EU North Atlantic Air Traffic Test adds to the Proof of the Value of NextGen

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ARTICLE: TOPFLIGHT flight trials a success

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Just as ICAO is meeting to set global standards for the control of carbon from aircraft , a set of draft rules which the EU has been opposing based on its preferred ETS “market mechanism,” that same multi-lateral organization announces a quite promising, partially deployed SESAR/NextGen technology advancement which will dramatically reduce the emissions. The release states as follows:

“Every element of each TOPFLIGHT Phase 1 trial flight, from push-back time, to climb and descent profile and routing, was designed to test the SESAR concept, minimise fuel burn and maximise efficiency. Analysis before the trials began suggested that each flight could save up to half a tonne of fuel – the equivalent to 1.6 tonnes of CO2.(Printed in original English)

The EU test began in June of 2012. The preliminary analysis indicates that as much as a ton of reduced fuel consumption PER FLIGHT with 65% of the benefit derived from Free Routing and Flexible Use of Airspace in UK and Canadian radar airspace, ~ 30% from Cruise Climb and Variable Mach in oceanic airspace and 5% from Continuous Climb Operations and Continuous Descent Arrivals. Those are impressive hard facts!

Those are impressive numbers which confirm many of the macro claims made by the FAA on their website. The data from this test and other efforts replace projections with real numbers; some of those estimates have been regarded with askance by stakeholders.

The more hard facts, the greater the support by users which will make the Congress more likely to fully fund NextGen.

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