A series of A321 demonstration flights into Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport have revealed positive results for the MINT (Minimum CO2 in Terminal Manoeuvring Area) project, which aims to improve air transport’s eco-efficiency through better air traffic management.
Novair Airbus A321 demonstration flights into Stockholm Arlanda Airport reveal positive results from MINT Project
The MINT project sees the last in a series of 10 demonstration flights with a Novair Airbus A321 aircraft dedicated to investigate how modern aircraft are able to support performance based operations, leading to significant reductions in emissions and noise impact, also importantly improving the predictability in the air transport system.
Based on the experiences and results from flights flown during the summer into Stockholm Arlanda Airport, the MINT project (Minimum CO2 in Terminal Manoeuvring Area) demonstrates today the procedure during a flight dedicated to stakeholders and media. Representatives from the EU Transport Council will be on board, as well as, among others: CANSO, airline operators, and Airbus Head of ATM, Senior Vice President Eric Stefanello.
MINT builds on greater navigation accuracy derived from GPS and on-board Flight Management Systems, known as Required Navigation Performance, up linked wind nowcasts tailored to the trajectory, as well as Continuous Descent Arrival. In addition, it is the first time in Europe that flight trials have fully integrated an element of time control enabling the aircraft to fly an optimal trajectory while meeting an air traffic control time gate, reducing the need for holding or ‘path-stretching’, therefore helping to reduce CO2 emissions.
Through co-operation between the Swedish Air Navigation Service Provider (LFV), Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Novair and Airbus, the flights have demonstrated a lateral standard deviation of 0.01 nautical miles or 22 metres, which is less than the wing span of an Airbus A321. The different flights also showed savings an average of 145 kg of fuel linked to the optimized vertical descent profile, as well as 20 kg of fuel through track mile savings resulting in a total of 518 kg of CO2 reduction compared to an average Instrument Landing System approach operated by Novair. Time wise, during the trials the aircraft met the time requirement with an average time accuracy of 8.6 seconds.
The MINT project demonstrates that there are capabilities in modern aircraft that can be used to reduce the environmental load in today’s air traffic system. The SESAR project has as an objective to refine these capabilities, but even more importantly to develop the link between on board systems and ground-based systems.
“With the full support of the industry, this, as well as follow on projects in Sweden and other locations in Europe, will demonstrate that the ultimate goals of SESAR can be achieved,” says MINT project Manager Christer Forsberg, AVTECH.
“The operators, Stockholm Arlanda Airport, LFV Air Navigation Services at Stockholm Arlanda and the Airline Novair are the global pioneers in environmental sustainable aviation, without their dedication this project would not be possible,” concludes Christer Forsberg.