UK’s ‘perfect flight’

July 12: UK air traffic services provider NATS says that Britain’s aviation industry has come together to create the country’s first ‘perfect flight’.
The normal Saturday British Airways BA1462 evening service from Heathrow to Edinburgh optimised every factor within the journey. From pushback from the stand and taxiing to an optimised flight profile and continuous descent approach, the flight was calibrated to achieve minimal emissions and delay. The Airbus A321 was able to fly without the everyday but necessary constraints imposed on air traffic as it was a one-off – it was also able to fly at its most fuel-efficient altitude for longer than usual and it is thought up to a quarter of a tonne of fuel could have been saved, equating to nearly one tonne of CO2.
NATS and BA worked with BAA at Heathrow and Edinburgh to achieve the flight, which was proposed by NATS’ Andy Sampson and Kel Kirkland. Kel said “Unlocking each individual link in the chain on a single flight is not easy. Everyone has had a part to play. It will be some time before we can expect to see the ‘perfect flight’ replicated day in, day out but we have demonstrated it is possible and we can work towards it in the long-term.”