Air Transport World

Greening ATM: making air traffic management more efficient is one of the few remaining low-hanging fruits in the effort to reduce carbon emissions.(ENVIRONMENT)

WITH AN ULTIMATE GOAL OF more than 12% saving in fuel and a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the imperative for air traffic control reform has taken on a new urgency. Yet significant gains remain elusive save for a few locations around the globe that share something in common: A new model of cooperation between air navigation service providers and the commercial user community. Airservices Australia, Airways New Zealand, Nav Canada and Sweden's LFV are each in their way adopting the new model, in which technological innovation goes hand-in-hand with close cooperation with airlines to insure that innovation brings benefits to the users.


At the recent ATC Global conference in Amsterdam, Airservices CEO Greg Russell warned that it has become "increasingly apparent that the full benefits of performance-based ATM will not be achieved without a fundamental change in the customer--supplier relationship. To many airlines, we remain typical stereotypes: Government-owned monopoly service providers complete with the negative connotations that phrase implies. If we are to achieve the full potential offered by performance-based ATM, I believe we need to add greater dimension and maturity to the relationship between airlines and ANSPs."

Airservices is well-credentialed to make these observations as the winner of ATW's Aviation Technology Achievement Award for 2008 and multiple winner of IATA's Eagle Award for its innovation. It is well down the implementation track on a host of initiatives--Required Navigation Performance, ADS-B, Flex Tracks (ATW, 4/06, p. 46) and Global Landing Systems (ATW, 11/07, p. 77)--that are having a measurable impact on reducing aviation's contribution to carbon dioxide emissions. meanwhile, much of the rest of the world languishes under a mountain of bureaucracy that makes the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's forecast of up to an 18% reduction of fuel burn in a perfect ATC world a distant goal.


Airservices' initiative, dubbed the Brisbane green Project, is the world's first integration of RNP approaches and departures into normal operations at a busy international airport, according to Russell. Working with Naverus, the Washington State-based RNP specialist, the successful introduction of stage one of the project has laid the foundation for widespread adoption of this technology, and RNP approach and departure procedures are in daily revenue service at 13 Australian airports with plans underway to bring them to four others. …

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