Etihad Airways has successfully reduced carbon emissions by a combined total of nine tonnes on two flights from Australia to Abu Dhabi. The savings were made as a result of co-operation between Etihad Airways and various air traffic control centres on the ground that enabled the aircraft, Airbus A340s, to fly routes that took advantage of prevailing jet streams. A combined total of 2.8 tonnes of fuel was saved on the flights, one of which departed from Melbourne, the other from Sydney.
James Hogan, Etihad’s Chief Executive, said: “The fuel savings and reduced carbon emissions made by these flights are potentially hugely beneficial for both the aviation industry and the environment. In recent years, the technological advances made in aircraft navigation systems have been enormous. Aircraft are no longer reliant on ground-based navigation systems but use advanced navigation systems based on the GPS satellite constellations.
“This allows aircraft to fly an infinitely variable number of different routes between two points, subject to the agreement and approval of Air Traffic Service Providers (ANSPs). At Etihad Airways, we strongly advocate industry modernisation that will allow aircraft to fly to the capabilities they now have.
“If similar savings were possible just once each week for flights between Abu Dhabi and Australia, we conservatively estimate an annual reduction in carbon emissions of some 1,100 tonnes and a saving of 350 tonnes of fuel. This would represent a reduction of more than four tonnes of carbon on every flight.”
In July this year, Etihad Airways took part in a research initiative organised by the Indian Ocean Strategic Partnership to Reduce Emissions (INSPIRE), which saw aircraft operated in a manner intended to set new standards in environmental best practice. As well as allowing airlines to plan their flights to take advantage of beneficial jet streams – User Preferred Routings – other innovations saw aircraft using terminal gates as close as possible to runways and the nomination of secondary landing airports as close as possible to primary ones.