Airbus chases less emissions and shorter flights
Global aircraft manufacturer Airbus has earlier last week announced its vision for sustainable aviation in 2050 and beyond, in its latest installment of the Future by Airbus.
For the first time, it is looking beyond aircraft design in order to meet the expected increase in air travel in a sustainable way.
Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering Charles Champion said that Airbus engineers are continuously encouraged to come up with ideas to assist the industry in meeting the 2050 targets the company has signed up to.
These and the other environmental targets will only be met by a combination of investment in smarter aircraft design and optimising the environment in which the aircraft operates.
Airbus research based on recent research suggests that flights in Europe and the US could on average be around 13 minutes shorter, and flights in other parts of the world could be shorter too. Assuming around 30 million flights per year, this would save around 9 million tonnes of excess fuel annually, which equates to over 28 million tonnes of avoidable CO2 emissions and a saving of 5 million hours of excess flight time. The Smarter Skies vision consists of five concepts which could be implemented across all the stages of an aircraft’s operation to reduce waste in the system including time, fuel and CO2.
Airbus is already working on a number of innovative solutions to meet the challenges of sustainable aviation in the future, whether it be the development and use of alternative fuels; investment in aircraft design; or in supporting more efficient ATM. Airbus is also one of the major actors of the NEXTGEN and SESAR programmes - which seek to enhance the performance of the ATM system through a better use of aircraft capabilities, changes in infrastructure and organisation. These new capabilities are designed to reduce traffic congestion and delays, will allow more direct routes, better flight profiles, and should help reduce the cost of air navigation services through advanced communications and technologies.