Perfect flight must become norm: Airbus

In the run-up to this week’s aviation environment summit, European airframer Airbus said the ‘perfect flight’ should become the norm in an effort to shrink the environmental footprint of an aircraft’s flight.
Airbus will be underlining its sustainable practices at the sixth Aviation and Environment Summit organised by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) in Geneva, this week (21-22 March).
Airbus said the ‘perfect flight’ could be achieved through the combination of all best practices currently available such as operating the most eco-efficient aircraft, using sustainable alternative fuels and implementing a truly streamlined Air Traffic Management (ATM) system.
“The aviation industry is in a strong position to reduce emissions and perform a ‘perfect flight’,” said Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO. “What we need is a clear endorsement by governments and aviation stakeholders in allocating proper resources to venture beyond today’s limitations. I consider a Single European Sky with a 10 per cent CO2 saving-potential as a low hanging fruit.” Tom Enders added: “Our industry is right on track and is playing its part. In the last decade, we saw a traffic increase of 45 per cent but only a fuel increase by three per cent.”
Last year, Airbus and Air France performed its own ‘perfect flight’, on a regular A321 commercial flight from Toulouse to Paris cutting CO2 emissions by half.
Airbus has also launched a “Biofuel Flightpath” together with the European Commission, several European airlines and also biofuel producers. This initiative has clear milestones targeting an annual production of two million tonnes of sustainably produced biofuel for aviation by 2020. In this context Airbus has announced two more European alternative fuel value chain projects in 2011.
Global aviation industry targets are set at improving fuel efficiency by 1.5 per cent on average per year to 2020, to cap net carbon emissions from 2020, and work towards the ambitious goal of a 50 per cent reduction by 2050– compared to 2005 levels.
Airbus said it is fully committed to meet these targets and that more than 90 per cent of its research and technology investments are of benefit to the environment.