A tool developed by NATS for measuring the environmental performance of aircraft has won a top international award.
The 3Di environment metric – a world first for this level of detailed analys
is into air traffic management environmental performance – won the Jane’s ATC Environment Award at the CANSO ATM dinner in Amsterdam last night.
Picking up the award Richard Deakin, Chief Executive, said: “Improved environmental performance is at the heart of NATS’ work to help create a sustainable future for the industry, which is essential if we’re to be allowed to grow.
“It also makes good basic business sense because fewer emissions means less fuel burned – part of our continuing focus on providing the most efficient service to help reduce operating costs for airlines and for our own business.
“NATS is already working towards stretching targets to reduce ATM-related CO2 which are in line with this new performance measure. NATS has led the way in developing this metric, which is the world’s only incentivised flight efficiency metric. We’d like to see this set a standard for Europe as part of the new Performance Scheme.”
He added: “I’d like to thank everyone who has put so much hard work into achieving this.”
Development of the metric has taken nearly three years of painstaking research and development, analysing radar tracks from every flight since January 2010, and further large samples of operations every year going back to 2006. This work was done in collaboration with airlines, including British Airways, Virgin, BMi, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, EasyJet, Flybe, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.
The work established an average efficiency rating in terms of vertical and horizontal trajectories – how smooth a climb and descent, as well as how direct a route could be provided for each flight.
Ian Jopson, Head of Environment, said: “Our customers asked us to find a way of measuring our environmental performance; this was a tough challenge, but succeeding clearly demonstrates our commitment to environmental improvement.
“Initial analysis shows there is scope to save around 600,000 tonnes of CO2 over the next three years saving our airline customers an estimated £120m in fuel costs.”
NATS has been awarded a seven-year contract extension to continue its work with QinetiQ, the defence technology company that operates a number of Ministry of Defence test and evaluation air ranges.
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