ATM’s impact on global warming

The last discussion in our series considering the topic of climate change, takes a look at the options for air traffic management organisations to have an impact on our industry’s sustainability.  Air Traffic Management had the opportunity to speak with John Santurbano, Director MUAC, Vice-Chairman of FABEC CEO Board and Champion CEO of the FABEC Environment Standing Committee.

As always we began with the topic of what is green flying? Fully sustainable aviation is something that doesn’t currently exist and maybe it’s not possible to achieve this goal to 100%. But we shouldn’t lose focus on doing the best we can to get as close as possible.  Some topics to consider include increasing the options for sustainable fuels, identifying additional ways to reduce CO2, use of Datalink and procedural decisions that can change how we use our airspace.  All industry actors are onboard and ready to work as a team, but we need to move faster to deliver more solutions and not spend too much time waiting to gather more data. 

MUAC has been conducting a trial with DLR to use meteorological forecasts to travel at different flights levels to reduce contrails. This is a first move to take theory into practical application. To date the results have been promising and the next step would be to include more ANSPs in the trial.

We’ve heard in other interviews about the need for clear regulation. Once again this has come up as a priority along with the need for airports, airlines, ANSPs and industry bodies to work together to achieve the common goal of sustainable aviation.

On the 22nd November, EUROCONTROL’s November Aviation Sustainability Summit will bring together industryleaders to explore how Europe can meet its challenging 2050 net zero target and move the sustainability dialogue forward.