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Home > About Us > Corporate Social Responsibility > Environment Activities > Reduction of CO² emitted by aircraft

Corporate Social Responsibility

NCA's activities for environmental conservation


Reduction of CO² emitted by aircraft

Aircraft consume large quantity of CO² during operation, which occupies most part of green house gas causing global warming. However, there is no fuel appropriate for aircraft operation other than fossil fuel under existing circumstances. NCA is making consistent efforts for efficient cargo transportation by using fuel effectively to the utmost extent to reduce fuel consumption and CO² emission.

The following graph shows the trend of CO² emission per revenue ton kilometer. NCA started introduction of B747-400 Freighter since 2005 as the successor aircraft to B747-200 Freighter and renewed all aircraft in 2008. Reduction of CO² emission by air transportation made no progress for a while reflected global economics degradation however, NCA achieved reduction of CO² emission by about 3% in the fiscal year 2010 in comparison with the fiscal year 2009 as a result of company-wide fuel saving activities. In addition, about 30% reduction has been achieved in comparison with the fiscal year 2004 when NCA still operated obsolete B747-200 Freighter.

Transition of RTK and CO2 emissions


Innovation of flight operation

Operation on the optimum routes using RNAV(Area Navigation)

As conventional airways and routes between airports were built by connecting ground navigation aids to the destination, they often became polygonal lines and hence were rather inefficient. On the other hand, RNAV can build routes connected any points with almost straight line by confirming aircraft position by means of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertia Navigation System, etc. in addition to radio navigation aids on the routes. This enables building of efficient route to the destination and double-track route, leading to reduction of fuel consumption and CO² emission through shortened flight time and distance.


Improvement of descent and approach to the airport
Improvement of descent and approach to the airport

Delayed flap/gear approach procedure is one of the operation procedures devised for reduction of aircraft noise under approach path to the airport. This procedure is to minimize engine thrust during approach through reduction of aircraft's air drag by delaying the timing of flap and gear (wheel) extension compared to normal operation if stabilized approach is possible when landing at the airport. This leads to not only noise reduction but also reduction of fuel consumption and CO² emission.



Taxi with one or two engines shutdown

This is to taxi to the parking apron with shutting down one or two engines out of four engines after landing on the runway. It is sometimes necessary to taxi to the parking apron by several kilometers after landing depending on the airport. As safe taxing in the airport is possible as before even if shutting down one or two engines, NCA saves fuel consumption and CO² emission by doing so.



Reduction of aircraft weight

    (1) Use of new type paint for aircraft painting

    It becomes possible to reduce fuel consumption by amount of about 42 drums and CO² emission by about 21ton annually because use of new type paint developed by Mankiewicz of Germany may decrease aircraft weight by about 55kg compared to the conventional paint. In addition to aircraft weight reduction, emission of polluted water caused by water-wash may also be reduced because deterioration of paint film and adherence of contamination decrease due to its superior weather resistance and thus frequency of aircraft water-wash decreases. Furthermore, as this paint is environment-friendly non-chrome type paint, emission of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) is also reduced.


    (2) Introduction of lightweight Unit Load Device(ULD)

    Introduction of lightweight Unit Load Device(ULD)

    NCA has introduced lightweight Unit Load Device such as "pallet" with designated vendor. The pallet which is made of aluminum has achieved 9kg weight saving (about 8% weight reduction in comparison with the conventional pallet). In addition, as for the cargo net used for tying down cargo on the pallet, NCA has introduced lightweight cargo net made of ultrahigh-strength polyethylene fiber manufactured by AmSafe Bridport of England. This cargo net has achieved 9kg weight saving (about 43% weight reduction in comparison with the conventional cargo net), and at the same time, it enables to suppress weight increase due to water resistance under rainy condition.

    When both lightweight pallets and lightweight cargo nets are used in combination, about 750kg weight saving becomes possible at a maximum per aircraft as NCA B747-400 Freighter can load maximum 39 pallets. As a result fuel consumption may be reduced by about 700 drums a year and CO² emission may also be reduced by about 345ton.


    (3) Reduction of amount of on-board water into aircraft.

    Reduction of amount of on-board water into aircraft.

    Capacity of the water tank of NCA B747-400 Freighter is 80liter, but NCA set 40liter, one half of the tank capacity, as standard living water level in order to reduce aircraft weight through rationalization of water supply quantity.



    (4) Removal of ULD(Unit Load Device) lock system

    Removal of ULD(Unit Load Device) lock system

    There are lock systems in the freighter to secure loaded ULDs with cargo. These lock systems have already been installed on the aircraft upon its reception, but some of them are rarely used in actual operation. NCA achieved 368kg weight saving per aircraft by removing unused lock systems according to the result of lock system operation status check.



Engine internal washing
Engine internal washing

As aircraft accumulates operations, engine compressor, which sends air to the combustor, becomes dirty because dust and dirt adhere to it. As a result, engine combustion efficiency deteriorates and the engine consumes more fuel. Therefore, NCA conducts engine internal washing using hot water to remove contamination. This recovers engine combustion efficiency, improves fuel consumption rate, and reduces CO² emission. In addition, efficient combustion reduces burden to the engine and consequently reduces maintenance works such as parts replacement.


Positive use of GPU (Ground Power Unit) during parking
Positive use of GPU (Ground Power Unit) during parking

Aircraft uses electric power generated by the engine-driven AC generators during flight. But aircraft needs electric power for cabin lighting, etc. even after arriving at the airport and engine shutdown. Aircraft is equipped with auxiliary power unit called APU and uses this APU to supply electric power for cabin lighting and air conditioning when its engines are shut down at the airport. However, APU uses jet fuel on this occasion. So, if electric power is supplied to the aircraft from the ground power unit called GPU, it is possible to reduce jet fuel consumption and hence to reduce CO² emission and noise. With that, NCA uses GPU positively.

※1 APU (Auxiliary Power Unit)
APU refers to the auxiliary power unit used for not only starting aircraft engines but also the power source of the air conditioning system and electrical system. As it operates using jet fuel, its energy efficiency is less than that of GPU.
If APU operation time is reduced by one hour, fuel consumption will be reduced by about 1.5 drums (300litter) and CO² emission will be reduced by about 0.7ton.

※2 GPU (Ground Power Unit)
GPU refers to the facility to supply air conditioning and electric power to the aircraft on the ground. There are two types of GPU, one is mobile type (in-vehicle type) and the other is fixed type. /p>