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Spain testing new landing technique

05-24-2010 18:53 BJT

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By the end of this year, all commercial airplanes in Spain will land with their engines idle. The idea may sound radical, but experts say it would actually lead to a more comfortable ride for passengers, in addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

A greener and more economical landing system is being gradually introduced to the skies over Spain.

If air traffic conditions and visibility permit, planes will idle their engines and start descending directly to the runway by gliding, relying on their wings, rather than engine power.

This Airbus A320 is being flown by Captain Jose Luis Moreta Gomez. He's been helming the model since Spanish carrier Iberia introduced it 20 years ago. The veteran pilot appreciates the advantages of the process.

Jose Luis Moreta Gomez, Iberia Pilot, said, "Once we're given authorization to descend to a certain level, we try to do so without applying more trust, switching to idle power instead. By doing this, we save fuel, as well as avoiding unnecessary CO2 emissions."

Through this new technique, A320 planes should release about a ton less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

But some airline passengers think the idea is far too risky.

Pepe Alcaide, Airline Passenger, said, "I think it can be as dangerous as it is to go downhill with a car in neutral gear. The same thing goes for airplanes. Even if this means lower costs, and also helps to protect nature, I think it's a bit dangerous."

Nonetheless, industry experts say touching down on idle will actually provide more comfortable landings for travelers. The new system shortens arrival times by three or four minutes, reduces the noise level in the cockpit by six decibels, and smoothes out air turbulence.

Other carriers like Air France, Icelandair, and TAP Portugal are also preparing to implement similar environmentally-friendly strategies.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: CCTV.com

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