Singapore Airlines' flight SQ37, which the carrier operates non-stop from Los Angeles to Singapore using Airbus A340-500s, will employ enhanced air traffic management operational...

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Singapore Airlines (SIA), working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, launch daily ‘green’ flights on the Los Angeles-Singapore route on May 16.

Singapore Airlines’ flight SQ37, which the airline operates non-stop from Los Angeles to Singapore using Airbus A340-500s, will employ enhanced air traffic management operational procedures gate-to-gate between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Singapore’s Changi International Airport (SIN), in order to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions in all phases of the flight.

The flights are being organized and handled by the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE) partnership. The partners in ASPIRE are Airways New Zealand, the Federal Aviation Administration, Airservices Australia, the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore.

Los Angeles-Singapore is the second regular ‘city pair’ under the ‘ASPIRE-Daily City Pair’ program, which aims to deliver gate-to-gate environmental best practices for flights between pairs of airports throughout Asia and the Pacific, which have some of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. The first daily ‘city pair’ flight was launched between Auckland and San Francisco on February 21.

More green city-pair flights will be added over the next few months by ASPIRE partners.

Singapore Airlines has an extensive long-haul fleet. Among the many aircraft in the fleet are five Airbus A340-500s, which the airline has configured in all-business-class configuration. Each of the A340-500s has just 100 seats and they fly some of the longest routes in the world, including the well-known Newark-Singapore non-stop flight which takes about 19 hours. Another non-stop operated by SIA's A340-500s is flight SQ37 between Los Angeles and Singapore, which became a 'green' flight – which uses advanced air traffic management operational procedures to save fuel – on May 16, 2011

“CAAS aims to actively contribute to reducing aviation’s environmental footprint where we can. Hence, our participation in the ‘ASPIRE-Daily City Pair’ programme, with the launch of the LAX-SIN ‘city-pair’ with SIA,” says Yap Ong Heng, director-general of CAAS. “This will clearly demonstrate how collaboration among ASPIRE partners, airlines and other air navigation service providers in employing best practices and technologies in air traffic management can achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and carbon emissions for flights.”

The LAX-SIN ‘green’ flight will use the following air traffic management best practices to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions significantly:

● User-Preferred Routes, Dynamic Airborne Reroute Procedures and 30/30 Reduced Oceanic Separation, all of which allow pilots to take full advantage of atmospheric conditions, such as prevailing winds, to reduce separation between aircraft and shorten flight time; and

● Time-Based Arrivals Management and Arrivals Optimisation, which allow aircraft to fly with engines set at idle mode in continuous descent from a high altitude during the landing phase of the flight, thus reducing fuel burn.

“We are pleased to be able to implement these flight procedures on a regular basis, and see this as yet another step towards greener skies,” says  Gerard Yeap, Singapore Airlines’ senior vice-president flight operations. “We will be monitoring the flight closely to track the fuel and emission savings, but we expect to reduce fuel burn by 2 tonnes and achieve carbon emission savings of around 6.3 tonnes for each Los Angeles-Singapore sector.”

Each ASPIRE-Daily City Pair is rated based on the number of best-practice procedures employed, with three stars representing the minimum required and five stars indicating that all identified best practices are employed. The LAX-SIN city pair is assigned a four-star rating.