Airlines operating Boeing 737s in Europe have been given the green light to use an optimised landing approach that significantly reduces the amount of fuel used during arrival and approach operations, thereby reducing CO2 and NOx emissions by roughly 20% compared to standard arrival procedures.

The advanced continuous descent approach (A-CDA), also known as the ‘Green Approach’, is the result of GE Aviation’s Systems division’s successful participation in Europe’s NUP2+ project, whereby select 737 aircraft in Sweden are allowed to employ GE’s Flight Management System (FMS) to fly the aircraft at idle thrust from cruise through to landing. The FMS’s reliable performance and predictability gave air traffic management (ATM) authorities the confidence they needed to approve the new approach in Europe for 737s equipped with GE’s FMS.

“Our FMS on Boeing 737s is another example of how committed we are to developing technology solutions that not only benefit customers, but are also kind to the environment,” says Dr. John Ferrie, president, systems for GE Aviation. “Given the issues we face with growing air traffic congestion and increasing greenhouse gases worldwide, the appropriate use of FMS to help remedy the situation is a clear and valuable option.”

GE’s FMS on the Boeing 737 uniquely features a precise, four-dimensional trajectory downlink for use by ATC to manage traffic flow using precision positioning and time guidance, known as required time of arrival (RTA), to the runway threshold. Combined, these features enable the creation of flight profiles that are optimal for operators as well as the environment – increasing ATM efficiency, providing fuel savings, and dramatically reducing greenhouse gas and noise emissions.

Today, the ‘green approach’ is a regular money and environment-saving feature of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) operations into Stockholm, where, in more than 1,300 green approaches, SAS has recorded an average fuel savings of 186kg, a CO2 reduction of 315 kg, and an NOx reduction of 0.011kg per arrival.
SAS expects the green approach to achieve annual emission reductions of up to 23,000 tonnes of CO2 and 79t of NOx, comparable to the yearly emissions of 5,100 cars.

Source: Flight Daily News