When American Airlines Flight 63 departs Paris for Miami at 10 a.m. local time today, it embarks upon a journey that aims to prove trans-Atlantic flights can be operated a bit greener and leaner.
Through the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), American will be the first U.S. airline to test next-generation technology and procedures that will significantly reduce carbon emissions and save fuel on trans-Atlantic routes. The testing will be conducted during a normally scheduled flight so American can obtain real-time benefits.
AIRE, a joint initiative among the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Commission (EC), and several international airlines, is designed to speed up application of new technologies and operational procedures, which have a direct impact on reducing carbon emissions and noise pollution as well as conserving fuel. Part of the AIRE project includes gate-to-gate flight demonstrations to test the benefits of 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. “Utilizing NextGen technology is also a crucial part of American’s overall environmental and fuel savings efforts, which have already yielded annual fuel savings of more than 110 million gallons and a reduction of 2.2 billion pounds of carbon emissions.”
Using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft, American Flight 63 will fly from Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport and will arrive at Miami International Airport at 2:25 p.m. EDT. The flight will be conducted using 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.” Among those procedures are several key elements of Fuel Smart, American’s existing fuel conservation program. In 2010, American aims to increase its annual fuel savings rate to 120 million gallons, which will also reduce carbon emissions by 2.5 billion pounds.
Post-flight data analysis by the FAA, EC and American will determine the carbon and fuel savings gained on the demonstration flight. The FAA and American have conducted trials in Miami since last year to determine the best way to use the next-generation technology.
American has long been a leader in optimizing air travel efficiency over the Atlantic. In fact, more than 20 years ago, American pioneered the routine use of two-engine aircraft on trans-oceanic flights, which fundamentally changed air operations. Up to that point, almost all international flights were flown by three- and four-engine aircraft. American’s efforts to open up the Atlantic to two-engine aircraft heavily influenced Boeing and Airbus to build two-engine aircraft for international flights, resulting in a significant reduction in carbon emissions and greater fuel efficiency across the industry.