By Vincenzo Claudio Piscopo
Etihad Airways Signs Agreement for Climate Neutral Operations
Recently, Etihad Airways — the Abu Dhabi-based airline of the United Arab Emirates — received the ‘Green Industries’ eco-label from the Emirates capital’s environment agency. In addition, Etihad Airways and SATAVIA recently signed a multi-year commercial agreement for the management of contrails within their daily flight operations.
The contract was signed by Mariam Al Qubaisi, Etihad Airways’ chief sustainability officer, and Adam Durant, managing director of SATAVIA, on 18 January 2023 at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. SATAVIA is a leading green aerospace company based in the UK, which aims to green aviation by providing useful information to key stakeholders across the industry, enabling environmentally conscious operators to reduce their climate impact per flight by up to 60 percent.
Once in place, the new agreement will enable Etihad Airways to accelerate the airline’s progress toward climate-neutral operations.
According to an article in EUROCONTROL from 2021, contrails are formed by water, soot and cold air. When water vapor is expelled from the exhaust nozzle of an aircraft engine into the sufficiently cold air, it condenses and freezes around soot and other particles in the air, creating tiny ice crystals. Under certain atmospheric conditions, these ice crystals create layers of cirrus clouds, causing a ‘blanket’ effect that keeps warmer air trapped in the lower atmosphere.
SATAVIA’s contrail management platform, DECISIONX: NETZERO, aims to optimize commercial flight plans for greener operations by implementing small route changes on a minority of flights to avoid the formation of persistent, warming contrails.
Adam Durant, CEO and founder of SATAVIA, said that by implementing minimal changes to a small percentage of flights, Etihad Airways could eliminate the majority of its climate footprint (not directly related to CO2) with minimal impact on day-to-day operations and in a shorter timeframe than other green aviation interventions.
The Abu Dhabi Environment Agency has also awarded Etihad Airways the ‘Green Industries’ eco-label for finding innovative pollution control solutions and applying environmental best practices, leading to increased levels of environmental compliance across the airline. The agency awarded the label during a ceremony held on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
There are four main categories under this award: resource demand management (which considers optimal energy use and resource conservation), pollution reduction from primary and secondary operations, record of environmental compliance with UAE requirements and finally, new approaches to environmental conservation. The award also recognizes the promotion of economic growth and improving the quality of life for Abu Dhabi residents.
The winning companies receive the award after being recognized for their eco-friendly performance through an in-depth assessment of the facility’s operations and initiatives, which ensures the implementation of environmental best practices to ensure the protection and sustainable development of the environment.