Norwegian is committed to actively engage in and support sustainable environmental policy, and to continue to reduce emissions from aviation. The company has a clear and achievable goal of reducing emissions per flown passenger by 30 per cent in the period 2008 to 2015.
The single most effective initiative to reduce emissions from aviation is to operate a fleet of efficient aircraft. Norwegian has one of newest and the most fuel efficient fleet in Europe.
Norwegian undertakes a variety of measures to minimize its environmental impact:
“Green” approaches and landings
Norwegian is engaged in several projects in both Norway and Sweden to secure a sustainable aviation industry. “Green” approaches, or Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs), are designed to reduce overall emissions during the final stages of the flight. The descent profile is planned to ensure a continuous glide slope towards the runway, enabling the engines to run at idle during most of the descent phase of the flight. All Norwegian pilots are trained in procedures and behaviors to increase environmental focus and reduce fuel consumption.
All of Norwegian’s 800s are fitted with winglets, a tailfinlike extension of each wingtip that reduces drag. The effect is a reduction in fuel consumption, as the same lift and speed is created with less engine thrust. Winglets are most effective at cruising speeds, where they reduce fuel consumption by as much as 3-5 percent.
Norwegian is committed to keeping aircraft weights to a minimum, thereby reducing emissions. This can be achieved both by simple measures such as tailoring the amount of water on board to expected need, and more advanced measures such as investing in weight-efficient carbon brakes. Norwegian was the first European airline to operate 737s with carbon breaks.
Electronic manuals in the cockpit
EFB, Electronic Flight Bag, is a new electronic information and calculation system installed in the cockpit of all Norwegian aircraft. The system enables pilots to perform their tasks more efficiently and safely. The new electronic system replaces virtually the entire hard-copy operating hierarchy. Weight, balance and performance calculations at take-off and landing no longer need to be performed manually, and the use of paper is reduced by 80-90 percent. Calculations indicate a reduction in annual carbon emissions of approximately 17,000 tons.
Engine and aircraft wash
Air contains contaminants such as dust, pollen and dirt. With the tremendous amount of air running through an aircraft engine, these particles, together with soot from fuel combustion, form a coating inside the engine which over time reduces efficiency. Norwegian runs a special engine wash program on each aircraft 2-3 times per year. Engine wash enhances air flow and reduces internal drag within the engine. Norwegian’s aircraft are also regularly cleaned and polished externally, reducing drag. The use of detergents and chemicals is subject to a stringent set of requirements, and waste is sorted and recycled after use. The combined effect of engine and aircraft washing is a decrease in fuel consumption, reducing carbon emissions by approximately 16,000 tons per year.
Winter operations in Scandinavia are subject to challenging weather conditions. The removal of ice, frost and snow from the aircraft is a prerequisite for maintaining safe operations. De-icing fluid contains glycol depending on temperature and weather conditions. Traditionally, a standard mix covering all weather conditions is used. This mix is comparable to the standard windshield washer fluid used on cars, not necessarily optimal for the prevailing weather conditions. In order to reduce the consumption of concentrated fluids containing glycol, Norwegian, in cooperation with ground handling companies, has invested in de-icing trucks which can adjust the ratio of the mixture according to weather-dependent requirements. The state-of-the-art trucks are also equipped with pneumatic snow removers, further reducing the need for de-icing fluid. Compared to conventional de-icing equipment, the reduction in glycol use is in the area of 60-65 percent.