Nav Canada has launched the second phase of the ENGAGE demonstration project, which aims to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the busy North Atlantic.
The project will be undertaken with partners that include Air France and NATS, the UK’s air navigation service provider.
ENGAGE II was awarded to a consortium between Nav Canada and Air France by SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) as part of its Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) Programme.
The second phase of the project follows ENGAGE I Demonstration flight trial completed last year; 55 flights conducted flight trials during ENGAGE I over North Atlantic airspace.
During the trial, each flight achieved an average reduction in GHG emission of around 1,300 kg, as well as reduced fuel burn of about 500l through the use of efficient flight profiles.
Nav Canada Operations vice president Rudy Kellar said that the collaboration of employed new technology and procedures is part of global efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of the aviation industry.
"ENGAGE I was a proven success, which demonstrated real benefits in cost savings as well as the reduction in GHG emissions," Kellar said.
During the flight trial, the viability of two concepts were tested, progressive or continuous altitude change and corresponding changes in aircraft speed (Mach), in place of traditional single speed, single altitude profiles.
The trial found that as a flight transits the ocean, fuel is consumed and the weight of the aircraft decreases, which results in the efficient flight level becoming higher (assuming zero wind).
An efficient flight profile could therefore include a progressive or continuous altitude change and/or a change in Mach.
"In ENGAGE II, we plan to significantly increase the number of flight trials using variable altitude and variable speed," Kellar added.
"We have more carriers participating in an expanded oceanic region and we expect to execute over 100 trials, a four-fold increase from phase one of the project."
During ENGAGE II, which will continue into autumn 2013, the consortium will try to confirm the viability of the concept over an expanded region and collect data required to support the implementation of the procedures after the conclusion of the trial.