Through the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions, the airline partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration, the European Commission and other international airlines to accelerate application of new technologies and procedures. They have a direct impact on reducing carbon emissions and noise pollution. They also conserve fuel, according to Tim Wagner, a spokesman for American Airlines.
In addition, the project includes gate-to-gate flight demonstrations to test the benefits of technologies that will be used with the FAA’s NextGen and the EC’s Single European Sky ATM Research air traffic management system, he said.
American Cuts Fuel During Prior to Take Off
The test flight, which took place April 7, 2017, used single-engine when it taxied prior to takeoff and after landing. Pilots also use continuous climb-out and descent, optimized routing over water and a “tailored arrival.” The airline’s goal is to save 120 million gallons of fuel in 2017, which is designed to cut emissions by 2.5 billion pounds. Currently, the FAA is analyzing the data from the test flight, said Tammy Jones, an FAA spokeswoman.
This test marks the second time American Airlines pioneered transatlantic flights. More than 20 years ago, American used two-engine airplanes on trans-oceanic flights. Prior to that, international flights used three- or four-engine planes, Wagner said.
American’s initiative is one of many that employees have begun to promote a cleaner environment. Although the airline industry is consuming less fuel than in the last years, American has improved upon that commitment with goals for the next two decades, according to American Airlines Web site.
It plans to reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent by 2020 and 30 percent by 2025. The airline has issued a report to customers and shareholders about its environmental responsibility. American also continues to innovate its technology to improve customer service and protect the environment.
EPA Seeks Airline Lead Emissions Data
Besides the FAA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is collecting data from airlines regarding lead emissions.
The agency wants data available in evaluating emissions and lead exposure from gas used in piston-engine aircraft. Since 1980, lead emissions in the United States have decreased by more than 90 percent. In addition, EPA’s national air standards for lead are 10 times tighter than the previous standards, EPA spokeswoman Cathy Milbourne said.
According to officials, lead exposure from airline gas is about half of the country’s lead inventory. Depending on the findings, EPA might issue new regulations regarding piston-engine planes. It also might require piston engines to switch to unleaded gas. Currently, the agency is evaluating data it already has to evaluate health impacts. About 20,000 facilities, including airports and heliports, use leaded gasoline as fuel, she said.
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