The Spanish air navigation service provider Enaire has described several of the measures it is using to improve the efficiency of air routes for sustainability reasons.
Speaking at the Global Mobility Call congress in Madrid, Spain last week Enrique Maurer, Enaire’s CEO explained the three main parts of the air navigation service provider’s (ANSP) Green Sky initiative, which is part of the 2025 Flight Plan.
These include: Reducing atmospheric emissions in parallel with reduced fuel consumption – Fly Clean; Attenuating noise levels and reducing its effect on biodiversity in and around Spanish airports – Fly Quiet, and Improving environmental management in Enaire’s own centres and facilities throughout Spain - Eco-Enaire.
"To reduce atmospheric emissions, the measures endorsed by Enaire directly seek to improve flight efficiency in trajectories and flight profiles, with the consequent reduction in fuel consumption and emissions,” said Maurer.
“To this end, we are working on optimizing the network of air routes by modernizing maneuvers and reducing the distances flown, together with designing maneuvers with continuous descent/climb clearances.”
He added that the flexible use of airspace is also key and relies on enhanced civil-military coordination, the environmental benefits of which will include the possibility of offering more efficient routes in terms of flight profiles and distances.
"As a result of these actions, the efficiency of the route network has improved compared to previous years. Traffic during the first eight months of 2023 rose by 11.8% compared to the same period in 2022 and, with the Fly Clean initiative, in that period, route efficiency went up by 2% despite the increase in flights. This means that in the first few months of the year, we avoided flying 384,000 km, almost 10 times around the Earth which reduced atmospheric emissions by 7,200 tonnes and saved 2,300 tonnes of fuel", said Maurer.
In the second area of activity, to reduce noise pollution in cities and towns near airports, Enaire systematically studies the environmental impact of all the flight maneuvers it designs that avoid aircraft flying over cities and towns and to minimize the noise they generate.
"Enaire is firmly committed to reducing the noise impact on the population, and it actively participates in working groups with the National Aviation Safety Agency (AESA), the Civil Aviation General Directorate (DGAC) and AENA,” said Maurer.
“In this regard, we collaborate closely with the DGAC and AENA to reduce noise pollution in cities and towns near airports. ENAIRE has designed an ambitious action plan to reduce noise through 2030, which defines measures intended to achieve this", Enrique Maurer summarised.
In the third area of environmental activity, the Eco-Enaire initiative aims to improve the environmental management at the ANSP’s work centres by providing renewable energy to power all of its air control centres and major air navigation facilities.
As a whole, these photovoltaic installations will generate nearly 4 GWh annually, saving 18% of the electricity consumed in these facilities, and 13.7% of ENAIRE's total consumption. Lighting consumption will also be optimised by using LED technology, and a plan is being implemented to decarbonise the vehicle fleet.
Similarly, ENAIRE will continue to purchase 100% of its electricity from certified renewable sources, a measure that, since 2015, has saved over 110,000 tonnes of CO2.