ABU DHABI, UAE 22 April 2022: Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, is undertaking a week of research and testing on over 30 flights to evaluate operational efficiencies, technology and procedures that will reduce carbon emissions.
The week-long programme launched on Earth Day, 22 April, and includes over 20 commercial flights operating across Etihad’s network to test contrail avoidance technologies in partnership with SATAVIA, a UK-based green aerospace company.
The airline will also operate up to 13 dedicated ‘EcoFlights’ testing a range of flight and engine optimisation initiatives, with successful trials to be incorporated into scheduled operations. Etihad will use its fleet of fuel-efficient A350 and 787 aircraft for the flight tests
Most of the tests conducted over the week are part of a year-long partnership with SATAVIA to enable contrail prevention, integrating atmospheric modelling with operational flight planning to prevent contrail formation. Aircraft contrails, or condensation trails, are clouds made up of aircraft-generated ice crystals, which cause a net surface heating effect globally by trapping atmospheric heat. Contrails cause up to 60% of aviation’s total climate impact, the equivalent to 2% of all human impact.
In addition to contrail avoidance R&D flight tests, Etihad will operate up to 13 dedicated EcoFlights.
These flights will test operational initiatives to evaluate and confirm learnings from past eco-flights for flight path optimisation, including optimised climb and continuous descent, optimal departure runway, last-minute engine start-up, and single-engine taxi procedures network-wide and fight deck technology solutions.
Etihad published its first Sustainability Report on Earth Day 2022, a publicly-available report covering the previous two years of the airline’s sustainability efforts.
(Your Stories: Emirates)