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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 13-Jan-2022

Analysis

easyJet partners with CAeS on zero-emission aircraft development 

Delta Cargo approves Envirotainer Releye RLP

Air France introduces on board comfort kit comprising 93% recycled material

Clean Sky outlines zero emission ACHIEVE taxiing system for turboprops

UK CAA announces plans to create new Environmental Sustainability Panel

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

easyJet partners with CAeS on zero-emission aircraft development 

easyJet announced (10-Jan-2022) it is working with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) to support the development of its hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for commercial aircraft.

CAeS is developing its hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for an existing nine seat Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, and is working with easyJet to understand how the adoption of zero-carbon technologies could integrate with airline operations for future introduction of the technology.

easyJet will support CAeS on the project, providing an airline's perspective on the development of hydrogen propulsion and internal expertise, to assist in the development of this technology for commercial aviation. [more - original PR]

Original report: easyJet partners with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) on development of zero-emission aircraft

easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has announced it is working with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to support the development of its hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for commercial aircraft, as part of the airline’s ambition to de-carbonise aviation.

Cranfield Aerospace Solutions is developing its hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for an existing 9-seat Britten-Norman Islander aircraft, which is planned to be flying by 2023, and is now working with easyJet to understand how the adoption of zero-carbon technologies could integrate with an airline operations for future introduction of the technology.

easyJet will support Cranfield Aerospace Solutions on the project, providing an airline operator’s perspective on the development of hydrogen propulsion and internal expertise, to assist in the development of this technology for commercial aviation.

David Morgan, Director of Flight Operations, easyJet, said:
easyJet remains absolutely committed to sustainable flying and a towards a future with zero-emission flying.  We know that technology is a key driver to achieve our decarbonisation targets with hydrogen propulsion a frontrunner for short-haul airlines like easyJet. We are dedicated to working with industry leading partners to support the development of these promising new technologies and we look forward collaborating with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to support bringing this technology to maturity as early as possible.” 

Paul Hutton, Chief Executive Officer, CAeS, said:

“CAeS is committed to ensuring the wide-spread adoption of zero-emissions aircraft and for this to succeed, the solutions must be commercially viable. We are delighted to be working with easyJet which, as Europe’s leading airline, is ideally placed to help shape our development with the end user in mind. Our 9-seat hydrogen fuel cell powered B-N Islander development is a vital first step in our journey to design and manufacture larger, longer range, regional aircraft between 19 and 100 seats. To have easyJet come with us on this journey is a great example of how organisations large and small must come together to secure the future of our industry and the planet.”

Championing the development of a zero-emission aircraft to de-carbonise aviation has long been a focus for easyJet and the airline is working with partners across the industry like Cranfield, as well as Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Wright Electric, to accelerate the development of zero-emission technologies and supporting infrastructure. The airline is optimistic that it could begin flying customers on planes powered by hydrogen-combustion, hydrogen-electric or a hybrid of both by the mid to late-2030s.

In November, the airline announced that it has joined Race to Zero, a global UN-backed campaign to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. In joining Race to Zero, the airline is committing to set an interim science-based target for 2035 as well as to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, of which technology for zero-emissions flying will play an important part.

In 2019, it became the first major airline worldwide to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all its flights, and currently remains the only major airline in Europe to do so. This comes at no additional cost to its customers and the airline only supports projects that are certified by either Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard. This is an interim measure while new technologies are developed.

Beyond carbon, easyJet is focusing on reducing plastic – more than 36 million single-use plastic items were eliminated – as well as reducing waste within its wider operations and the supply chain. The airline recently introduced new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. With 45 bottles in each uniform this has the potential to prevent 2.7 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or in oceans over the next five years.

Delta Cargo approves Envirotainer Releye RLP

Delta Cargo approved (11-Jan-2022) the Envirotainer Releye RLP container for usage on the carrier's fleet.

With the approval, Delta Cargo can now transport the Releye RLP on its global network, increasing capacity to meet demand for temperature controlled ULD solutions.

The Releye delivers up to 90% reduction in Co2 emissions compared to available passive solutions, based on life cycle analysis. [more - original PR]

Original report: Envirotainer Welcomes Delta Cargo as the latest airline to approve the new Releye® RLP container

Envirotainer, the global market leader in secure cold chain solutions for air transportation of pharmaceuticals, today announced that Delta Cargo has approved the Envirotainer Releye® RLP for usage on their fleet of aircrafts.

