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AA Tests Next-Gen Tech for Carbon Emissions, Fuel Savings

AmericanAirlinesAmerican Airlines conducted a test of next-generation technology and procedures on a flight from Paris to Miami to determine their impact on reducing carbon emissions and saving fuel on trans-Atlantic routes, reports Trading Market.

The carrier operated the test flight as a normally scheduled flight, using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The flight used several fuel conservation measures, including single-engine taxi on departure and arrival, continuous climb-out and descent, optimized routing over water, and a “tailored arrival.” Procedures tested included several key elements of American’s existing fuel conservation program Fuel Smart.

American Airlines said fuel-saving measures have helped it save more than 110 million gallons of fuel annually and reduced its carbon emissions by 2.3 billion pounds in 2008. It aims to save 120 million gallons of fuel and reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 billion pounds in 2010.

The flight was tested in conjunction with the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), a joint initiative between the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Commission (EC) and several international airlines. The initiative is aimed at speeding up the application of new technologies and operational procedures that have a direct impact on reducing carbon emissions and noise pollution and conserving fuel.

The initiative is also testing technologies that will be used with the FAA’s NextGen and the EC’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) air traffic management systems.

“It is critical that the aviation industry work with our Air Traffic Control partners to demonstrate the benefits of NextGen technology today. By implementing this technology as quickly as possible, we can make real and meaningful strides to reduce our impact on the environment, increase system capacity and reduce air traffic delays,” said Bob Reding, American’s executive vice president — Operations, in a press release.

Reding also noted that the use of NextGen technology has already resulted in annual fuel savings of more than 110 million gallons and a reduction of 2.2 billion pounds of carbon emissions.

Data analysis will be conducted by the FAA, EC and American Airlines to determine the carbon and fuel savings of the demonstration flight.

The American flight came one day after Air France operated “the very first transatlantic flight optimized from start to finish to reduce noise and emissions levels,” according to Air France, reports AFWOnline.

An AF spokesperson told ATWOnline that its flight, aboard a 747-400ER from CDG to MIA, was on track to have saved approximately 1,500 lb. of fuel, although the aircraft arrived in Miami 10 minutes behind schedule.

The AF flight also cut CO2 emissions by 6 to 9 tons and saved 2 to 3 tons of jet fuel by using shorter taxi times, continuous climb, optimum altitude and speed and continuous descent, as well as minimized noise levels during the departure and arrival phases by up to 7dB. A final analysis is expected in a few weeks.

When implemented on all AF long-haul flights to and from North America, AF expects to cut CO2 emissions by 135,000 tons and fuel by 43,000 tons annually.

American is involved in several fuel-saving initiatives. In December last year, American, along with 13 other airlines that service the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and the Air Transport Association, agreed to purchase up to 750 million gallons of renewable jet fuel and biodiesel.

American is also using renewable synthetic diesel for ground service equipment operations at Los Angeles International Airport in an alliance with eight airlines.

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