Air Canada Partners with IAGOS to Equip an Airbus A330 with Climate and Air Quality Sensors
- IAGOS sensors measure a range of parameters during various stages of flight to help provide accurate weather and air quality data
- Air Canada’s IAGOS equipped aircraft has already collected data from current wildfires for scientists to study
MONTREAL, May 17, 2023 /CNW/ – Air Canada announced today that one of its Airbus A330 aircraft has been outfitted with special diagnostics sensors in partnership with In-Service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS), an international non-profit organization that utilizes commercial aircraft as a global observation platform of climate change and air quality. This collaboration will allow IAGOS to collect valuable worldwide data on climate parameters, which will be used by the international scientific community as well as forecasting services like the Atmosphere Service of Copernicus, for essential research on climate change and air quality on a global scale.
“As a leading global airline, we are proud to partner with IAGOS to advance their important climate research work. Air Canada is committed to full-scale sustainability and working with IAGOS is a meaningful way we can contribute to the collection of valuable, global data on climate parameters for further science research. The information gathered will also help provide more accurate weather data crucial for airline operations, and will enable a more in-depth understanding of changing weather dynamics,” said Valerie Durand, Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability at Air Canada.
“We are delighted that Air Canada is the latest airline to join the IAGOS program. The measurements of greenhouse gases, reactive gases, aerosols and clouds are crucial in the global observing system to support societal needs for a greener and more sustainable future. Air Canada will provide important new data to understand climate change issues in northern regions which are warming more than twice as fast as elsewhere, along with new data for tracking wildfire smoke plumes across the continent to improve forecasts of air-quality,” said Jean-Marie Flaud, President of IAGOS-AISBL, CNRS and Ministère de L’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, France.
“After only a few days in operation, the aircraft has already detected exceptional levels of carbon monoxide over eastern Canada emanating from the intense wildfires in Alberta. Scientists will use these data to understand the impact of events like this on the atmosphere, on air quality and ultimately on climate,” said Dr. Hannah Clark, Executive Secretary for IAGOS-AISBL.
“These precise measurements of Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) will be very valuable for trend and process studies, addressing Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) priorities to understand and track the origin, fate and impact of critical contaminants in the environment. IAGOS data already have an important role in ECCC research and monitoring, and the addition of an Air Canada aircraft to the IAGOS fleet will greatly increase data availability over Canada, and permit better visualization of the global movement of air pollution. This will allow us to better understand the impacts of wildfires and urban pollution, the additional impacts of climate change on these processes, and to evaluate the success of emissions reductions,” said Dr. David W. Tarasick, Senior Research Scientist at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
As part of the partnership, Air Canada has installed IAGOS’s state-of-the-art climate research monitoring devices on Fin 939, one of its A330-300 widebody aircraft. The device will measure a range of parameters, including ozone, water vapour, greenhouse gases, reactive gases, aerosols, clouds, etc. during various stages of flight, including take-off, cruising altitude and landing.
The A330, one of only two aircraft types approved for the IAGOS systems along with the A340, flies a mix of trans-Atlantic and trans-continental flights for Air Canada, providing key data for IAGOS.
The IAGOS device is a compact system featuring measuring probes which are permanently installed on the aircraft, near the flight deck. After each flight, the measurement data is automatically transmitted to the central database of the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) research centre in Toulouse, France.
According to IAGOS, commercial aircraft provide an ideal platform for gathering trace gas measurements, as they can efficiently measure at high altitudes where collecting samples is otherwise challenging. IAGOS is working with airlines worldwide and this will allow for the validation of global climate models and provide near real-time data in an open-source manner to researchers around the world. The research findings are freely accessible and currently utilized by approximately 300 global organizations.
Air Canada has set an ambitious goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) throughout its global operations by 2050. To reach this, Air Canada has set absolute midterm GHG net reduction targets by 2030 in its air and ground operations compared to its 2019 baseline and has committed to investing $50 Million in Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), and carbon reductions and removals research and development.
Air Canada is Canada’s largest airline, the country’s flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world’s most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled service directly to more than 180 airports in Canada, the United States and Internationally on six continents. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada’s Aeroplan program is Canada’s premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world’s largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada’s passenger and freighter aircraft. Air Canada has committed to an ambitious net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OCTQX in the US.
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