Japan Airlines (JAL) will implement a “Shades Closed Exercise” across 17 domestic airports in Japan and 5 airports overseas, where window shades of parked aircraft will be shut in order to block out the sunlight to keep temperatures in the interior from rising. By doing so, the amount of air conditioning required in the cabin prior to boarding and flight will be significantly reduced, which in turn can reduce the amount of energy consumed and carbon dioxide (CO2) gas emitted.
During the summer this year, from July 14 to July 24, JAL conducted a trial in domestic airports in Japan, whereby window shades of aircraft that were parked overnight were closed by ground staff during cabin cleaning. Results have showed that on average, the amount of time needed for air conditioning for large aircraft were reduced by 35 minutes and for small aircraft by 21 minutes. The combined effect of the 650 flights that were involved in the trial is a substantial drop in CO2 emissions by 55 tonnes.
The JAL Eco Jet, a Boeing 777 aircraft painted in a special green livery to promote environmental awareness, was also included in the trial. With the participation of passengers who traveled on the Eco Jet and who helped close the shades of the side of the aircraft facing the sun before disembarking, a total of 0.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions was reduced over the 18 flights conducted during the trial period as a result of shortening the time needed for air conditioning for each flight by 23 minutes.
Following the significant findings from the trial, it has been decided to expand this ecological measure to even more airports in Japan and around the world where JAL flies to. From October 1, 2009, aircraft parked at participating airports Honolulu, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Guam and Taipei, will have their shades closed. While ground staff will close the shades of aircraft parked overnight, passengers will otherwise be requested to support this environmental action by helping to close the shades before leaving the aircraft
JAL recognizes that there are small but yet significant ways by which the airline can lessen the burden of its operations on the environment, and will continue seeking ways to contribute to environment conservation. The “Shades Close Exercise” will be one measure used in the JAL ASPIRE Flight - another environmental activity that JAL will participate in. The JAL ASPIRE Flight seeks to demonstrate the potentials in achieving ultimate environmental efficiency in flights, and will be conducted on October 10, 2009. For more details, please refer to a separate release issued today.