With the launch of ALBATROSS, a 2 year SESAR project aiming to implement the most efficient flight, Airbus is taking a further step to meet its commitment to pioneer a sustainable future.


“Coordinated by Airbus in the Single European Sky ATM Research program (SESAR), ALBATROSS* is an initiative of major European aviation stakeholders to demonstrate how the technical and operational innovations we delivered in the past years can be combined and used all together to further reduce the environmental footprint of aviation on the short term” explain Mattia Nurisso, Project Leader, and Thierry Harquin, Air Traffic Management (ATM) Cooperation Manager for Airbus. 

*: Please note that ALBATROSS is a separate initiative from the Airbus “AlbatrossOne” wing project.

The most efficient flight

A series of gate-to-gate live trials across Europe…

To achieve this goal, the project will demonstrate in real conditions the feasibility of implementing more energy efficient flights through a series of gate-to-gate live trials across Europe. Starting from September 2021, with the launch of the first demonstration flight, these live demonstration flights will showcase through around 1,000 demonstration flights mature operational solutions with potential fuel and CO2 emissions savings selected from operational solutions each partner involved is working on (Airlines, Air Navigation Service Providers, Airport operators, Military, Network manager, Controllers, Pilots, Airframers and Suppliers).

In this ambitious project, Airbus is particularly in charge of the work packages “SAF” (Sustainable Aviation Fuels) and “Performance and Benefits Assessment”. To ensure objective measurability and representativeness of the results, ALBATROSS can count on Airbus knowledge & support in systematic data collection, Big Data Analytics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.

… By combining several solutions

“All the combined solutions will allow us to extend the benefits expected while covering all the flight phases, including operations on ground and during the flight, and addressing both operational and technological aspects of aviation and Air Traffic Management (ATM)” comment Mattia and Thierry. 

Many solutions will be put into practice during the flight demonstrations from new precision approach procedures, to continuous climb and descent, or “sustainable aviation fuels” (SAF) usage. Several novel data analytics-based tools will be also introduced to assist pilots to identify tactical in-flight trajectory optimization opportunities to improve fuel efficiency. Possibilities to mitigate certain ATM constraints through airspace design by collaborative procedures and a certain degree of flexibility in the constraints will be tested as well. Moreover, a sustainable hybrid towing vehicle ("TaxiBot") allowing taxi assistance without engines running will be used in order to reduce emissions on ground. 

All the Airbus teams are already prepared to pioneer a sustainable future. Stay tuned!