Home' Asian Aviation : AAV June 2010 Contents 26 AsianAviation | JUNE 2010
Air Traffic Management
ATM projects seek greener future
Air traffic management initiatives around the world have environmental principles at their core, as
Emma Kelly reports.
AIRE, ASPIRE and MINT are
not just catchy acronyms but
collaborative air tra c management
(ATM) initiatives, all designed to
deliver a greener future.
ATM improvements represent
the greatest near-term opportunity to signi cantly
reduce aircraft fuel consumption and emissions
through improved efficiencies. According to the
International Air Transport Association (IATA), for
example, cutting ight times by just one minute per
ight on a global basis would save 4.8 tons of carbon
dioxide emissions every year.
e two biggest ATM modernisation programmes
under way with environmental considerations at their
core are Europe's Single European Sky ATM Research
(SESAR) and the United States' Next Generation Air
Transportation System (NextGen). Both are aiming
to deliver ATM systems that will be able to cope with
future tra c growth, while increasing operational
e ciency and cutting fuel burn and emissions.
e environment is a priority for SESAR, Alain
Siebert, chief of economics and the environment at
the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) said at the ICAO
Colloquium on Aviation and Climate Change in May.
e SJU is the management body comprising a public-
private partnership established by the European Union
to develop and implement SESAR.
e programme is intended to allowed EU skies
to handle three times more tra c than they do now,
improve safety tenfold, reduce carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions per ight by 10 percent and halve ATM unit
costs, he said.
Wheels in motion
SESAR is one of the most ambitious and innovative
research and development projects ever launched
by the EU. According to the SJU some 1,400
engineers are now working on the programme and
the modernisation of European ATM. By March, 75
percent of the almost 300 projects making up SESAR
were under way.
SJU executive director Patrick Ky told delegates at
the ATC Global show in Amsterdam in March that
77 airline experts have reviewed 120 projects assessing
whether SESAR technologies and procedures are
in line with their needs and expectations, while ve
associations representing pilots, air tra c controllers,
handling sta and air tra c safety o cials are providing
operational technical knowledge and expertise.
The work programme this year is focused on
information management -- the development of
information models and so ware allowing ight data
exchange between the aircra information management
systems and airports; route assignment and guidance ;
and advanced surface movement guidance and
control systems. All SESAR improvements are being
demonstrated in the operational environment.
e US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
NextGen project is similarly aimed at providing
new capabilities to make air transportation safer and
more reliable, improve the capacity of the National
Airspace System and reduce aviation's impact on the
environment, Maria DiPasquantonio of the FAA's
air tra c international o ce told the recent ICAO
NextGen includes automatic dependent sur veillance-
broadcast (ADS-B) which is set to be implemented
nationwide from 2013, performance-based navigation,
System Wide Information Management (SWIM),
data communications and NextGen Network Enable
"NextGen's vision is to provide environmental
protection that allows sustained aviation growth,"
says DiPasquantonio. is will be achieved through
quieter, cleaner and more fuel-e cient ights; the use
of alternative fuels, new equipment and operational
procedures designed to lessen the impact on the
climate; and more precise ight paths to lessen the
impact of noise.
At the 2007 Paris Air Show, Europe and the US
came together launching the Atlantic Interoperability
Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) which was
aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions on
transatlantic ser vices through the use of optimised
ATM measures and procedures. It was based on the
straightforward question of how all parties could work
together to make aviation greener.
e programme is the rst large-scale environmental
initiative bringing together aviation players on both
sides of the Atlantic and was designed to ensure
compatibility of the future SESAR and NextGen
A er three years, the AIRE initiative has clearly
shown what is possible from improved ATM processes
and technologies. e results from AIRE are "very
promising", according to the SJU, which released
results from the European flight demonstrations
performed under AIRE at the ATC Global Show in
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, earlier this year.
"The project results show that by improving
current procedures, considerable gains in terms of fuel
e ciency and consequently lower CO2 emissions can
be achieved. Additionally, green approach procedures
The Qantas A380 ASPIRE demonstration flight resulted in improvements to DARP processing.
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