Although the air cargo and aviation industries are hardly paragons of environmental excellence, given the number of daily flights, even small reductions can have a great impact. For today – Earth Day – at least one carrier is trying to do its part to reduce its global carbon footprint.
To celebrate Earth Day, Hawaiian Airlines operated an A330 between Honolulu and Auckland, which, for the first time, was certified to be in compliance with the environmentally friendly markers outlined by the ASPIRE group (Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions).
ASPIRE is a tri-lateral partnership between the Federal Aviation Administration, Airservices Australia and Airways New Zealand which developed a list of the following seven markers for greener route management:
- User-preferred routes
- Dynamic airborne reroute procedures
- 30/30 reduced oceanic separation
- Time-based arrivals management
- Arrivals optimization
- Departures optimization
- Surface movement optimization
Hawaiian estimates that by adhering to ASPIRE procedures for the A330 flight between Honolulu and Auckland, it can reduce carbon emissions by 450 kilograms for each segment, for a reduction of 230 tonnes annually. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that such savings are equivalent to removing 48 vehicles off the road.
Ken Rewick, Hawaiian’s vice president of flight operations said the airline plans to move forward with additional technological enhancements which will maximize efficiency “in all phases of flight.” Moreover, he added that this “symbolic Earth Day journey” was just the beginning, and that Hawaiian will apply for additional ASPIRE city-pairs in the future.
Recently, there has been a call from the airfreight industry to reform air-traffic control in the United States, in part for the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In his keynote address, William J. Flynn, president and CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, urged for the passage of the AIRR ACT. Delays on the taxiways and tarmacs burn about 10 to 15 percent more fuel, creating more greenhouse gas emissions and adversely affect the supply chain and the environment. For more information, Atlas’ Flynn focuses on air traffic control.