Latvian national airline airBaltic together with its consortium partners Quovadis and Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme launched a new project under the Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) to operate Europe’s first green flights for turboprop aircraft.
The AMBER project will establish new arrival procedures for Riga Airport that will shorten the distances flown, improve flight trajectories to avoid residential areas and reduce people’s exposure to noise, as well as cut fuel consumption and emissions.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “We are delighted to take a lead and introduce satellite-based approach procedures at Riga Airport for our state-of-the art Bombardier Q400 Next Gen turboprop aircraft and thus practice greener flying. Our partners are key in this project – Quovadis, LGS, Latvian Civil Aviation Agency, and Riga airport.”
The main objective of the AMBER (Arrival Modernization for Better Efficiency in Riga) project is to introduce new arrival procedures at Riga International Airport, to reduce CO2 emissions and noise levels at the airport and close vicinity, especially the touristic Jurmala area located on the coastline of Latvia, north west of the airport. The new trajectory will be up to 30 nautical miles shorter towards runway than what is being flown today, and will enable reducing CO2 emissions by up to 300 kg on every Q400 flight.
“The new green procedures that will be established and validated with the Bombardier Q400 Next Gen turboprops will eventually be available to any carrier flying to Riga with the relevant aircraft equipment. The procedures will also be suitable for our brand new Bombardier CSeries jets, which we will introduce into service in 2015, and will provide further benefits for operations out of Riga, on top of their unmatched fuel efficiency”, states Capt. Pauls Calitis, Vice President Flight Operations of airBaltic.
Initial design and simulator testing phase in the AMBER project will be carried out until spring 2013. Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers will be specifically trained on realistic simulators for the new procedures. A target of 100 flight trials will be carried out, over the summer period of 2013, and the CO2 savings will be analysed and published as a baseline for green turboprop operations
The AMBER project is implemented by airBaltic in partnership with QUOVADIS (an Airbus subsidiary specialized in modern flight operations solutions) and Latvia’s Air Navigation Service Provider LGS and sponsored by SESAR, the air traffic management research programme of the Singe European Sky. With this project, SESAR will be able to demonstrate that the entire commercial aviation community, including regional aircraft, can change and reduce its impact on the environment.airBaltic serves 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East.