DN - Defence Notes

'Green' Emirates flight to highlight best practice

10th December 2008 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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On 15 December, Emirates will trial a new environmental programme as it executes its inaugural flight from Dubai to San Francisco. The flight aims to show the array of procedures which can be applied by any airline to decrease the environmental effects of their flights.

Emirates has worked closely with government agencies in Dubai, Russia, Iceland, Canada and the United States and other countries to plot what it is calling the "Emvironment flight". The plan involves the most environmentally-sophisticated route and trip possible to help save an estimated 2,000 gallons of fuel and 30,000 pounds of carbon emissions on the 16-hour non-stop service.

The inaugural green flight will demonstrate multiple fuel and emission-saving measures including:
• The new 777-200LR will be specially washed beforehand to minimise drag.
• The aircraft will use electrical power on the ground in Dubai rather than running its auxiliary power unit (APU).
• Dubai Air Traffic Control will give the aircraft priority clearance for both taxiing and departure.
• A pre-planned priority departure route out of Dubai will provide an unimpeded climb through to cruise altitude, allowing the aircraft to reach its optimum cruise altitude as quickly and efficiently as possible.
• Negotiations with the Russian Government will allow for a preferred route over Russian and Canadian airspace for the most efficient path, taking into account prevailing winds and the aircraft’s weight.
• Real time updates of current weather and wind conditions will allow the flight crew to modify their flight path on route.
• The aircraft will track close to the North Pole following extensive work by Emirates and aircraft manufacturers to open this new routing. 
• Flexible routings will be pursued over Canadian airspace.
• The FAA and San Francisco Air Traffic Control will seek to offer optimal routings for arrival and if possible a continuous descent approach to minimize fuel burn.
• The aircraft will use minimal thrust on landing and a single-engine taxi to its gate.
• All on-board glass, newspapers, aluminium and paper will be collected for recycling.

“After months of planning, Emirates’ Emvironment flight is a best-practice trial of how airlines, governments, manufacturers, technology providers and airports can work together to be as eco-efficient as possible,” said HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, chairman and chief executive of Emirates Airline and Group.

While this flight trial is on a long-haul service, it is hoped that many of the practices can be incorporated into other airline's procedures to demonstrate air transport's efforts to minimise the effect of flying on the environment.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines

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