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ITA Airways for Sustainability

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TECHNOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABILITY: IRIS

ITA Airways’ adoption of the Iris is a summary example of the companies continued commitment to sustainability and innovation. In fact, developed by Inmarsat in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the program allows for more efficient flight routes in terms of fuel consumption; faster, more reliable digital communications than the previous systems, and allows Air Traffic Management (ATM) operators to optimize the use of the airspace for each flight. This also benefits ITA Airways passengers because the company can guarantee increased flight punctuality and more environmentally friendly travel. In fact, according to Eurocontrol, a European intergovernmental agency that supports the aviation industry, improved air traffic management can reduce CO2 emission by up to 10%.

European airspace is one of the busiest in the world. The most recent estimates forecast that the flight numbers will return to 2019 levels by 2023 and will increase by 50% by 2050.

Existing terrestrial communications infrastructure will have difficulty satisfying the required flight connection levels and will likely face a shortfall in capacity by 2024-2027, if not before. Consequently, the modernization of Air Traffic Management is essential if Europe is to overcome the challenges of digital transformation and eco-sustainability.

By 2028, Iris will allow for the optimization of flights worldwide and this data connection will become the principal means of communication between pilots and air traffic controllers, making flights much more ecological and efficient.

Iris will play a key role in Air Traffic Management’s pursuit of the European objectives to achieve zero emission aviation by 2050, with the 2030 mid-term objective of reducing emissions by -55% compared to 2019. This will allow for:

  •  more efficient flight routes;
  •  real-time sharing of information;
  •  optimization of air operations.
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