ALBATROSS, the most energy-efficient flying bird

Feb. 22, 2021

Aviation is taking further measures to meet its commitment to a sustainable future, with the launch of ALBATROSS, a 2-year very large-scale SESAR demonstration project that will develop greener flight operations to be deployed in the short term.

ALBATROSS is an initiative of major European aviation stakeholders to demonstrate how the technical and operational innovations delivered by SESAR in the past years can further reduce the environmental footprint of aviation towards a more sustainable mode of transportation. The project will explore and then demonstrate in real conditions the feasibility of implementing the most fuel-efficient flights through a series of gate-to-gate live trials across Europe.

These live trials will showcase mature operational solutions with potential fuel/CO2 savings, selected from the SESAR Solutions catalogue or other operational solutions in an advanced stage of validation.

As a very large demonstration (VLD), the project will particularly focus on combined demonstrations where multiple solutions coexist and also on the close collaboration between all actors involved: Airlines, Air Navigation Service Providers, Airport operators, Military, Network manager, Controllers, Pilots, Airframers and Suppliers.

Many solutions will be put into practice parallelly to demonstrate the potential to minimise the environmental impact of aviation. Some selected examples include the following:

New precision approach procedures (RNP-to-ILS, RNP-AR, etc) will be implemented. Continuous climb and descent will be facilitated. Several novel data analytics-based tools will be introduced to assist pilots to identify tactical in-flight trajectory optimization opportunities to improve fuel efficiency. Possibilities to relax and mitigate certain ATM constraints through airspace design by collaborative procedures and a certain degree of flexibility in the constraints will be tested. Improvements to taxiing operations will be investigated, in the form of single-engine taxiing. Moreover, a sustainable hybrid towing vehicle for taxi assistance ("taxibot") will be used in order to reduce emissions.

The project will examine how a resulting and adapted concept of operation could be permanently integrated into network operations.

albatross

ALBATROSS is an initiative of major European aviation stakeholders. It is coordinated by Airbus with the support of EUROCONTROL, Air France, Austro Control, DLR, DSNA, LFV, Lufthansa, NOVAIR, Schiphol, SAS, Swedavia, SWISS, Thales AVS, Wizz Air UK. The project is performed through SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The funding of the project is provided by the EU under the Grant Agreement No 101017678.