Air Canada Installs Air
Quality Sensors from IAGOS on an A330
One of Air Canada's
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.
The sensors 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 research on climate change and air
quality on a global scale.
"We are delighted that Air Canada is the latest
airline to join the IAGOS program," said Jean-Marie Flaud,
President of IAGOS-AISBL, CNRS and Ministere de L'Enseignement Superieur et de la Recherche, France.
"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
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.
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.
"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
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
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
"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," said Dr. David W. Tarasick, Senior Research Scientist at
Environment and Climate Change Canada. "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."
Air Canada has set an ambitious goal of net-zero
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) throughout its global operations by
2050. To reach this, the airline 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 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," said Valerie Durand,
Head of Investor Relations and Corporate Sustainability at Air
Canada. "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
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