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What airlines can do to limit emissions

Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

On the operational front, airlines can:

  • employing single-engine taxi procedures during normal operations and selective engine shutdown during ground delays
  • reducing and measuring more accurately onboard weight while redistributing belly cargo
  • tankering extra fuel on certain flights to avoid refueling at more expensive locations – but this increases emissions
  • cruising longer at higher altitudes and employing shorter, steeper approaches


In terms of planning for fuel usage, airlines are:

  • optimizing flight planning for minimum fuel-burn routes and altitudes
  • working with FAA to change en-route fuel reserve requirements to reflect state-of-the-art navigation, communication, surveillance and wind forecast systems
  • employing self-imposed ground delays to reduce airborne holding
  • modernizing their fleets with more fuel-efficient airplanes
  • investing in winglets to reduce aircraft drag and thereby increase fuel conservation
  • redesigning hubs and schedules to alleviate congestion
  • advocating expanded and improved airfield capacity
  • using airport power rather than onboard auxiliary power units (APUs) when at the gates
  • changing paint schemes to minimize heat absorption (which requires additional cooling)
  • altering the location in which fuel is purchased (i.e., to avoid higher-priced west coast)
  • pooling resources to purchase fuel in bulk through alliances with other carriers