SILVER SPRING, Md., Aug. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Penton's Air Transport World (atwonline.com) (ATW) today announced the winners of the second ATW 2013 Eco-Aviation Awards. The awards honor the companies that are demonstrating leadership in the field of eco-aviation.
Winners were selected by ATW's team of editors. The 2013 winners are:
Gold Eco-Airline of the Year: United Airlines. United Airlines has clearly made it a priority to develop and pursue its own rigorous environment and efficiency goals while also taking a lead in significantly influencing sustainability in the general commercial airline environment. The editors were impressed with United's realistic and practical approach to environmental action, with goals that are achievable, measurable, and which help take the entire industry forward. United management was also applauded for proactively engaging in climate change and biofuels working group initiatives, dedicating time and resources to such organizations as the IATA Climate Change Task Force and the Airlines for America (A4A) Environment Council, which United chairs. It was this combination of can-do spirit and determination to walk-the-walk on eco initiatives that caught the eye of the judges and made United a stand-out for its environmental and efficiency endeavors.
Silver Eco-Airline of the Year: airberlin. Airberlin was the first European network carrier to decrease fuel burn per 100 revenue passenger kilometer (RPK) to 3.4 liters. With a comprehensive fuel efficiency program, the airline continually improves all the processes associated with operating flights and develops innovative ways to further reduce the level of consumption. In 2012 airberlin thereby reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes. The company is involved in 55 different projects aimed at reducing fuel consumption and ATW editors noted that airberlin's measurable effort in this regard was outstanding. airberlin was also selected in 2012 by non-profit making climate protection organization atmosfair as the best network carrier in Europe in terms of climate efficiency.
Eco-Pioneer of the Year: Qantas Group. From the outset, Qantas Group has made environmental sustainability a guiding principle for how it operates. Well over a decade ago, when eco-aviation was a barely-known term, Qantas sponsored a fledgling initiative called Clean Up Australia Day. Since then, it has continuously led the field in industry-wide, collaborative eco efforts, including becoming a founding member of the Australian Initiative for Sustainable Fuels (ASAF) and working with key stakeholders to develop an Australian "Flight Path to Sustainable Aviation." These efforts and its many industry firsts make Qantas truly deserving of the title Eco-Pioneer of the Year.
Eco-Partnership of the Year: Air Canada & Airbus. In June 2012, Air Canada and Airbus came together via the Aviation Environmental Roadmap team to complete the first Perfect Flight in North America, a commercial flight from Toronto to Mexico City with an Airbus A319 that demonstrated CO2 emissions reductions of more than 40 percent by combining best practices of aircraft technology, optimized operations, air traffic management, and the use of sustainable alternative fuels. Together, Air Canada and Airbus have pioneered collaborative efforts that spurred other eco-initiatives and alternative fuels projects, ensuring their work will have far-reaching spin-offs.
Eco-Technology of the Year: Wheeltug.
The innovative WheelTug electric drive system uses high-performance electric motors, installed in the nose gear wheels of an aircraft, to provide full mobility on the ground without the use of the aircraft's jet engines or tugs for pushback and taxi operations. The electric WheelTug unit needs only four pounds of fuel per minute by using the aircraft's auxiliary power unit (APU), representing an 80 percent reduction in ground operation fuel consumption. In addition to lower ground operation fuel consumption, other benefits of the WheelTug aircraft drive systems include substantially reduced carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Editors noted that Wheeltug has placed something on the market that is ahead of the competition and uses a business model that makes benefits of the system measurable. The proof is in the customer list, with 573 delivery slots reserved by 11 airlines from Europe, America, the Middle East and the Far East by June 2013.
ATW Editor-in-Chief, Karen Walker, said, "It is an important fact that the world's airlines and the air transportation industry is a benchmark setter for sustainability and environmental endeavours, as exemplified by this year's ATW Eco-Aviation Award winners. It is also a truly global and collaborative effort, illustrated by our winners from all parts of the world and who are all involved in partnerships for the greater good of this industry and the environment."
"The number of entries and standard of submissions was very high," ATW Group Publisher, Bill Freeman, added. "We look forward to celebrating the accomplishments of our 2013 Eco-Aviation Award winners in September."
ATW editors will present the awards on September 12, 2013, at a dinner ceremony following the ATW Sixth Annual Eco-Aviation Conference at the Westin City Center Hotel in Washington, DC, September 11-12, 2013. This year's agenda features panel discussions and engaging debates. To see the agenda with panel speakers and to register for the Conference, please visit conference.atwonline.com.
About Air Transport World
Air Transport World (www.ATWOnline.com) is the leading monthly magazine serving the airline and commercial aircraft manufacturing and support industries.
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