The joint initiative AIRE (Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions) fits in with the Memorandum of Cooperation signed by the European Union and the USA to coordinate two major programmes on Air Traffic Management (ATM) infrastructure modernisation, SESAR in Europe and NEXTGEN in the United States.
The aim of AIRE is to capitalise on present aircraft technologies and to enhance operational procedures that have a direct impact in the short and medium term on greenhouse gas emissions. Under this initiative, ATM stakeholders work collaboratively to validate solutions for the reduction of CO2 emissions during all phases of flight.
AIRE presently comprises, on the European side alone, of 18 demonstration activities involving more than 90 airlines, airport, air navigation service providers and industry partners. 7 of the 18 projects focus directly on completely green flights (i.e. gate-to-gate, instead of on a particular phase of flight), among others between France and the French West Indies. A highlight of the programme is a series of green transatlantic flights with the Airbus A380, the world’s largest airliner. By 2014, the European AIRE projects had already conducted more than 30 000 flight trials under real conditions with 18 partners. As a result, many of the tested green procedures have already been implemented into ‘day-to-day operations’.
AIRE is the first large-scale environmental initiative bringing together aviation players from both sides of the Atlantic. So far, three AIRE cycles have been successfully completed.