using 50 per cent biofuel made from recycled cooking oil.Earlier this week, Air Canada Flight AC991 flew from Toronto to Mexico City
A first for the company, the test-flight was expected to generate 40 per cent fewer emissions, making it "the most environmentally-friendly flight ever flown by Air Canada," the company wrote in a statement.
The commercial flight on an Airbus A319 also benefited from lightweight cabin equipment — lightweight carpets were installed and pilots used iPads instead of paper documents — intended to help reduce the plane's environmental impact.
The "perfect flight," using biofuel by SkyNRG — the cooking-oil blend was rectified to normal jet-fuel standards, so no aircraft-system modification was needed — was part of an environmental demonstration by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) "to underscore the aviation industry's commitment to the environment at the UN sustainability conference," said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Air Canada.
The flight coincided with the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.
"To make this a day-to-day commercial reality, it now requires political will to foster incentives to scale up the use of sustainable biofuels and accelerate modernization of the air traffic management system," said Fabrice Bregier, president and CEO of Airbus.
"We need a clear endorsement by governments and all aviation stakeholders to venture beyond today's limitations."
(Photo courtesy AFP)