Airline IT goes green


Airline Sita becomes the first IT vendor to sign up to aviation industry green drive.The Airline IT Society (Sita) yesterday became the first ICT provider to the air transport industry to throw its weight publicly behind the aviation industry`s green push.

The airline industry is blamed for 2% of the world`s carbon dioxide emissions and is also accused of damaging the ozone layer.

Sita CEO Francesco Violante signed the aviation industry`s Commitment to Action on Climate Change at Sita`s Annual IT Summit, attended by the CIOs and other senior staff of 24 global airlines. He called for “a revolution in how the air transport community works in order to achieve carbon neutral growth”.

“Just as we made a great combined effort to become the first Web-enabled global industry and to move towards eliminating paper for passengers and cargo [through e-ticketing], so the air transport community now is coming together to have a meaningful impact on climate change.

“Governments, airlines, airports, air traffic management and IT providers must unite to make the quantum leap required for an immediate 12% reduction in carbon emissions through eliminating airspace and airport inefficiencies,” Violante added.

“Smart investments in new aircraft and optimised route management will help achieve this realisable goal. Flight operations and better cooperation between all the stakeholders, through collaborative decision-making systems, will be key to this effort,” he continued.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) CE and director general Giovanni Bisignani, who also attended the conference, said his industry body`s goal was to keep the enormous economic benefits of aviation, while eliminating the climate change impacts.

Bisignani said for IATA`s vision for carbon neutral growth to be successful, all industry partners had to be on board.

“IATA`s four pillar strategy – invest in technology, fly planes effectively, build efficient infrastructure and implement positive economic measures – is now an industry commitment. Technology is the first of the pillars. I welcome Sita to the industry-wide team. IT is critical to the further optimisation of fuel efficiency by improving air traffic management, flight turnaround times and route planning.”

Violante also drew attention to Sita`s own initiative to provide IT services that are “green by design”. As a first step, Sita, which relies on massive data centres for its daily operations, will reduce the numbers of servers it uses from 2 000 to 600, saving one megawatt of power annually. This will offset more than 33 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years.

The aviation industry agreed to the Commitment to Action on Climate Change, in April. There it agreed to collaborate with the International Civil Aviation Organisation – which represents governments – to combat global warming through new technology, fuel optimisation, improved air traffic management and cost-effective economic measures.

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