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American, Air France Operate "Green" Transatlantic Flights

green transatlantic flights


By ATW Daily News
April 8, 2010

American Airlines yesterday became the first US airline to "test next-generation technology and procedures" on a transatlantic flight aboard a 767-300 from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Miami using several fuel conservation measures including single-engine taxi on departure and arrival, continuous climb and descent, a tailored arrival and "several key elements" of its existing fuel conservation program Fuel Smart. The scheduled passenger flight came one day after Air France successfully operated "the very first transatlantic flight optimized from start to finish to reduce noise and emissions levels," according to AF.

An AA spokesperson said that its flight "by all accounts went well" and was "on course" to have saved approximately 1,500 lb. of fuel, although the aircraft arrived in Miami 10 min. behind schedule. AA expects to have "preliminary numbers" today and projects that a final analysis may be available in "a couple of weeks." The test, conducted through the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), was operated as a normally scheduled flight to obtain "real-time" benefits. AA had tried twice before to operate the AIRE flight but had been impeded first by an "aircraft issue" and then by bad weather, the spokesperson said.

The AF flight, aboard a 747-400ER from CDG to MIA, cut CO2 emissions by 6-9 tonnes and saved 2-3 tonnes of jet fuel utilizing shorter taxi times, continuous climb, optimum altitude and speed and continuous descent. Noise levels during the departure and arrival phases were minimized by up to 7dB, AF said. It projected that once optimizations are applied to all AF long-haul flights to and from North America, CO2 emissions will be cut by 135,000 tonnes per year with fuel savings of 43,000 tonnes.

In the next few weeks AA will conduct post-flight data analysis along with FAA and the European Commission. It has conducted trials in Miami with FAA since last year to determine the best way to use NextGen technology. It said it aims in 2010 to increase its annual fuel savings rate to 120 million gal., which will reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 billion lb.

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