American Airlines Tests Green Processes

Seeking to reduce carbon emissions, American Airlines is the first US airline to test technologies and procedures to save fuel.

American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami served as a real-world proving ground for technologies and procedures aimed at reducing carbon emission and saving fuel. The test was conducted during a normally scheduled flight to obtain real-time results, said American.

The test is part of the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), a joint initiative of the US Federal Aviation Administration, the European Commission, and several airlines.

“It is critical that the aviation industry work with our Air Traffic Control partners to demonstrate the benefits of NextGen technology today,” said Bob Reding, American’s executive vice president of operations. “By implementing this technology as quickly as possible, we can make real and meaningful strides to reduce our impact on the environment, increase system capacity, and reduce air traffic delays. Utilizing NextGen technology is a crucial part of American’s overall environmental and fuel savings efforts,” he continued. “These efforts have already yielded fuel savings of more than 110 million gallons annually and reduced our carbon emissions by 2.3 billion pounds in 2008.”

Using a Boeing 767-300 aircraft, American Flight 63 was scheduled to fly from Paris Charles De Gaulle and arrive at Miami International Airport at 1:55 p.m. EDT. The flight conducted several fuel conservation measures, including single-engine taxi on departure and arrival, continuous climb out and descent, optimized routing over water, and a “tailored arrival.” Several of these endeavors are already key elements of Fuel Smart, American’s ongoing employee fuel conservation program. In 2009, American aims to save 120 million gallons of jet fuel and reduce its carbon emissions by 2.5 billion pounds.

Post-flight data analysis by the FAA, European Commission, and American will determine the carbon and fuel savings gained on the demonstration flight. The FAA and AA will then conduct a two-month trial in Miami to continue testing the next-generation technology and procedures.

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