Next round of demo flights under Inspire project set to begin

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The next round of demonstration flights under green air traffic management initiative Inspire (Indian Ocean Strategic Partnership to Reduce Emissions) is scheduled to take place this month after the first flight, operated by South African Airways on the Perth-Johannesburg route, saved 400kg (881lb) of fuel compared with a normal flight.

Inspire was launched by state-owned air traffic services provider Airservices Australia in 2010 following the success of the first collaborative environmental air traffic management project, the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (Aspire), with Airways New Zealand and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

Inspire aims to implement more environmentally-friendly ATM processes and technologies on flights across the Indian Ocean.

The first flight under the project was conducted by SAA in March and resulted in a 1,200kg reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, according to Airservices. This was significant as the route is already highly optimised, with many best practices in daily use.

inspire south africa flight - (c) airservices australia
© Airservices Australia 
The inaugural Inspire demonstration flight took place on 10 March. South African Airways Flight 281 flew from Perth to Johannesburg

Emirates, Etihad Airways and V Australia are also taking part in Inspire. Emirates is due to operate its Boeing 777 Perth-Dubai service under "perfect flight" conditions on 16 July. Etihad will follow with an Airbus A340 service between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, arriving on 17 July, when an Emirates 777 will also arrive in Brisbane from Dubai.

V Australia will complete the programme with a 777 service between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, arriving on 23 July.

The demonstration flights are being supported by Airports Authority of India, Abu Dhabi Airports, Abu Dhabi Department of Transport, the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Air Navigation Services, Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka), Maldives Airport Company and the Sultanate of Oman Civil Aviation Authority.

The aim is to demonstrate efficiencies that can be achieved in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean by removing controllable constraints as far as practicable, said Airservices. "The reduction in emissions that will be demonstrated by these flights will serve as a credible target level for air navigation service providers to work towards."

Airservices points out that the region is a distinctly different environment to Aspire's Asia-Pacific testing ground. "In this demonstration, there will be a particular focus on reducing ATM constraints in the northwest of the Indian Ocean," it said.

No further demonstration flights are planned, with the partners aiming to confirm the emissions savings and establish a work programme that will lead to the savings becoming daily practice.