Boeing and Airbus have signed an agreement to work together to ensure global interoperability in air traffic management as part of an effort to help reduce the impact of aviation on the environment. The companies will seek the acceleration of improvements to the world’s air transportation management system in order to increase efficiency and eliminate traffic congestion.
Scott Carson, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, and Tom Enders, Airbus president and CEO, signed the agreement between the two industry leaders at the sidelines of the third Aviation and Environmental Summit in Geneva.
“Airbus and Boeing are great competitors, and this has been a critical element that has sharpened our focus and efforts toward making aviation more efficient,” Carson said. “While our approaches often differ, we are working towards the same goal - to reduce aviation’s environmental impact.”
“I am convinced technology and innovation hold the key to reducing aviation’s environmental impact and increasing eco-efficiency,” Enders said. “And competition is a great motivator for this. Where Boeing and Airbus share a common position on the environment and safety, it is in all our interests that we cooperate to achieve our common goals more quickly.”
The initiative by Airbus and Boeing to work together to help the aviation sector and governments choose the most direct path to a modernized air traffic management system is part of a three-pronged approach to help improve the environmental performance of aviation. The other two prongs are competition, which is critical for environmental and technological advances that result in new aircraft programmes such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787, and support for industry alignment on environmental positions where appropriate.
In the last 40 years, the aviation industry has made significant improvements in aircraft efficiency with reductions of 70 percent in CO2, 90 percent in noise and 90 percent less unburned hydrocarbons. The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) targets reductions of 50 percent in CO2 and 80 percent in NOx by 2020. A modernized air traffic management system will be a key contributor to reaching this goal.
Improvements to the global air transportation system that provide more efficient routing, better arrival management and speed control will reduce inefficient delays and time in the air, which will save fuel and reduce emissions. Such air traffic management improvements represent the greatest short-term opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions.