Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Flexible air routes cut flying time

Neelam Mathews
Sept 14, 2011

The  Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), has joined with its ‘iFlex’ partners to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Johannesburg-Atlanta iFlex trial.

The iFlex program concentrates on long-haul routes through low-density airspace in regions where maximum benefit can be achieved through a more flexible airspace structure. iFlex provides airlines a greater and more flexible choice of routes on long-haul operations. It addresses challenges resulting from conventional air traffic management restrictions, which limit the flexibility of routing within fixed corridors.

Data provided by Delta Air Lines shows the implementation of iFlex between Johannesburg and Atlanta from 30th June to 25th  August resulted in an average time saving of 8 minutes per flight. This equates to 900 kg of fuel and 2.9 tonnes of CO2.

The development and implementation of the iFlex trial was successful with no changes made to existing air traffic management procedures or separation standards, although new waypoints were added to facilitate more efficient routes and enhanced coordination. 

In addition to the environmental benefits, regional stakeholders found that the increased collaboration helped raise situational awareness of traffic operating within the relevant flight information regions. This contributed to the safety of operations.

Following the conclusion of the trial, the additional iFlex routing options were made available to all operators. Over the course of a year-and on the basis of two flights per day—this translates to overall savings of 100 flight hours, 690 tonnes of fuel and 2,150 tonnes of CO2.

The trial is the culmination of eight months of collaboration between the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), (Dakar FIRs), Ghana CAA (Accra FIR), Trinidad and Tobago CAA (Piarco FIR), SNA-Antilles Guyane (Rochambeau Cayenne FIR), ASA - Cabo Verde (SAL FIR), Delta Air Lines, Emirates Airline, CANSO, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

CANSO Director General Graham Lake said: “The success of this trial is testament to the unprecedented level of collaboration between the regional stakeholders, CANSO, ICAO, and IATA, and shows the improvements that can be delivered by effectively utilising existing infrastructure. However, much more needs to be done if our industry is to achieve its goal of carbon neutral growth by 2020 and I am looking forward to further progress on this and other initiatives.”

1 comment:

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