In addition to the overall goal of switching the core energy source used by air transport to renewable energy there are countless other smaller scale opportunities for improvement on the journey towards sustainable aviation.
The Sustainable Aviation Case Study Project would work to consolidate examples of best practice initiatives from airlines, academics and manufacturers across the world that have proven financially viable and have also been of environmental or social benefit – everything from the large and complex, such as fuel efficiency projects, to the small and simple, such as recycling of old uniforms.
A major proportion of these projects are low hanging fruit that are proven, commercially viable and turn-key ready for easy implementation at airlines and manufacturers. It has been observed that often these are simply yet to be implemented due to a lack of awareness, education, focus on sustainability; or, a lack of resources, mainly time and capital. Only a small percentage of sustainable aviation opportunities are those large-scale technology changes that will take decades from conception to viable implementation. All sustainable aviation opportunities can be categorized, filtered and prioritized. Sustainable Sky will build on the 2013 snapshot effort of IATA and the 2015 snapshot effort of ATAG in this space to create an online evolving open-source library of case studies of these sustainable aviation opportunities for private and public dissemination and consideration. Anyone will be able to contribute case studies via an online form to the crowd sourced library platform that will result. This central repository of knowledge will allow businesses to promote their efforts whilst simultaneously allowing others to much more easily emulate and intergrate successful sustainable aviation projects. Annual awards will be given for the best showcased initiatives in order to incentivize the continual crowd sourced addition of new case studies to the library, or a small fee could be given for approved verified case studies.
This project would also draw on the Sustainable Sky Awards Project for cutting edge case studies.
So what are some examples of these sustainable aviation opportunity projects? Here is a small and quick selection of specific potential examples in no particular order: jet engine washing, single engine taxiing, at-gate APU to GPU switching, aerodynamic aircraft paint, aircraft body washing, de-rated takeoffs, RNP, GPS navigation, ASPIRE flights, reduced use of thrust reversers, glide approaches, reduced weight on board (fuel, water, cabin, cockpit, payload, structure etc), Sustainable Aviation Fuel, renewable ground electricity, water options, waste options, airline recycling program, aircraft hull recycling, carbon offset programs, cabin air quality, electric-thrust wheel hubs, ISTAT Airlink, customer donation program, company philanthropic program, sustainable procurement, sustainable tourism, stakeholder engagement and education, solar power aircraft external surfaces, lighter batteries, less-swept wings to promote smooth drag-reducing laminar airflow, active flow control to reduce tail size, continuous flexible wing trailing-edges to reduce drag and noise, re-energized wake, ultra-high bypass engines, electric auxiliary engines, hydrogen fuel-cell, electronic weight reduction, open rotor engines, hydrogen storage weight reduction, clean up historical NOTAM airspace, live flight data flows, automated communication and navigation (upload and download), optimized fuel loading, cockpit electronic flight bag, SAF sustainability reporting, carbon fiber aircraft structures.
Preliminary forecast costs
Operating: US$100k p.a.
Project Duration: Ongoing