Commercial aircraft flying to New Zealand's Auckland Airport from the north will trial new SMART Approaches flight path, for 12 months from 1 September.
Known as 'Yellow U23', the new satellite-based navigation is aimed at reducing fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and noise and to distribute air traffic over a wider area of the city.
Jointly implemented by the Auckland Airport, Airways New Zealand and the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand, the one-year long flight plan will evaluate aircraft performance, management of airspace and operational benefits such as time, distance, fuel and carbon emission savings, noise monitor results and public feedback.
Up to ten aircraft will be able to use the trial path, between 7am and 10pm every day. Most of the flight path is located within the main flight corridor that is already in use by flights approaching the airport from the north.
This is the third trial path to be trialled with the previous two routes tested in 2012 and 2013.
The trial will result in ten additional daily flights over St Johns, Glen Innes, Bucklands and Eastern Beaches, Mellons Bay, Shelly Park, Whitford and Clover Park.
Once the trial concluds, the aircraft will stop using the route and a draft report will be published for public consultation.
Auckland airport handles more than 420 flights everyday and this trial is intended at helping aviation industry enhance travel, trade and tourism in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner.
Image: The international terminal of the Auckland airport. Photo: courtesy of Ingolfson.