Airline approaches to Spanish airports will change in 2010 when airlines will have to adopt the ‘green landing’ system at Spanish airports.
What does this mean well for one thing an end to those twists and turns and rapid changes in altitude ahead of landing. Also a longer and gentler approach to the runway will be taken. Planes will in effect glide down to land and start the approach from as far as 180 kilometres away.
Those on board will probably only notice that it seems to be taking a long time to land. The good news is that between 300 and 480 kilos of carbon emissions along with 100 to 160 kilos of aviation fuel will be saved on every flight. These changes will mean the plane is in the air for a full two minutes more than before.
Those who live below the flight paths may notice a 4-6 decibel reduction in noise if they live more than 18 kilometres from the runway.
France and Sweden are testing similar systems, but José Blanco and his Development Ministry in Spain are to be congratulated for making the move now and re-arranging the flight paths as needed. In some cases airspace previously reserved for the military will have to be used.
On a practical note aside from greener flights I wonder if those of us that suffer ear pain at landing will find it different, I do hope so.