From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Fresh Air Plan for Aviation Promises Ergonomic Benefits for Passengers

A joint American and European plan that’s all about fresh air is being promoted for its environmental credentials, but its ergonomics credentials are just as noteworthy. The initiative aimed at cutting greenhouse gases will also improve the cost-effectiveness of air travel by cuting fuel costs, and one procedure promises to make it a smoother experience for the flying public by reducing time on runways.


The Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE), announced in June by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is the second recent initiative with built-in ergonomic benefits.


In a speech to EU partners in AIRE in June, FAA administrator Marion Blakely said AIRE unites government, industry, airlines, manufacturers, and service providers to pull in the same direction behind a single environmental goal. She explained that AIRE will capitalize on existing technology and best practices for cutting greenhouse gas emission in the short and medium terms.


Blakely said the alliance will focus on trajectory ground operations to minimize aircraft flight time, meaning jets will be ushered from the gate to the runway as quickly and smoothly as possible. She told the EU audience to image of a town without the need for streetlights because all of the car movements were synchronized.

Blakely said they will also be using oceanic tailored arrivals heading into the destination as part of the plan. She described the operation as “a low power, continuous descent approach that has planes gliding smoothly in to the runway with minimal power.” It cuts fuel, noise and emissions, she added.

The agency plans to conduct field trials of these different elements on new routes between Europe and the United States in 2007. On the US side of the Atlantic, the continuous descent approach will be tested at Atlanta airport with multiple airlines and with arrivals into Miami.

And in May the FAA expanded a program aimed at reducing flight delays in the peak summer season, when the weather is at its worst. The Airspace Flow Program gives airlines the option of either accepting delays for flights for which storms are predicted en route, or flying longer routes to circumvent them. In the first phase of the program, delays fell by 9 percent compared to the year before, bad weather days at major airports in the region. The program is being expanded to 18 more airports in the United States.

Source: FAA