A joint initiative to implement continuous descent approaches at 100 European airports by 2013 is on track to meet its target, delegates attending this year's Aviation and the Environment Summit in Geneva were told today.

The Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) Action Plan - a joint programme involving Eurocontrol, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), ACI Europe, the European Regions Airline Association and IATA - has gained commitment from 83 airports across Europe to implement continuous descent approaches.

Of these 83 airports, 33 already offer CDA at certain times of the day and a further 13 are in the process of carrying out flight trials.

According to previously performed flight trials and simulation data, a continuous descent approach from an altitude of 10,000ft (3,048m) has the potential to save 300kg of carbon dioxide compared with a traditional stepped approach.

"Over the coming months we will be focusing on promoting the widespread usage of CDA and establishing a CDA culture which will pave the way to more advanced performance in the future," says Eurocontrol environment manager Andrew Watt.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news