SriLankan given green light from European Union for key environmental initiative
SriLankan Airlines became one of the first airlines in the world to completely satisfy a key environmental requirement of the European Union (EU) with regard to monitoring of aircraft emissions, as part of a general initiative to better protect the environment.
SriLankan carried out comprehensive collection of emissions data from its entire fleet of aircraft throughout 2010, and the EU on 27th April 2011 approved the benchmarking of this data. This signifies acceptance of SriLankan Airlines' Aircraft Emissions Monitoring System, approving the high standard of the state-of-the-art system that was developed by the airline itself.
SriLankan's Head of Flight Operations, Captain Navin De Silva, said: "SriLankan is proud to continue its pioneering role in environmental conservation. Only a handful of airlines have so far satisfied the EU's tough new requirement. We have already gained a reputation as an airline that is focused on protecting the environment, notably through our 'Planet Friendly Flights' programme."'
Following an audit by SGS of the UK, the Environment Agency of the UK (the agency authorized by the EU) recommended the data collected by SriLankan's system throughout the year 2010 as being 100% compliant with EU regulations in terms of accuracy.
Kamal Nanayakkara, SriLankan's Head of IT, said: "What is most significant is that our Emissions Monitoring System was developed completely in-house, in sharp contrast to most other airlines which are purchasing very expensive systems from IT software vendors.'
SriLankan's Emissions Monitoring System has already come to the limelight when it won a Merit Award at the National Best Quality Software Awards 2010 (NBQSA), for innovations in Information Technology. The system itself was designed by SriLankan's Information Technology Division and the Aviation Fuel Department of Flight Operations, saving a considerable cost versus obtaining a similar system from an external vendor. It monitors emissions throughout a flight, and uploads the data directly from every aircraft.
SriLankan's Manager Aviation Fuel, Capt. Anushad Liyanagoda, said: "The EU's tough new regulations for the airline industry have made monitoring of aircraft emissions mandatory. Non-compliance could even lead to individual airlines being banned from operating in European skies. So the acceptance of our system ensures the uninterrupted continuation of all our services to Europe and also qualifies SriLankan for the maximum possible amount of financial credit.'
The EU has formulated a system where airlines that do not satisfy the emissions monitoring requirements would be levied financial penalties starting in 2012 that could amount to millions of dollars (billions of rupees). However, airlines could obtain up to 100% free allowances from this - 85% through its Emissions Monitoring System, and 15% by investment in other environment friendly projects. SriLankan has now obtained the full 85% waiver, and is presently in discussions with local companies that have accrued carbon credits to enter into partnerships with them and obtain the remaining 15% waiver.
The airline has in the past several years adopted a wide range of fuel conservation measures, as well as energy saving, recycling and other initiatives, which have drawn the attention of conservationists.
Corporate Communications Department
June 01st, 2011