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FAA to change how some planes land in a bid to reduce emissions

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FAA to change how some planes land in a bid to reduce emissions

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The move is part of the FAA’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

In an effort to reduce emissions, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it was changing the way some planes land at US airports.

Currently, most planes that land at airports descend using a stepped method, where planes repeatedly level off and fire the engines during the descent. Under the agency’s new 42 Optimized Profile Descents, or OPDs, planes will instead descend from cruise altitude to the runway in a smoother continuous path with engines set to idle.

“If you just think about what takes more energy, going down stairs or sliding down a slide, that’s basically what the plane does,” FAA spokesman Matthew Lehner said in a statement. an interview with ABC News.

The move is part of the agency’s work to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions aviation sector by 2050 – as part of the U.S. Aviation Climate Action Plan. of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced at the United Nations Climate Change Conference last November.

“There’s less fuel burn as you glide toward the airport approach,” Lehner said. “It also means that with less fuel burned, you get less emissions into the air.”

In 2013, researchers from the FAA and the Georgia Institute of Technology found that OPDs reduced approximately 41 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 2 million gallons of jet fuel at Los Angeles International Airport in one year. , which is equivalent to cutting 1,300 flights from Atlanta to Dallas, the FAA said.

The FAA has implemented OPDs at various airports nationwide in 2021, including Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, Miami International Airport, and Orlando International Airport in Florida. This year, it plans to implement descents at LaGuardia Airport in New York, Kansas City International Airport in Missouri and Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska. It also adds additional routes to Orlando International Airport.

As well as reducing emissions, the agency said passengers might notice a smoother and quieter approach, with the engine not revving throughout its descent. The continuous landing technique is also quieter for areas around airports.

FAA to change how some planes land in a bid to reduce emissions

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