OTTAWA, Oct. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - NAV CANADA, the country's air navigation service provider, estimates that improved efficiencies achieved through new technologies and procedures will save 8.4 million metric tons of aviation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the period 2009 to 2016.
When added to the 4.3 million metric tons that have already been reduced through more efficient traffic flows between 1997 and 2008, this would result in a total decrease in aviation-related GHG emissions of 12.7 million metric tons in the Company's first 20 years (1996-2016).
The Company estimates that the implementation of new technologies, systems and procedures has already saved $1 billion in fuel costs. Another $3 billion in fuel savings is projected for 2009-2016. The $4 billion in cumulative fuel savings would be enough to fuel a Boeing 777-300 ER to fly around the globe more than 10,000 times.
These findings were made public today as NAV CANADA issued its first Progress Report on Collaborative Initiatives for Emissions Reductions (CIFER),
"Safe and efficient air traffic management has a positive effect on the environment and achieves fuel cost savings for our customers - the airlines and aircraft operators flying in Canadian airspace," said John Crichton, NAV CANADA President and CEO. "Working collaboratively with employees, customers and stakeholders on these initiatives is a major priority for us."
One example is Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B), an innovation that extends air traffic surveillance and communication beyond traditional ground-based systems to space-based navigation employing satellite positioning for equipped aircraft. The Company began installing the infrastructure to support ADS-B around Hudson Bay two years ago, and the system became operational in January 2009.
The added surveillance allows Air Traffic Controllers to safely separate equipped aircraft by five nautical miles (NM), instead of 80 NMs. Reduced separation opens up more fuel efficient routes, with an estimated reduction in GHG emissions of over 500,000 metric tons by 2016.
NAV CANADA is proceeding with further implementation of ADS-B, installing ground stations in the Eastern Arctic and Southern Greenland. This will extend surveillance to parts of the North Atlantic, the busiest oceanic airspace in the world, permitting reduced separation, earlier climbs and more direct routings. It is estimated that Oceanic ADS-B will reduce GHG emissions by 130,000 metric tons over the next seven years.
The ADS-B program builds on a significant expansion to northern surveillance initiated by NAV CANADA earlier in this decade. Seven new-generation radar systems allowed the Company to reduce the aircraft separation requirement in large portions of this airspace from 80 to five NMs.
"The additional radar coverage improves traffic flow and provides better route and altitude assignments in the busy transition zone for aircraft en route to both Europe and Asia," said Rudy Kellar, Vice President, Operations. "To date, this has reduced GHG emissions by some 450,000 metric tons with an additional savings of 650,000 projected by 2016."
One of the benefits of expanded northern surveillance is that it facilitates the efficient use of polar routes for inter-continental flights, which in turn significantly reduces flight times, emissions and fuel costs. NAV CANADA estimates savings of 3.6 million metric tons of GHG and over $1.1 billion in fuel by 2016 through the use of these routes.
Also earlier in this decade, NAV CANADA implemented - together with its counterparts in the United States and Mexico - Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), which increased the capacity of the available airspace by reducing the vertical separation requirement from 2000 feet to 1000 feet for aircraft flying above 29,000 feet. The emissions and fuel savings are estimated at 4 million metric tons and over $1.2 billion by 2016.
Another initiative highlighted in the CIFER Progress Report is Area Navigation, also known as RNAV, which allows more direct flight paths rather than routing that only follows ground-based navigation aids. Total fuel savings are estimated at $440 million over 20 years, with GHG savings of nearly 1.8 million metric tons.
A related initiative, known as Required Navigation Performance - already implemented with one airline for 20 airports in Canada - involves "short turn" approaches that feature a constant descent technique that eliminates inefficient step down approaches, with associated GHG and fuel savings.
For a complete summary of these and other emission-reducing technologies and procedures, and the corresponding amounts of GHG emissions savings they are enabling, see the backgrounder and the full report.
NAV CANADA, the country's civil air navigation services provider, is a private sector, non-share capital corporation financed through publicly-traded debt. With operations coast to coast, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.
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SOURCE NAV CANADA
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