Air Navigation Service Providers
Austro Control has developed and implemented radio navigation procedures to reduce both noise and emissions at Salzburg airport. The airport is located on the northern edge of the Alps, and airlines generally prefer to approach from the south, stay high and descend to a reasonable approach altitude of around 5,000 ft after being clear of mountains. This was followed by an ILS approach from the north, as long as wind conditions allow. This flight extension of approximately 46 km results in additional fuel burn, gaseous emissions and noise over densely populated areas. In order to reduce these impacts, Austro Control has developed a direct approach procedure from the south that enables airlines to safely descend through the valley even in poor weather (IMC) conditions.
1. Lufthansa case study: Vortex Generators for Quieter Approaches
‘Vortex generators’ have been developed to reduce noise tones generated by two overpressure relief outlets located on the lower wing surface of A320 aircraft. These vortex generators are mounted in front of the cavities to prevent the generation of these tones, thus resulting in a four decibel noise reduction at distances between 17 and 10 kilometres from the runway. These are now fitted as standard on new A320 aircraft and can also be retrofitted to in-service aircraft. In addition to a noise reduction, the vortex generators help to reduce noise related airport charges.
2. Austrian Airlines case study: Crew Transport by Train
Alongside the transportation of passengers using classic intermodal travel situations, Austrian Airlines is now cooperating with the Austrian Federal Railway Company (ÖBB) to transport cockpit- and cabin-crews to work. Each month ÖBB receives the number of required seats on specific trains from Austrian Airlines and puts in place the respective seat reservations. Austrian Airlines incorporates the train details into the crew duty roster. As well as reducing costs and CO2 emissions, the crew experience a more comfortable and flexible journey compared to road shuttle services.
3. IAG case study: Flying the fuel efficiency flag
Aviation fuel typically comprises 25% or more of airline costs and accounts for over 97% of airline CO2 emissions, so focusing on fuel efficiency makes both commercial and environmental sense. IAG has set ambitious targets to improve fuel efficiency by 10% in 2020 compared to 2014, thereby achieving an average fuel efficiency of 87.3 gCO2 per passenger kilometre.
Big wins have come from new aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 / A320neo that deliver up to 20% better fuel efficiency compared to the aircraft they replace. However, small measures also add up, including weight reduction, regular maintenance and optimizing flight operations. During 2017, IAG’s flight carbon efficiency improved by 2.6% versus 2016, which saved over 80,000 tonnes of CO2 through more than 25 separate fuel efficiency initiatives including using electric push back tugs, reduced engines for taxiing and reducing aircraft drag by reducing the time when landing lights are extended into the airflow.
During 2017 IAG also began implementing the Honeywell ‘GoDirect’ fuel efficiency software. This will enable mining of big data to identify further fuel efficiencies, and will allow IAG to benchmark fuel use across its fleet and share best practice among the Group’s five airlines. IAG’s focus is now on developing innovative ways to communicate fuel efficiency information to flight crews in a way that engages and inspires them to change behaviour and minimize excess emissions.