A SCHEME to reduce noise, emissions and aircraft fuel consumption at Birmingham Airport has saved over 13,000 tonnes of CO2 in the last 12 months.
The technique, called Continuous Descent Approach (CDA), allows aircraft to descend on minimum power, making a smooth approach without levelling off, rather than using a classical stepped approach.
After just one year of launching the scheme, 95 per cent of aircraft arriving into Birmingham Airport now use CDAs, making a saving per flight of around 315kg of CO2, 100kg of fuel, and reducing the noise around the airport.
Ben Hanley, the Airport’s Environment Manager, said, “We’re always seeking new opportunities to improve the noise climate for local residents and in 2006 we introduced the Operation Pathfinder scheme to create better communication channels and joined up thinking with our airlines and NATS.
“This partnership approach resulted in the launch of the CDA programme, and has led to improvements to our ‘on-track’ performance, which saw 99% of all our departures in 2009 keeping within the designated flight paths. We’re really seeing the results of collaborative working and we thank our partners for their commitment to improve the local climate.”
Paul Waite, Operations and Training Manager for NATS, said, “Although CDAs are being used at a number of other UK airports, Birmingham is one of the most successful airports using the scheme, and I am proud to say that our team of controllers are exceeding targets every month. It is evident that NATS, Birmingham Airport and the airlines are fully committed to tackling local aviation environmental issues.”