15 ways for aviation to go green

An international panel submitted a report on Friday detailing 15 ways Singapore's aviation sector can tackle climate change.

The panel also highlighted four critical enablers, including workforce transformation.

Here are the proposals.

Airport

Airfield solar panels
Do a technical study to see if it is feasible to put solar panels on the airfield in Changi Airport.

Renewable energy
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) should secure green energy for the airport and tap new domestic production initiatives such as carbon capture.

Air-conditioning
Use innovative technologies and design concepts to improve energy efficiency when cooling terminals.

Cleaner airside vehicles
Facilitate the transition to cleaner energy options. Conduct a study and trials to understand the challenges.

Waste-to-energy facility
Study the viability of generating biofuels or electricity from waste at the airport.

Optimise airport operations
Study the use of a digital replica of actual airport operations to optimise processes and make predictions.

Airlines

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
Set up a long-term supply ecosystem, including sourcing feedstock within the region.

Carbon offsets
Work with key players in the carbon services sector to build up a market for aviation carbon offsets.

Buyers' club for SAF
Establish a buyers' club to encourage business travellers and air cargo users in the region to become early adopters of sustainable air travel.

Create demand for SAF
Introduce mechanisms such as mandates and incentives to spur use of sustainable aviation fuel.

Technical centre
Work with aircraft manufacturers and tap the research and development ecosystem here to stay at the forefront of aircraft technology advances.

Air traffic management

Short term (2022-2026) Demand-capacity balancing
Work with air navigation service providers in the Asia-Pacific to better coordinate and manage longer-haul flights; better integrate weather information with air traffic management decisions.

Performance-based navigation
Formalise implementation of more direct point-to-point routes for arriving planes on specific segments by 2023; develop smart tools to allow planes to descend continuously into Changi Airport, rather than in steps.

Gate-to-gate trajectory
Put in place building blocks for trajectory-based operations, where flight trajectories from one airport gate to a different airport's gate are planned ahead of time and executed more precisely - a fundamental shift from the current reliance on tactical air traffic control.

Medium term (2027-2032) Implement free-route airspace
CAAS should work with air navigation service providers to further explore the implementation of free-route airspace, where pilots can choose the most optimal route in terms of flight and fuel efficiency, instead of following a set path.

Find out more about climate change and how it could affect you on the ST microsite here.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2022, with the headline 15 ways for aviation to go green. Subscribe