United environmental flight reduces carbon emissions by nearly 33,000 pounds


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – United Airlines charted a new path across the Pacific as the first US carrier to participate in the Asia and South Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE), saving 1,564 gallons of fuel and 32,656 pounds of carbon emissions on a single flight, showcasing real savings gained from next-generation technology. United flight 870 from Sydney, Australia made a smooth, continuous descent into San Francisco International Airport at 10:20 am Pacific Time after using 11 fuel-saving initiatives from gate-to-gate.

“I am pleased to have seen first-hand the technologies that have helped our state be at the forefront of aviation’s future,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who greeted the flight at the airport. “The reduction in fuel usage and carbon emissions is another example of businesses both reducing costs and helping the environment.”

Prior to the flight’s arrival, Governor Schwarzenegger joined United Boeing 777 Captain Rick Shay in the cockpit of a United Boeing 777 to receive a tutorial on Tailored Arrivals, a special arrival procedure that generates additional fuel savings with a smooth, continuous descent rather than the traditional step-down approach. United and partner Boeing have expanded the program this year with a substantial increase in the number of flights permitted to conduct Tailored Arrivals, each of which saves around 60 gallons of fuel.

‘ASPIRE United’ reduced fuel burn and emissions by using up-to-the-minute fuel data, priority takeoff clearance, normally restricted airspace around Sydney’s airport, and new arrival procedures – all of which are possible with new technology.

“‘ASPIRE United’ has demonstrated the tremendous environmental and fuel savings potential if our nation invests in next-generation technology and in updating our air traffic control system,” said Pete McDonald, chief administrative officer – United Airlines. “We are pleased to have reached another milestone with our partners as we use safe, modern technology that reduces our carbon footprint.”

ASPIRE is a multilateral partnership of the Federal Aviation Administration, Airservices Australia, and Airways New Zealand. Data from the flight will be analyzed by the FAA in its ongoing effort to accelerate the development and implementation of operational procedures to reduce the environmental footprint for all phases of flight.