The Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) links 19 transpacific flight routes in a programme, ASPIRE Daily City Pair, where new fuel saving concepts are being trialled and refined for every phase of flight, beginning at the airport gate.

The ASPIRE programme began in 2008 when a group of air navigation service providers – Airservices Australia, Airways New Zealand and the US Federal Aviation Administration – agreed to link their flight efficiency programmes in order to deliver the most fuel-efficient operations at airports and across the ocean with airlines’ own fuel-saving measures. The project now also includes the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and AeroThai.

The ASPIRE Daily City Pair features a number of new concepts, such as user preferred routes, where the airline determines which is the most efficient route to take based on the performance characteristics of individual aircraft and the prevailing weather. The air navigation system then configures itself around this flight – rather than forcing the aircraft to fly along fixed airways.

When user-preferred routes are used to optimise fuel consumption, the savings in greenhouse gas emissions can be substantial. Some of the CO2 emissions savings that an ASPIRE-Daily city pair could produce over the course of a year include:

• Auckland to San Francisco: 11 tonnes
• Melbourne to Los Angeles: 28 tonnes
• Sydney to San Francisco: 15 tonnes
• Los Angeles to Singapore: 33 tonnes