The Northern ‘SMART approaches’, a twelve month initiative being trialled by the aviation industry aimed at improving flight path and aircraft efficiency and reducing the impact of aircraft noise on the community, will end 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, will be assessed in order to prepare the draft report. Information gathered from noise monitors in the community will also be 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 can use each Northern SMART approach, and only between 7am and 10pm.
The Northern SMART approaches trial, which began in November 2012, is a joint initiative of Airways New Zealand, Auckland Airport and the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ). There are three airlines participating in the trial – Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar.
Auckland Airport’s general manager aeronautical operations, Judy Nicholl, says, “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 says, “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, says, “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.”
People can continue to provide feedback on the SMART approaches trial by calling 09-256 8133 anytime or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.