With this approval, Delta Cargo can now transport the Releye® RLP on their wide-reaching global network, increasing the capacity to meet the ever-growing need for temperature-controlled, high-quality, connected ULD solutions.

The Releye provides outstanding environmental performance, delivering up to 90% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to available passive solutions, based on life-cycle analysis. The Releye® RLP uses rechargeable batteries to power its electric heating and compressor cooling system and can power its system for over 170 hours on a single charge. With its unique feature set, the Releye® RLP sets a new standard for secure cold chain solutions bringing a temperature-controlled air freight container to market with a new footprint, industry-leading autonomy and fully integrated live monitoring.

“The introduction of the Releye® RLP, in combination with our CEIV certified pharma network, provides our customers with more choice when looking for reliable container options to support the growing demand for pharma and vaccine shipments” said Jannie Davel, Managing Director Cargo Commercial at Delta Cargo.

“We are happy to welcome Delta Cargo as a carrier of the Envirotainer Releye® RLP container,” says Don Harrison, Head of Global Key Accounts, Airlines at Envirotainer. He continued, “With the new Releye® RLP, Delta Cargo can offer their customers the latest active fully connected solution to protect the integrity and quality of air freight medicine products throughout the supply chain.”

Air France introduces on board comfort kit comprising 93% recycled material

Air France announced (12-Jan-2022) it will offer long haul, business class and premium economy passengers a comfort kit comprising 93% recycled material, during the winter 2021/2022 schedule.

The airline will replace plastic by offering toothbrushes and pens made of cornstarch, and ear plugs packaged in kraft paper. Across all cabins, plastic packaging of each kit is replaced by a tamper evident seal, while headsets are cleaned and disinfected to eliminate single use headphone protectors. [more - original PR]

Original report: A new more eco-responsible collection of Air France comfort kits

This winter, Air France is offering its long-haul Business customers a new comfort kit. As part of an eco-responsible approach, this kit is the first model made up of 93% recycled material. This sober and elegant kit features the company's historic winged seahorse emblem, embodying its rich history. It comes in two colours, navy blue and grey.

 Special thought has also been given to its content. Each kit thus contains the following items - 

  •  A toothbrush and pen made of cornstarch, and ear plugs packaged in kraft paper, eliminating the use of plastic; 
  • To ensure optimum comfort for customers, the large and soft sleep mask, socks, toothpaste and Clarins cosmetics are still included in the kit.  

Customers travelling in the long-haul Premium Economy cabin receive a dark blue kit with a sporty look. The kit features the accent, the symbol of the Air France brand, in a red or blue version. 

 The content of this kit has been adapted in the same spirit -

  •  A toothbrush made of cornstarch and ear plugs packaged in kraft paper
  • A sleep mask and a pair of socks.

In all cabins, the plastic packaging of each kit is now replaced by a tamper-evident seal. In addition, headsets are systematically cleaned and disinfected, allowing Air France to eliminate single-use headphone protectors and their packaging offered previously. 

Intended as a genuine gift sporting the Air France colours, these kits can be collected and taken home after the trip and used again. 

By offering ever more eco-friendly comfort kits, Air France is pursuing its everyday actions to reduce the use of single-use plastic on board its flights whenever possible.

Clean Sky outlines zero emission ACHIEVE taxiing system for turboprops

Clean Sky announced (05-Jan-2022) the development of the ACHIEVE taxiing system for next generation turboprop aircraft, which uses battery powered propellers to enable zero emissions while the aircraft are on the ground.

The system will also deliver a reduction in noise.

The device is integrated into the engine gearbox and can be used as a generator system while the aircraft is in the air and to supply electrical power.

The high speed, high power density mechatronic device was developed by the ACHIEVE consortium, comprising the University of Nottingham, NEMA and PST, in cooperation with Safran Helicopter Engines.

The system has been tested at University of Nottingham facilities and integrated into the Cleansky2 Safran Turboprop engine ground demonstrator. Total EU funding for the project was EUR900,591. [more - original PR]

Original report: Improving green taxiing capabilities for turboprops

The next generation of turboprop aircraft engines could be a gamechanger for green aviation.

