Operational improvements are another lever we can use to reduce our environmental impact. By optimising flight trajectories and having better coordination with our air traffic management partners, we are able to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 10%.

 

Improving day-to-day flight operations

We leverage air traffic management solutions and ground-and-flight operational measures to reduce the impact of air travel on the environment. Some of these practices include: 

  • Continuous climb and descent operations
  • Flight trajectory optimisation 
  • Hybrid on-ground operations

For several years, Airbus has participated as an active member of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking. This initiative works to modernise air traffic management systems, which is key to realising these potential improvements. 

 

Taking optimisation to the next level

We have a variety of levers we can deploy, including services and software upgrades such as Descent Profile Optimisation (DPO). The DPO function optimises the flight trajectory and maximises the time spent at an efficient cruise level, resulting in fuel-saving benefits.   

We have also been working on our own pioneering solutions to further optimise air traffic management. One such solution we have tested is fello’fly, a collaborative activity inspired by the flight patterns of migrating geese.

Fello’fly uses wake-energy retrieval to boost environmental performance. By coordinating flight patterns so that one aircraft follows another, the second aircraft can benefit from free lift, resulting in the need for less engine thrust and a wake-saving of up to 10% CO2 emissions. This could be particularly effective during long-haul flights, on routes where aircraft already travel close together. 

fellofly_transatlantic_flight_test

fello'fly

Wake-energy retrieval to boost environmental performance

Decarbonisation

Towards more sustainable aerospace for future generations