The main actions taken by an air carrier with the aim of caring for the environment are to reduce emissions of harmful gases that are the result of flying, among them most importantly carbon dioxide, and to reduce the level of noise in airports and the surrounding area occurring at take-off and landing. These are also the main actions taken by Croatia Airlines.
Since carbon dioxide emissions are directly related to fuel, i.e. are a consequence of its usage, we pay special attention to fuel management. Reducing CO2 emissions (and in the near future also costs related to CO2 emissions regarding contribution to the global climate changes), while reducing at the same time the cost of fuel purchase, which is the most important cost item for an air carrier, will make these activities economically fully sustainable.
Fuel, carbon dioxide emissions and noise
The structure of the Croatia Airlines fleet consists of our Airbus aircraft, applying the most recent and advanced technology that reduces fuel consumption, gas emissions and noise levels, resulting in low unit fuel consumption. This very structure has enabled the company to achieve major savings in fuel consumption, gas emissions (especially of carbon dioxide) and levels of noise, compared with previous periods when aircraft with old technology were used.
The second important area of major change encompasses operating procedures or the use of advanced technologies for the purpose of reducing harmful effects to the environment. The basic training followed by pilots includes training on the application of operating procedures during take-off and landing to reduce noise levels, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. These procedures are followed by all the pilots wherever it is possible and after all the key safety conditions have been met, as recommended by international and national legal regulations.
Operating procedures to reduce noise at take-off are applied in airports that have passed appropriate regulations, i.e. in almost half of the flight network of Croatia Airlines (most foreign airports and that of Dubrovnik, which has passed such regulations, airports that have passed appropriate regulations and wherever else it is possible).
Special flying routes are used to lower the noise level in the case of (forei apply procedures to lower the aircraft engine power levels at take-off wherever it is possible to do so, thus extending the useful life of the engine while at the same time saving fuel and reducing CO2 emissions up to 25%. The effect achieved is considerable, since such procedures are followed in 95% of take-offs within the company flight network. Operating procedures lowering the level of noise at landing, which also result in fuel savings and CO2 emission reductions, are followed in most domestic and foreign airports, i.e. wherever it is possible to do so.
When planning a flight, a combination of flight planning programme, which specifies the optimum height and speed of flight depending on weather conditions and Fuel Cost Index which specifies the cost of fuel and duration of flight, make it possible to plan the flight in such a way that optimum fuel consumption is the result.
The advanced technology used in aircraft enables the pilots to additionally improve resource consumption during flights. Croatia Airlines pilots use these opportunities on a regular basis, adjusting the planned flight to the actual situation during the flight, in order to achieve savings by flying shorter routes and applying other procedures that result in lower fuel consumption, reduced emissions of harmful gases and lower noise levels. Pilots are yearly offered refresher courses to upgrade their skills, which also include fuel management.
In the course of 2004, the company prepared and began applying the
Flight Data Monitoring System, which makes it possible to monitor noise
levels during each flight. Although no excessive noise levels have been
recorded in the year 2004, this kind of monitoring is necessary because
the requirements are becoming more stringent not only in the congested
European sky but also in domestic traffic, aimed at reaching sustainable
tourism as well as the sustainable transportation in Croatia.
The company has defined basic procedures and work instructions regarding collection and disposal of hazardous waste, i.e. waste harmful to the environment. This is the result of complex activities undertaken by the technical sectors responsible for aircraft maintenance. The result is achieved in two ways:
- Collection of waste within the company. Special containers have been provided for the storage of different kinds of hazardous waste (motor oil, fuel oil, batteries) and a cooled container with a double bottom for the storage of chemicals. Containers are kept in Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.
- Permanent disposal, carried out by a specialized company in line with legal requirements.
Did you know that an average airplane emits an average of 7.5 tonnes of CO2 during one hour of flight?
If you take a look at the big picture, a fully boarded airplane of the A320 type flying on the route Zagreb – Split emits approximately 36 kg of CO2 per passenger. One of our Dashes, when full, emits even less CO2 – approx. 30 kg per passenger. An average car with usually only one passenger emits more than 46 kg of CO2 on the route from Zagreb to Split.
Can we as an airline have a positive effect on the ecosystem?
We most certainly can. And that is exactly what we have been doing for 25 years. Do you recall our humble beginnings with Boeing 737-200s?Along with other aspects, the ecological effect of introducing the new airplane type Airbus A320 was reducing CO2 emissions by around 600 kg per 100 nautical miles. Apart from, for instance, continuously educating our crews in order to enable a high level of flight precision, finally resulting in fuel saving and emission reduction, we also replaced passenger seats with thinner, lighter seats, leading to the transport of more passengers with almost the same emissions, i.e. reducing emissions per passenger. Moreover, we continually investigate technical and technological innovations that enable better performance.
Do you know that the small flap on the top of our Airbus wings – fenced winglet – is here because of fuel saving?
The next time you are on one of our flights, look out the window and check out the top of the wing.
Have you heard of ANVS?
The Active Noise and Vibration Suppression System on our Dashes reduces the noise and vibration on our turboprop airplanes, which are also factors in traffic ecology. There are all kinds of minutia that are sometimes invisible, perhaps even unrecognizable, but really do make a difference.
Do you realize that you, our valued passengers, can also help us in reducing global CO2 emissions and fight climate change?
By reducing the weight of your luggage, producing less rubbish during flight, taking with you only the things you will really need at your destination, or dressing in accordance with the weather, you too can participate in our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.
Even before Croatia joined the EU, Croatia Airlines had the obligation to participate in the monitoring, reporting and trading CO2 emissions – EU ETS. Croatia Airlines was the first in Croatia to participate in emission unit transactions on the EU market. The complex and efficient system of CO2 emission measuring, supervision, and reporting at Croatia Airlines was developed by using our own know-how. The company also served as an example on the EU level, and still does, which is not a widely known fact. After Croatia’s accession to the EU, the ecological aspect of the company’s operation becomes even more important and raises awareness of social responsibility. Therefore, Croatia Airlines continues to work on the sustainable development of the company within the framework of the EU 20-20-20 targets: a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 relative to 1990 levels and a 20% improvement in energy efficiency.