Delta Air Lines will begin operating continuous descent approaches (CDA) at San Diego International airport in January, increasing the number of US facilities where the fuel and emissions savings technique is used.

While San Diego's CDA procedure - dubbed LYNDI - is designed for multiple fleet types, the carrier has not decided which of its 13 average daily operations will use the CDA, says Delta technical pilot Grady Boyce.

Delta began testing CDA arrivals for night operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport in April 2007. The airline began a second, 90-day night trial in Atlanta in August, which was due to end on 18 November, but will be extended so procedures can be tested during daytime operations, Boyce says. Delta also began using CDAs at Los Angeles this year.

The US Federal Aviation Administration says its goal is to implement CDA at as many airports as possible, as soon as possible.

Boyce says Delta is also considering implementing CDA at outstations. While the carrier would like to focus on hubs first, using the approach is logistically more difficult at larger airports, he says.

UPS began using CDA arrivals at Kentucky's Louisville International airport in January. So far, the company has seen a 34% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions below 3,000ft (915m) and a 30% reduction in aircraft noise, says the FAA. CDA flying has also trimmed UPS fuel consumption by between 114kg (250lb) and 210kg per flight at the airport, it adds.

Source: Flight International