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More Transatlantic Green Flight Trials

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An Airbus-led consortium in partnership with Air France and the air navigation service providers from the UK, Canada and the US (NATS, Nav Canada and the FAA) is to begin ‘Transatlantic Green Flight’ (TGF) trials with an Air France A380 on revenue flights from New York (JFK) to Paris (CDG).

Under a recent contract from the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), these A380 TGF trials are part of the second wave the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to reduce Emissions – “AIRE2”. The first phase, AIRE, was jointly launched by the European Commission and the FAA in June 2007 at the Paris Air Show.

The TGF flights are due to take place over a six to eight week period commencing in the fourth quarter of 2010. These will cover the optimisation of the taxi-out procedure at John F. Kennedy airport, as well as the en-route leg over the Atlantic. Overall it is estimated that each A380 flight can reduce CO2 emissions by around three tonnes, compared with existing procedures.

“These transatlantic flight trials will help to move the industry towards more efficient operational concepts and sustainable growth over the longer term,” said Charles Champion, Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus. “What we trial today with the A380 will contribute to setting tomorrow’s standards, thanks to system-wide Air Traffic Management improvements prepared by programmes like SESAR and NextGen.”

The FAA will support Air France to start each trial with a fuel-saving ‘reduced engine taxi’ from the gate to the runway at JFK. This will be enabled via estimates of taxi time, allowing for A380 taxiing powered by only two of its four engines. Meanwhile, NATS and Nav Canada will facilitate the Atlantic portion of the flight which will reduce CO2 emissions through an optimized trajectory where more flexibility will be arranged for speed, altitude and lateral routing. This trajectory takes advantage of the A380’s high optimum cruise altitude of 39,000ft and above.

Airbus is also engaged as a partner in two further AIRE2 trials: ‘VINGA’ and ‘Green Shuttle’. VINGA, which builds on the experience of last year’s AIRE ‘MINT’ flight trials (with Novair and Swedish Air Navigation Service provider LFV), will now for the first time validate a transition from a curved RNP 0.3 arrival to an ILS approach at Gothenburg Landvetter Airport. This operational implementation will be facilitated by Airbus’ RNP services subsidiary, Quovadis. Meanwhile, the ‘Green Shuttle’ project, in partnership with Air France and the French air navigation service provider DSNA, seeks to optimize all phases of the airline’s ‘La Navette’ flights between Paris-Orly and Toulouse which are operated with A320 Family aircraft.

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