In a bid to reduce its carbon footprint and contribute to a greener aviation industry, pioneer in sustainable aviation, Lufthansa Group, has made significant investments in cutting-edge technology that utilizes 4D flight information to optimize flight trajectories. By transmitting real-time data, the group aims to enhance fuel efficiency, airspace management, minimize detours, and fly more sustainably.
Starting in 2024, Lufthansa will take delivery of over 65 Airbus A320neo/A321neo aircraft equipped with the new ADS-C EPP (Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract Extended Projected Profile) flight profile transmission technology, which automatically transmits 4D flight path information generated by the aircraft’s flight management system to air traffic control (ATC).
We have made a conscious decision to use the new technology for transmitting flight path information in real time as standard on our new Airbus A320neo/A321neo aircraft as early as 2024.Dr. Detlef Kayser, Member of the Lufthansa Group Executive Board responsible for Fleet and Technology
1. Real-time 4D flight trajectories
Flight plans are usually based on static assumptions regarding weather conditions and air traffic. In contrast, Lufthansa’s utilization of 4D flight information technology enables air traffic control to access real-time data, encompassing the three spatial dimensions (length, width, height) along with time as the fourth dimension, and have pilots adjust their flight trajectories accordingly.
“This will enable our pilots to fly even more efficiently on first flights within Europe as early as next year, thus reducing CO2 emissions”, explained Dr. Detlef Kayser, Member of the Lufthansa Group’s Executive Board responsible for Fleet and Technology.
Considering a constant flow of real-time data, air traffic control can select the most fuel-efficient routes, resulting in optimized efficiency, while minimizing their environmental impact and operational costs, with lowered CO2 emissions. Additionally, the more efficient use of airspace and reduced flight times can lead to a decrease in noise pollution, benefiting communities near airports.
2. Pioneer in EU airspace modernization
As a pioneer in this field, Lufthansa is making early investments to promote the rapid implementation of this technology throughout Europe, contributing to the modernization of EU airspace.
Initially, the group’s new aircraft equipped with ADS-C EPP will utilize the technology in the Maastricht airspace (MUAC), which is the first airspace in Europe to meet all the necessary requirements. However, the airline is actively collaborating with other air navigation service providers to enable the adoption of this fuel-efficient technology across a growing number of European airspaces. By 2028, others will have to follow, since the new technology will be mandatory in all newly delivered aircraft and ATC ground systems within the EU.
3. Lufthansa’s sustainability commitments
These efforts align with Lufthansa’s ambitious climate protection goals, aiming to become carbon by 2050. By 2030, the airline group intends to cut its net CO2 emissions in half, compared to 2019, through various reduction and compensation measures.
To achieve effective climate protection, Lufthansa Group is prioritizing fleet modernization, the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), continuous flight operations optimization, and sustainable travel options for private and corporate customers.
In August 2022, with independent Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) validating their targets, Lufthansa became the first airline group in Europe to adopt science-based CO2 reduction goals in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.