Home > Home > Media > NAV CANADA and partners successfully complete fuel saving and emissions reduction project for trans-Atlantic flights

NAV CANADA and partners complete fuel saving and emissions reduction project for trans-Atlantic flights

(Ottawa, October 17, 2014) – An efficiency initiative led by NAV CANADA has successfully demonstrated the viability and safety of aircraft varying speeds (Mach) and altitudes while transiting the unsurveilled airspace over the North Atlantic (NAT). The project, titled ENGAGE II, was conducted in partnership with Air France and in conjunction with NATS, the United Kingdom’s principal air navigation service provider.

ENGAGE II was undertaken and supported by The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) as part of its Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) Program. The project was designed to promote the sustainable implementation and expand the scope of the concepts trialed during the first phase (ENGAGE I) completed in 2011. In addition to project partner Air France, four other international carriers – KLM, British Airways, United and Delta – participated in phase two.  

“The 210 flight trials in ENGAGE II were all carried out in a safe and efficient manner,” said Larry Lachance, NAV CANADA Vice President, Operations. “While validating the overall safety of varying oceanic flight profiles, we were able to replicate the fuel savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions achieved in ENGAGE I. Moreover we were able to demonstrate the viability of a wider implementation of these procedures and offering increased flexibility in the NAT airspace.

“The fuel and emissions savings per flight averaged between one and two per cent, which translates to a reduction of 200 to 400 litres of fuel and 525 to 1,050 kilograms of GHG emissions. With close to 400,000 flights each year, the potential economic and environmental benefits are substantial,” added Lachance.

ENGAGE II is paving the way for significant changes to operations in the NAT. At the June 2014 meeting in Paris of the North Atlantic Systems Planning Group – a body established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) - the group endorsed a Proposal for Amendment to the NAT Regional Supplementary Procedures that would allow some aircraft to fly at variable speeds. The proposal to remove the requirement for “fixed Mach” was made by Iceland, which provides air traffic services for a portion of the NAT from Reykjavík. The proposed amendment will now proceed to ICAO for formal processing and documentation.

“The ENGAGE projects were excellent examples of collaboration between air navigation service providers and airlines to reduce the aviation industry’s environmental footprint,” said Lachance. “We look forward to further advances in technology that will have still greater impacts on flight efficiencies in the NAT and across the globe.”

About AIRE

The Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE) was launched in 2007 by the European Commission and the FAA. SESAR has been managing the European perspective of the initiative since 2008. The initiative aims to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate the pace of change by taking advantage of air traffic management best practices and capitalize on present aircraft technology. It enables the implementation of environmentally friendly procedures for all phases of flight. For more information, visit the SJU website: www.sesarju.eu/innovation-solution/demonstrating-sesar/aire  


NAV CANADA is the country’s private sector civil air navigation service provider. With operations from coast to coast to coast, NAV CANADA provides air traffic control, flight information, weather briefings, aeronautical information services, airport advisory services and electronic aids to navigation.

For further information, please contact:

Michelle Bishop
Director, Government and Public Affairs
(613) 563-7520
Ron Singer
Manager, Media Relations
(613) 563-7303
Media Information Line: 1-888-562-8226