Earth Day Flight Lowers Fuel Use, Carbon Emissions

Published on : Friday, May 6, 2016

Hawaiian AirlinesA Hawaiian Airlines demonstration flight between Auckland and Honolulu International Airports proved that fuel use and carbon emissions can be greatly reduced when airlines work with industry partners to incorporate fuel-saving procedures on the ground and in flight.


Hawaiian’s Flight 446, an Airbus A330 aircraft piloted April 22 by Captain Brian Beres and First Officers Mark Langton and Eric Bethke, adhered to seven environmental markers outlined by the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE), a group of worldwide aviation leaders dedicated to advancing environmental stewardship in the industry.


Thanks to numerous pre-departure, in-flight, landing and taxiing procedures, Hawaiian’s Earth Day flight of 8 hours and 54 minutes saved 3,260 pounds of fuel, reducing carbon emissions by five metric tons. The results, which surpassed Hawaiian’s savings goal of 1,000 pounds of fuel, equate to removing 154 cars from the road when annualized based on three weekly flights, according to EPA calculations.


“As an airline that introduces millions of guests from around the globe each year to Hawai‘i’s natural beauty, we are extremely pleased to do our part to protect our precious environment,” said Ken Rewick, Hawaiian’s vice president of flight operations. “The positive results are encouraging and reaffirm our commitment to continually optimizing our operations.”


To achieve the savings, Hawaiian used gate-to-gate advanced air traffic management procedures and collaborated with air navigation service providers, including Airways New Zealand and the Federal Aviation Administration, to demonstrate all seven of ASPIRE’s best practices. Among them are User Preferred Routes, which allow airlines to customize a more efficient flight path based on factors such as fuel optimization and forecast winds; Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedures, or the ability to conduct multiple in-flight route adjustments in response to updated atmospheric conditions; and Optimized Descent Profile, which permits an aircraft to approach an airport and land with minimal changes in engine thrust.


Other strategies include 30/30 Reduced Oceanic Separation; Time-based Arrivals Management; Arrivals Optimization; Departures Optimization; and Surface Movement Optimization.


In 2008, Airservices Australia, Airways New Zealand and the FAA joined forces to create ASPIRE, which certified Hawaiian’s application for the Daily City Pair route. Hawaiian is now capable of utilizing any of the seven ASPIRE strategies in future flights between Auckland and Honolulu. To qualify as an ASPIRE-Daily route, aircraft must be equipped with advanced avionics, including satellite-based Required Navigation Performance avionics and the Future Air Navigation System.

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