Environmental ASPIRE-ations

Among the various initiatives underway within the industry the air service providers have also been active in finding areas which can produce environmental benefits. By Donald Urquhart.

One such initiative came together in 2008 when Airservices Australia , Airways Ne w Zealand and the US Federal Aviation Administration joined to create the Asia & South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE). The joint venture is designed to lessen the environmental impact of aviation across Asia and the South Pacific with each partner focusing on developing ideas that contribute to improved environmental standards andoperational procedures in aviation.

Since the group’s inception the ASPIRE membership has expanded with the inclusion of Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) in October 2009 and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in February 2010.

“When the various aviation service providers came together it was quite clear there are many opportunities to improve air traffic management and with the consequential improvements to operational efficiency which then flow on to environmental benefits,” said Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) director, Air Traffic Service, Ng Tee Chiou.

A key initiative of the group to date has been the use of Optimised Profile Descent (OPD), or so-called continuous descent, designed to reduce fuel consumption and noise compared with a conventional approach. The OPD involves maintaining a constant three degree descent angle during landing, until meeting the Instrument Landing System (ILS).