News How to reduce aircraft consumption? Big data gets involved

How to reduce aircraft consumption? Big data gets involved


Some mobile apps remind you to drink water during the day. On the same principle, aircraft pilots can now receive alerts to monitor fuel consumption and reduce Co2 emissions during the flight.

Air traffic is the most polluting form of transport, and it is often seen as a symbol of the climatic impact of human activity. Despite this, the aviation industry refuses to lose passengers, on the contrary, it plans to double the number of travelers by 2036. To pass the pill, the airlines are looking at technological solutions to reduce the ecological footprint of aircraft. The most recent: big data analysis, which saves up to 5% of kerosene vol.

Read also: The jet fuel tax on airplanes is once again debating

Live alerts for pilots

The Toulouse company OpenAirlines will make available to many airlines software that analyzes flight data, weather conditions, aircraft weight, air traffic, etc. When the plane arrives at its destination, the pilot has access to an analysis that indicates the causes of fuel losses and advice to follow to reduce kerosene consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This solution can also be consulted in real time by pilots.

Wind and altitude for more economical flights

The equation is simple: for a flight to be less polluting, it must consume less fuel, and for that, it may be necessary to change the routes. “The best route on paper may not be the best in real conditions,” said Alexandre Feray, founder of Open Airlines. In addition to the trajectories, which can follow favorable winds, pilots can adapt the speed as well as the altitude of the flight. By analyzing the data, the software will propose alternatives that can allow companies to reduce CO2 emissions by 2 to 5% on a route.

The weight of the plane is also important

Fuel reduction also involves reducing the cabin’s weight. It is therefore necessary to lighten everything, the seats, the decoration on board the aircraft, the documentation, or even the meal trays! American Airlines, for example, saved more than $ 40,000 a year by removing an olive from each salad served on board!

Far from offsetting emissions
A study published in 2019 pointed out that the widespread implementation at European level of routes optimized by air navigation services could reduce the fuel consumption (and therefore CO2 emissions) of airlines by 20%. Unfortunately, even with the planting of trees, biofuels, etc., these efforts are far from offsetting the emissions that will be produced by the phenomenal increase in the number of flights in the coming years.

Read also: Polluting planes: a small eco-tax for what result?


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