The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a program to help airlines cut carbon emissions and fuel burn by as much as 2 percent on certain long-haul flights. The group's new iFlex initiative builds on data from demonstration "perfect flights." It can be implemented across several air traffic control (ATC) operators in daily operating conditions and using current technology. Routes generated by the program will be validated in real time for notices to pilots, airspace restrictions and weather conditions en route. iFlex will concentrate on long-haul routes through low-density airspace in regions where maximum benefit can be achieved through a more flexible airspace structure, IATA said. iFlex falls under the "four-pillar" strategy for reducing aircraft emissions, according to Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and chief executive officer. According to the group, ATC providers worldwide are being challenged by new city pairs, ultra-long-haul aircraft, increasing traffic and constraints imposed upon traditional airspace structures. Early modeling of iFlex suggests that an airline operating a 10-hour intercontinental flight can cut flight time by six minutes, reduce fuel burn by as much as 2 percent and save 3,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide, IATA said.
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