Routes across and around the Pacific are among some of the longest in the world and cover vast areas of virtually empty airspace. The Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) programme brings together a unique collaboration to help cut emissions.
One example of the collaborative effort paying off was with Singapore Airlines. The programme started with a demonstration flight operating from Los Angeles to Singapore via Tokyo, where aviation authorities in Singapore, the United States and Japan worked together to ensure optimal traffic conditions. In total, 10 tonnes of fuel and 33.7 tonnes of carbon emissions were saved on that one flight. Whilst that route has been discontinued, the lessons learned and the collaborative partnerships have continued and are now being implemented on other routes, in an effort known as ASPIRE Daily.
For all flights now from Singapore to Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Christchurch, the ASPIRE partnership is put into action. Examples of air traffic management best practice include measures which allow: pilots to take full advantage of atmospheric conditions, such as prevailing winds, to reduce separation between aircraft and shorten flight time; and planning with air traffic management agencies to allow aircraft to fly with engines set at idle mode in continuous descent from a high altitude during the landing phase of the flight, reducing fuel burn.
Each ASPIRE Daily city pair is star-rated, based on the number of best practice procedures employed, with three stars representing the minimum required and five stars indicating that all best practices are employed. In collaboration with government agencies, airlines, regulators and other aviation industry stakeholders, ASPIRE aims to accelerate the development of gate-to-gate operational procedures to reduce fuel burn and emissions for all phases of flight.