COP26 has set a clear goal of securing global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5°C within reach. To deliver this target, it is critical that the transportation sector speeds up the electrification process.

The ACHIEVE system enables the green taxiing capabilities of next-generation turboprops with zero emissions when aircraft are on the ground, using battery-powered propellers with the engine off. 

As airports are very polluted areas, the green-taxiing capability will significantly improve the air quality around airport. Furthermore, with the engine switched off, the noise from an aircraft will also be dramatically reduced. 

To achieve their goals, a high-speed, high-power-density mechatronic device for next-generation turboprop aircraft engine applications was developed by the ACHIEVE consortium (University of Nottingham, NEMA and PST) together with Safran Helicopter engines. 

The mechatronic device, which will be integrated into an aircraft engine gear box, enables green taxiing of future turboprops when running as a motor. The same device is used as a generator system when the aircraft is in the air and supply electrical power to on board load. It’s been successfully tested in University of Nottingham (UNOTT) testing facilities with full power (100%) and full speed (100%). The power density of electrical machine and power electronics within ACHIEVE system are 7.2kW/kg and 9.2kW/kg respectively.

More than 10 different machine topologies were investigated and compared during this process, using trade-off studies in terms of power, efficiency, size and volume, etc. 3D printing was also used to develop the stator.

The ACHIEVE system has been successfully tested in Nottingham and integrated in Cleansky2 Safran Turboprop engine ground demonstrator (TechTP).

The project partners were UNOTT, NEMA and PST while the topic manager was Safran Helicopter Engines. Total EU funding for the project was EUR 900,591.25. The ACHIEVE consortium would like to specially thank Ms. Rosario Trillo-Rivas for her continuous support during the project implementation stages.

UK CAA announces plans to create new Environmental Sustainability Panel

UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced (11-Jan-2022) plans to create a new Environmental Sustainability Panel. The panel's key activities will include:

  • Provision of expert technical advice to support CAA's environmental roles, or on specific tasks as requested by CAA;
  • Helping CAA to understand and take account of environmental interests and impacts in its regulatory policy and framework;
  • Supporting progress towards CAA's strategic focus on improving environmental performance, including informing delivery of CAA's forthcoming environmental sustainability strategy;
  • Providing advice or critique on research undertaken by CAA, or helping identify where further research may be needed to inform the CAA's sustainability agenda.

CAA has partnered with Green Park to identify talent to sit on the panel, which will follow the model of CAA's existing consumer panel. [more - original PR]

Original report: UK Civil Aviation Authority set to create new Environmental Sustainability Panel

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is creating a new Environmental Sustainability Panel. The panel will act as an expert 'critical friend' of the organisation and will provide technical advice to make sure environmental and sustainability interests are properly considered when the CAA is working to improve aviation’s sustainability.

The CAA has today begun an open application process to select members for the new panel. The panel’s key activities include:

  • Provision of expert technical advice to support the CAA’s environmental roles, or on specific tasks as requested by the CAA
  • Helping the CAA to understand and take account of environmental interests and impacts in its regulatory policy and framework.
  • Supporting progress towards the CAA’s strategic focus on improving environmental performance, including informing delivery of the CAA’s forthcoming environmental sustainability strategy
  • Providing advice or critique on research undertaken by the CAA, or helping identify where further research may be needed to inform the CAA’s sustainability agenda

The CAA has a number of roles, one of which is to support the aviation industry as it looks to manage and reduce its negative environmental impacts, including emissions and noise. Following the Government’s decision to wind down the Independent Commission on Civil Aviation Noise (ICCAN) at the end of September 2021, the CAA is now also set to take on several new functions on noise by 1 April 2022.

Nic Stevenson, Head of Strategy for the Civil Aviation Authority said, “The Environmental Sustainability Panel will play an important role in helping us understand and address the important environmental issues facing aviation, including our new functions on noise. The success of this panel will depend on the quality of its membership, and through this recruitment process we hope to find panel members who are informed, in touch and expert. We look forward to working with the Panel members in a constructive and collegiate way.”

The CAA has partnered with Green Park to identify leading talent to sit on the Panel, which will follow the model of the CAA's existing Consumer Panel. Engagement was undertaken with a range of stakeholders to shape the types of skills necessary for the Panel to confront the sustainability.

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