Press Release Brussels, 08 November 2012

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Press Release

Brussels, 08 November 2012

With SESAR, green flights become a reality

Brussels, 08 November 2012. Surfing on the success of two previous waves of demonstrations under the AIRE initiative, Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) is co-financing a third series of pre-operational demonstration projects to accelerate adoption of environmentally friendly Air Traffic Management (ATM) operations.
After more than 10.000 green commercial flights, this new AIRE wave raises the bar with 9 new projects involving 31 airport, air navigation service providers (ANSP) and airline partners in 14 geographical locations. The aim of this collaborative effort is to show that it is possible to fly more environmentally friendly trajectories with commercial flights, using current technologies.

Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) is a programme first launched in 2007 by the European Commission and the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration to improve flights’ energy efficiency, lower engine emissions and reduce aircraft noise.

Since 2008, SESAR JU is managing the European side of the programme through collaborative projects involving multiple ATM stakeholders (airports, ANSPs, airlines and industries). The first two waves of AIRE demonstrations in 2009 and 2010/11 have proven that fuel burn –therefore CO2 emissions- can be significantly reduced through a partnership approach, utilising today’s technologies. The gains achieved in AIRE I and AIRE II were quite significant (up to 3% savings on fuel and CO2 emissions), whilst the investment was minimal – and mainly based on the design and training of new operational procedures. It was clearly a win-win initiative in which a number of trial procedures have now become everyday operations.

The 2012/13 wave of demonstrations (or AIRE III), is building on insights gained through the previous activities and expanding the programme’s scope. New geographical locations are integrated, new partners are involved, new areas of efficiency are trialled, so that solutions proven successful can be industrialised quicker, by a wider aviation community:

  • New locations and demonstrations: Pre-operational AIRE projects will see the light in Hungary, the South Atlantic (Canarias FIR, and potentially Sal, Dakar and Recife ACCs), Italy, and Latvia. They will allow optimisation of operations for terminal, and oceanic/en route.
    In Hungary, the aim is to accomplish more fuel-efficient climbs and descents through Continuous descent approach (CDA) and Continuous climb departure (CDD) in one of Central Europe’s busy airports: Budapest. In the South Atlantic and Italy, reducing CO2 emissions will be achieved via Flexible or Free route, a procedure allowing aircrafts to choose their optimised route. In Riga, demonstrations aim to prove CO2 emission and noise level reductions through more direct routing thanks to Performance Base Navigation (PBN).

  • New partners: For this wave of demonstrations, many new airlines have joined the programme, including low cost carriers. Air Baltic, Air Berlin, Alitalia, Easy Jet Airlines, SATA, Thomas Cook Airlines and Wizz Air are the newcomers. They join previous AIRE airline partners such as Air Europa, Air France, Iberia and TAP Air Portugal. New ANSPs include ENAV (Italy), HungaroControl (Hungary), and LGS (Latvia). They complement AIRE-experienced ANSP partners including AENA (Spain), DSNA (France), NAV CANADA, NAV-Portugal and Skyguide (Switzerland).

I am very satisfied that the SESAR JU is able to continue to support ATM environmental optimisations, allowing operators to achieve significant savings in fuel whilst reducing their environmental footprint. AIRE has become an industry benchmark triggering change in Europe and in the North Atlantic.Patrick Ky, Executive Director, SESAR Joint Undertaking
For more information on AIRE, go to

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The SESAR programme is the operational and technological solution to the challenges of upgrading European air traffic. The aim of the SESAR Joint Undertaking is to modernise European air traffic management by coordinating and concentrating all relevant research and development efforts in the European Union. Partnership, sustainability and user-drive are key concepts of the SESAR Joint Undertaking. Founded by the European Commission, Eurocontrol and the following fifteen member companies: AENA, Airbus, Alenia Aeronautica, DFS, DSNA, ENAV, Frequentis, Honeywell, Indra, NATMIG, NATS (En Route) Limited, NORACON, SEAC, SELEX Sistemi Integrati and Thales.

Press contact:

Nathalie Oghlian - Chief Corporate Communication – SESAR Joint Undertaking– -

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