MIAMI – To make Finland’s airspace more environmentally friendly, Finnair (AY) partners up with Finland’s air navigation service (ANS) provider.

The program will see AY share fuel consumption statistics with Fintraffic ANS. In addition, both parties will investigate how to provide airlines in achieving new lower carbon dioxide statistics.

The airline referred to steps and parameters that could minimize the fuel consumption of a flight. This includes minimizing time and unnecessary stops in taxiing and using continuous climb and descent during take-off and landing.

Moreover, the program outcomes include the optimization of flight routes, speed, and altitude, taking into account weather conditions. AY describes these phases on its website.

Finnair OH-LVA Airbus A319-112. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

New Sustainability Strategy

As reported by Business Traveller, within a year ago, Finnair introduced its action plan to halve net CO2 emissions by 2025 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2045.

The airline notes that fuel efficiency is key to achieving those targets, along with sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsets. Along with recycling its aging fleet in-house, the AY is progressing on reducing fuel consumption as well as CO2 emission.

On two test flights from Helsinki to Kittila and Ivalo in November 2020, AY and Fintraffic ANS investigated the possibilities of minimizing fuel consumption. The test flights recorded some parameters such as flight time, fuel consumption, flight length, and CO2 emissions.

Consequently, real flight statistics data compared to the optimum Fuel plan. And the test indicated that “the possibility to optimize fuel consumption” was influenced by environmental conditions and other airspace users.

Finnair will perform another test flight today [February, 17] using an A319, from Helsinki to Kittila in Northern Finland. The different phases of the flight and their effect on fuel usage is sharing between Instagram and Twitter.

Voice of Expertise

Per the report by Business Traveler, Anne Larilahti, Finnair Vice President of Sustainability, emphasized that this flight also used sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Larilahti made clear that within the next step in the use of SAF, AY will able to receive SAF at HEL through a partnership with Neste. Neste is a Finnish sustainable fuel supplier.

In addition, AY’s Captain Tom Hakala is responsible for the fuel efficiency of the carrier’s flight operations. Tom teaches airline pilots how to improve their fuel-efficient flying techniques. Hakala said, “Reducing the CO2 emissions of our flight operations is our number one environmental target, and we work for this on every single flight.”

Finnair OH-LTS Airbus A330-302.

The Most Environmentally Friendly Airspace

Via the partnership, AY will now continue to share fuel data and the effect of air navigation services on fuel. AY will find new ways, along with Fintraffic ANS, to further minimize fuel consumption and the environmental consequences. Captain Hakala added, “Fuel efficiency is impacted by many factors, and even small actions make a difference when they are repeated on thousands of flights per year.”

Pasi Nikama, CCO of Fintraffic ANS, said that Finland has a well-managed and the most environmentally friendly airspace in the world. As such, Fintraffic ANS focuses on making the day as optimized as possible for air travel. The ANS has means of reducing emissions such as optimization of flight routes, continuous descent, and close international cooperation.

“Air navigation services must also take into account the requirements of the environmental permit for aircraft noise management. Close cooperation with Finnair enables us to develop Finnish air traffic to be even more environmentally efficient,” Nakama added.

Featured image: Finnair PH-LVD Airbus A319-112. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways