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The world’s first “Green Flight”

February 6, 2010

The world’s first “Green Flight”.

Check out this article and others at

Written by Derek

The CAAS and Singapore Airlines completed the world’s first “Green Flight” from  LA to Singapore via Tokyo on the 2nd of February.

In a media release, Mr Yap Ong Heng, Director-General, CAAS, said, “The first multi-sector demonstration green flight clearly demonstrates the operational efficiency and environmental benefits that can be realised from employing best practices and technologies in air traffic management. The significant reductions in flight time, fuel consumption and carbon emissions provide benchmarks which Air Navigation Service Providers and airlines can work towards in the air transport industry’s collaborative commitment and efforts to cut down carbon emissions.

So here is how they did it:

  • At the departure phase, the aircraft’s taxiing distance was reduced significantly by allocating it the shortest possible route to takeoff. This of course reduces the power and fuel consumption as compared to a normal flight.
  • At the cruising phase,  “User Preferred Route and Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedures”, which, according to the CAAS, allows the pilot to capitalise on prevailing wind patterns to alter the aircraft’s flight path to shorten its flight time and achieve greater flight efficiency. Also “Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures” were employed, which allows the aircraft to use preferred flight paths and levels.
  • At the arrival phase, the “Optimised Profile Descent technique” was used to allow the aircraft to fly with engines set at idle in continuous descent from a high altitude to landing, which “significantly reduces fuel burn”.
  • And of course, after landing, the aircraft was allocated the shortest route to the parking bay.

The Results?

  • reduction of flight time by 30 minutes
  • Saving 10686 kg of fuel
  • Reduced carbon emissions by 33769 kg

Let’s put that into perspective, 33679 kg of carbon emissions is the equivilent of producing 10893 cheeseburgers, and using 300 mobile phones for a year. If the entire commercial airline industry adopted such (relatively low cost) measures, the amount of carbon reductions that can be achieved could be in the range of 825 Million tonnes per year (33 tonnes x 25 million flights). Now that is staggering to say the least.

Personally, I find myself very encouraged by such developments. It’s great to see large organisations taking proactive and effective (if they manage to implement this on a large scale) steps in moving towards sustainability. Good job, CAAS and SIA.#

Great article! I also think Olive Ventures has got a great site and work going on and you guys should all check it out and/or get involved with what they call Open Source Environmentalism.

Here’s what they have to say about OSE:

Do you have an alternate point of view? Is there something that you find interesting that we might have overlooked? Make this your eco blog too! With open source environmentalism (OSE), you can voice your opinion now! What is open source environmentalism you might ask?

Open Source Environmentalism is the spreading of ideas and knowledge on environmental sustainability through the open source platform of offering these ideas and information freely, allowing interested individuals to enhance, improve, and adapt to their specific specialties.

We believe that in order for Singapore to advance to higher levels of environmental awareness and sustainability, there needs to be an open sharing of ideas and ideals on an individual and community level. So whether its a movement you are involved in  and would like to spread the message, or some green legislation you’d like to see put in place, or you just want to voice your opinion/insight into why things work or not, join this open source community and make this your eco voice too!

Top effort! So do check them out at !


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