Northern SMART Approaches trial ended on 31 October 2013
The Northern ‘SMART approaches’, a twelve month initiative trialled by the aviation industry and aimed at improving flight path and aircraft efficiency and reducing the impact of aircraft noise on the community, ended on 31 October 2013.
A draft report on the trial will be made available for industry and community feedback in late March 2014 and a final report with recommendations is then expected to be issued later in the year. Following the end of the Northern SMART approaches trial, data from the airlines and Airways, along with community feedback, is being assessed in order to prepare the draft report. Information gathered from noise monitors in the community is also being considered.
SMART approaches are part of a worldwide drive by the aviation industry and regulators to improve flight paths. Using the accuracy of satellite-based navigation, SMART approaches follow a curved approach to the runway and create a more continuous descent, meaning the aircraft travels fewer miles reducing fuel consumption and carbon emissions. The approach also means the aircraft engines’ power settings can be at or close to idle, enabling better noise management for local communities.
The Northern trial was specifically designed to maximise flying over industrial areas and reduce the distance flown over residential areas. During the trial, a maximum of ten flights per day used each Northern SMART approach, and only between 7am and 10pm.
The Northern SMART approaches trial, which began in November 2012, was a joint initiative of Airways New Zealand, Auckland Airport and the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ). There were three airlines participating in the trial – Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar.
Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical operations, Judy Nicholl, commented during the trial, “Our airport is a vital social and business hub that enables Kiwis to connect to each other and to family, friends and business clients overseas. A connected and efficient airport facilitates tourism and trade growth and we are committed to doing our part to support this.”
Airways New Zealand General Manager of Operations Pauline Lamb also commented, “SMART approaches represent global best-practice and are being implemented at major airports throughout the world. An efficient and connected Auckland is in everyone’s best interests and we are committed to working with the industry to ensure an optimal outcome.”
BARNZ’s Executive Director, John Beckett, said, “technological improvements, such as SMART approaches, are designed to reduce carbon emissions and noise. This in turn improves the experience of local communities, the travelling public and airlines.”
Feedback on the Northern SMART approaches trial can still be submitted by calling 09 256 8133 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You may already have accessed those contacts and have been referred to this webpage. If you have any on-going concerns or comments about the SMART trial please log those through the above contact addresses.
Auckland Airport’s standard protocol for handling such matters is to gather as much information as practical from the caller to understand the caller’s concern and then to investigate the matter if necessary. The outcome is then conveyed back to the caller, usually in writing.
All calls received, and the results of investigations, are reported quarterly to the Aircraft Noise Community Consultative Group.
Information gathered through this process will be considered as part of assessing the SMART approaches trials.
Working together for a sustainable future
ANSPs are working closely with their airline industry partners to develop technology and procedures to reduce fuel burn and CO² emissions. Airways has won international accolades for its implementation of Collaborative Flow Management (CFM) tools, which over the past year have saved their major airline customers in NZ around $15 million in reduced fuel consumption and reduced carbon emissions by around 32 million tonnes.
“ANSPs are now a key part of enabling airlines to operate better. By working closely with airlines, we can develop technologies that deliver real savings, both economically and environmentally, without impacting on safety and service delivery. Tools like CFM benefit everyone – ANSPs, the airlines and ultimately, their passengers” said developer, Chris McGaw
Performance-based Navigation (PBN) is a ‘whole of system’ approach that is fundamentally changing the way we fly.
PBN is the GPS of aviation. It uses satellites to pinpoint the exact location of aircraft, which means greater ability for ANSPs to be more dynamic in their use of airspace. PBN means you can fly any path in the sky and you can go anywhere you want whereas with conventional flight you could only fly between, or to and from, aids.
“For Airways, PBN instills the concept that now, smart air traffic controlling is about understanding customer service. We’re now factoring in their business needs, like enabling minimum fuel burn, whilst still providing the best runway capacity and required safety standards” says Airways PBN Project Coordinator, Kevin Bethwaite.