three airlines that participated in the recent fuel-optimised "Aspire" flight progamme calculate that they saved more than 10,470 litres (2,760 USgal) of kerosene and emitted 25.8t less carbon emissions.

This is the combined result from the Air New Zealand and United Airlines trial, but does not include Qantas which also participated this autumn in the Asia and South Pacific initiative to reduce emissions programme. Airservices Australia, Airways New Zealand and the US Federal Aviation Administration were also involved in the initiative, which is aimed at accelerating the development of air traffic control procedures designed to reduce emissions.

ANZ's Boeing 777 trial between Auckland and San Francisco on 12 September burned 4,542 litres less fuel and emitted 11t less carbon monoxide than usual. Fuel and emissions savings were slightly better than predicted, according to Airways NZ, with 5min also knocked off the normal flight time.

United's Boeing 747-400 trial from Sydney to San Francisco earlier this month used 11 fuel-saving initiatives such as priority take-off clearance, access to restricted airspace around Sydney, in-flight rerouting based on up-to-the-minute fuel data and a tailored arrival. Gate to gate the flight achieved around 3.5% lower fuel consumption translating to 5,920 litres over 11,930km (6,440nm). The flight also saved 14.8t of carbon emissions.

United will now review results and submit its data to the FAA and NASA for analysis.

More Aspire trials could be forthcoming, with the FAA saying that northern and western Pacific service providers and Asian flag carriers are likely to join the programme. More demonstrations may take place early as the third quarter of 2009, it adds, following the publishing of an Aspire annual report during the second quarter.