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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 25-Feb-2020

Analysis

Air New Zealand joins NASA climate science mission

TAP Air Portugal sets 'very solid foundations' to continue improving sustainability

Heathrow: SAS, Air Malta, Oman Air in top three for 4Q2019 'Fly Quiet and Green' table

Boom Supersonic announces carbon neutral test programme for XB-1 demonstrator

ICE Futures Europe announces carbon permit 2020 auction calendar

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.

Air New Zealand joins NASA climate science mission

Air New Zealand and NASA entered (25-Feb-2020) an agreement for the carrier to collect environmental data during domestic services and collaboratively monitor climate change impacts. One Air New Zealand Q300 will be fitted with a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver unit in late 2020, and if successful, Air New Zealand plans to explore implementing GNSS widely across its Q300 fleet.

NASA will collect the data to better predict severe storms, and be received by NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, while the University of Auckland will establish a Science Payload Operations Centre to receive and process data collected inflight.

Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and standards officer captain David Morgan stated: "As an airline, we're already seeing the impact of climate change, with flights impacted by volatile weather and storms. Climate change is our biggest sustainability challenge so it's incredible we can use our daily operations to enable this world-leading science". [more - original PR]

Original report: Air New Zealand joins NASA climate science mission

Air New Zealand joins NASA climate science mission

In a world first, Air New Zealand and NASA are working together to monitor climate change impacts, with the airline to collect unique environmental data during domestic flights.

Air New Zealand is set to be the first passenger airline in the world to join a NASA earth science mission, with one of its Q300 aircraft to be fitted with next-generation satellite receivers later this year.

Using GPS signals reflected from the earth's surface, the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver unit will act as a scientific "black box" during flights, gathering data to better predict severe storms, as well as enabling new climate change research in New Zealand.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Standards Officer Captain David Morgan says with flightpaths across Aotearoa, the Q300 is the perfect aircraft to pilot the mission.

"Our Q300s cruise at 16,000 feet - much closer to the land and sea than NASA's satellites. Placing receivers on aircraft will enhance the resolution and quality of information, giving scientists an unprecedented view over our entire network, from Kerikeri to Invercargill.

"As an airline, we're already seeing the impact of climate change, with flights impacted by volatile weather and storms. Climate change is our biggest sustainability challenge so it's incredible we can use our daily operations to enable this world-leading science."

Data collected inflight will feed into NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). Dr Gail Skofronick-Jackson, NASA's CYGNSS Program Scientist in the agency's Earth Science Division, says with Air New Zealand on board there's an opportunity to extend the mission and monitor the environmental signs of climate change.

"CYGNSS uses GPS signals, bounced off the ocean, to measure wind speeds and help scientists better predict cyclones and hurricanes. Over land, the technology can determine soil moisture levels, so it can also monitor climate change indicators such as drought, flooding and coastline erosion.

"This is a new approach to climate science and exciting terrain. The next-generation receivers Air New Zealand will fly have advanced features, new to CYGNSS, so we're excited to test their capabilities and explore their potential for future spaceborne missions."

The project has been made possible through an agreement between NASA and the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). MBIE's General Manager of Science, Innovation and International Dr Peter Crabtree says the partnership aims to engage New Zealanders in a globally significant science mission.

"Through this partnership Air New Zealand's world-class engineers, and researchers across New Zealand will have the opportunity to work with NASA on a mission that will advance global understanding of the impacts of climate change."

The University of Auckland will establish a Science Payload Operations Centre to receive and process data collected inflight. Project Lead, Professor Delwyn Moller, says the centre will manage what could ultimately be New Zealand's largest source of environmental data.

"Local scientists will work with the NASA CYGNSS team to process these unique measurements into environmental data, opening up a range of research opportunities and potential uses, from flood risk management to agriculture and resource planning.

"Though this collaboration, Kiwi scientists will be at the forefront of this emerging field."

The receivers are being developed by the University of Michigan for NASA's Earth Science Technology Office. Air New Zealandengineers will fit the first Q300 in late 2020 and if the approach is successful, the airline will explore introducing more widely across the Q300 fleet.

