Advancing towards TBO and its sustainability benefits
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the air navigation service providers (ANSPs) of Japan, Thailand and the United States (US) have successfully conducted the world’s first-ever multi-regional trajectory-based operations (TBO) demonstration flight, using a Boeing 787-10 ecoDemonstrator Explorer.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and its ANSP counterparts in Japan, Thailand, and the USA have signed a Joint Declaration with Boeing, “reaffirming their commitment to make TBO a reality worldwide.”
Currently, international flights are managed through multiple Flight Information Regions (FIRs) by their respective ANSPs, with each ANSP acting separately and independently. However, with TBO ANSPs share information such as weather changes, airspace closures, and traffic, working collaboratively to plan and optimise an aircraft’s full flight trajectory across FIRs.
The demonstration flight was part of a three-year collaboration programme aimed at improving flight efficiencies and reducing carbon emissions. TBO can enhance efficiency, optimising flight paths and airspace utilisation to minimise route deviations and reduce fuel burn. It can also minimise delays with collaboration across FIRs encouraging a smoother flow of air traffic and improving overall capacity.
Importantly, TBO presents a distinct environmental benefit. The CAAS predicts an aircraft’s fuel burn could be cut by up to 10 per cent by taking the most direct and quickest route. Up to date data and information shared across ANSPs facilitates this, helping to avoid potential delays and detours.
Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General of the CAAS, said:
“Singapore is pleased to partner Japan, Thailand and the US to develop and test new capabilities to improve flight efficiencies and reduce carbon emissions. This is a recognition of our position as a leading air hub and air navigation service provider, and pathfinder for sustainable aviation. With the signing of the Joint Declaration, we look forward to working closely with other air navigation service providers and industry partners to transform air traffic management and make the future of air travel a more sustainable one.”
Multiregional TBO has the potential to enhance efficiency, reduce delays, improve capacity and environmental sustainability, and nurture a collaborative decision-making process. This successful test marks an important step in the evolution towards TBO.
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