Air New Zealand has 23 of the 50-seat Q300 turboprop aircraft in its fleet. The Q300s operates to 19 domestic ports, with each aircraft flying around 50 services a week

TAP Air Portugal sets 'very solid foundations' to continue improving sustainability

TAP Air Portugal CEO Antonoaldo Neves commented on the carrier's 2019 financial results, stating: "[TAP's] foundations are very solid for us to continue this transformation path and improve sustainability" (Presstur, 21-Feb-2020).

Heathrow: SAS, Air Malta, Oman Air in top three for 4Q2019 'Fly Quiet and Green' table

London Heathrow Airport reported (24-Feb-2020) the following from its 'Fly Quiet and Green' table for 4Q2019:

Original report: Next generation A320neos deliver cleaner and quieter flight at Heathrow

Next generation A320neos deliver cleaner and quieter flight at Heathrow

  • SAS takes the top spot for the third consecutive quarter, as the airline invests in greener and quieter A320neos and optimises their operational performance
  • Heathrow is one of the world’s first major aviation hubs to become carbon neutral, for its infrastructure, and the first to target zero carbon by the mid-2030s. Today the airport unveils an eight point plan to achieve this and tackle emissions from aircraft
  • Since the launch of ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table in 2014, Heathrow’s emissions standard has improved by a third

Today, Heathrow announces that Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) has taken the top spot in ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table for Q4. The airline has now held pole position three consecutive quarters, highlighting the carrier’s efforts to improve operational performance and invest in greener and quieter A320neos.

A320neos have modified wing tips, reducing the fuel burn and enabling them to fly more efficiently. The next generation aircraft makes up seven per cent of flights from Heathrow and are used by eight of the airlines based at the airport including British AirwaysSASLufthansaAir MaltaIberia and TAP, who all feature in the top 20 of this quarter’s ‘Fly Quiet and Green’ league table.   

SAS was closely followed by Air Malta, which climbed three positions up to second place in the final quarter of 2020. Air Malta has also been deploying new A320neos over the course of 2019 and the airline has also been maintaining its strong operational performance by practicing Continuous Decent Approach and avoiding late or early arrivals. Oman Air came third in Q4, and was the airport’s strongest long-haul carrier.

The biggest mover for Q4 was Austrian Airlines who climbed 16 places, going from 28th place to the 12th spot. The airline’s investment in A320’s has significantly lifted their scores, coupled with a reduction in late and early rivals that has helped to drive the improvement.

Heathrow became one of the world’s first aviation hubs to become carbon neutral, for its infrastructure, and now the hub airport is going even further by being the first to target zero carbon by the mid-2030s. Heathrow became one of the world’s first aviation hubs to become carbon neutral, for its infrastructure, and now the hub airport is going even further, by being the first to create a plan to go zero carbon. The plan outlines the investments Heathrow will continue to make in its infrastructure, as well as how the airport will work with business and industry partners to help decarbonise flight and ground operations.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye said:

“Over the past decade Heathrow has laid the groundwork for carbon neutral growth by creating the Fly Quiet and Green league table, investing in the restoration of UK peatlands to offset emissions and starting work on airspace modernisation that will reduce emissions in flight. Aviation is a force for good and we are working closely with the industry to ensure that emissions are net zero by 2050.”

Lars Andersen Resare, Head of Sustainability at SAS, added:

SAS is committed to reducing its emissions by 25 percent in 2030 and is continuously developing more sustainable products and services. Without our dedicated staff and their fantastic work, across all our operations, this wouldn’t be possible.”

Fly Quiet and Green league table helped to bring this issue to the fore in 2014 and has since played a key role in the transformation of fleets at Heathrow. The replacement of older aircraft types for newer, cleaner and quieter ones such as A350, A320neos and 787Dreamliners has reduced the airport’s CAEP score (emission standard) by a third. Operational metrics have also played a big role in providing respite to local communities with many airlines improving their track keeping and adopting Continuous Decent Approach.

Boom Supersonic announces carbon neutral test programme for XB-1 demonstrator

Boom Supersonic announced (24-Feb-2020) its XB-1 supersonic flight demonstrator test programme will be fully carbon neutral through the use of sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsetting.

In Jun-2019, Boom announced a partnership with Prometheus Fuels for a supply of carbon-neutral jet fuel during the XB-1 test programme. Boom is nearing completion of the XB-1 demonstrator, with a planned rollout in summer 2020.

Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl stated: "Since Boom’s founding, we’ve been on a mission to make the world dramatically more accessible through supersonic travel...With our commitment to a carbon-neutral XB-1 test program, we’re laying the groundwork for a sustainable supersonic future with Overture". [more - original PR]

Original report: Boom Supersonic Announces First Fully Carbon-Neutral Aircraft Program, XB-1

Boom Supersonic Announces First Fully Carbon-Neutral Aircraft Program, XB-1

Boom is the first commercial aviation OEM to build sustainability into aircraft programs from the ground up

Boom Supersonic, an aerospace company building history’s fastest supersonic airliner, today announced that its XB-1 test program will be fully carbon neutral through the use of sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsetting. Boom integrates sustainability considerations into every major company decision and is the first commercial airplane manufacturer to commit to a carbon-neutral test program. XB-1 is Boom’s supersonic demonstrator aircraft designed to prove in-flight the key technologies for safe, efficient and sustainable travel at supersonic speeds, and Boom’s commitment covers all ground and flight testing performed over the lifetime of the XB-1 program.

“Since Boom’s founding, we’ve been on a mission to make the world dramatically more accessible through supersonic travel,” said Blake Scholl, Founder and CEO of Boom.  “With our commitment to a carbon-neutral XB-1 test program, we’re laying the groundwork for a sustainable supersonic future with Overture.”

With today’s announcement, Boom is ushering in a new supersonic era where environmental considerations are essential throughout the aircraft’s design, testing and flying.  In June 2019, Boom announced its partnership with Prometheus Fuels, one of the most innovative companies in the field of sustainable alternative fuels, to supply carbon-neutral jet fuel during the XB-1 test program. Prometheus’ technology economically removes CO2 from the air and uses clean electricity to turn it into jet fuel. The electricity used in this process comes from renewable sources such as solar and wind, so there are no net carbon emissions from using the fuel. In January 2019, Boomsuccessfully conducted a series of ground tests, running XB-1 engines using sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). These tests, powered by a blend of more than 80% sustainable fuel, gave the company the confidence that XB-1 can safely use SAF in future ground and test flights.

Additionally, in October 2019, Boom created a dedicated environmental and sustainability team, selecting Raymond Russell as its Head of Sustainability.  Russell, a former Google Policy Fellow, has been a key player in Boom’s environmental policy and advocacy since 2017. He also represents Boom at technical working groups of the International Civil Aviation Organization Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (ICAO/CAEP), supporting evaluations of potential global environmental regulations for aviation. Russell and his team manage Boom’s sustainability partnerships and initiatives, including new opportunities for sustainability in aircraft design, sustainable aviation fuels, flight routing, and carbon offsetting. “As a new entrant in aerospace, Boom is making sustainability a core tenet of our aircraft development program,” said Russell. “Thanks to today’s technology, supersonic travel is economically viable, and we are proud to ensure that it’s environmentally friendly as well.”

Boom is nearing completion of its XB-1 demonstrator, history’s first independently-developed civil supersonic aircraft. The design, build, and test phases of XB-1 are intended to inform the design of Overture, Boom’s supersonic commercial airliner, and lessons from XB-1 have already helped optimize Overture. XB-1 has a planned rollout in summer 2020.

ICE Futures Europe announces carbon permit 2020 auction calendar

ICE Futures Europe launched (21-Feb-2020) the 2020 auction calendar for Phase III EU Allowances (EUAs) and EU Aviation Allowances (EUAAs) on ICE Futures Europe, on behalf of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Spot auctions of EUAs will occur from 04-Mar-2020 to 09-Dec-2020. EUAAs will be auctioned on 25-Mar-2020. [more - original PR]

Excerpt from original report: 2020 Auction Calendar: ICE Futures EUA And EUAA Auction Contracts

The purpose of this Circular is to advise Members of the 2020 auction calendar for the auctioning of Phase III EU Allowances (EUAs) and EU Aviation Allowances (EUAAs) on ICE Futures Europe, on behalf of the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The spot auctions of EUAs will occur fortnightly on Wednesdays from 04 March 2020 to 09 December 2020. EUAAs will be auctioned on Wednesday 25 March 2020.

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