Etihad Airways has signed a commercial agreement with Swedish digital air traffic management products supplier AVTECH to implement its Aventus NowCast Descent service for Etihad's operations into London Heathrow, Abu Dhabi and Jakarta airports.

The agreement will run for two months, allowing joint analysis that will form the basis for subsequent negotiations and agreement on delivery of the service to Etihad’s full network of some 90 airports worldwide.

The Aventus NowCast system uses atmospheric modeling, combined with weather information (AMDAR and/or TAMDAR), to provide accurate wind information and/or four-dimensional trajectories for flights. It creates high-resolution wind models and wind data packages for the different segments of a flight, a so-called NowCast. Data packages are uplinked to aircraft to enable the onboard Flight Management Systems (FMS) to accurately calculate an optimized flight profile and the actual time when each waypoint of a flight will be reached. Benefits include fuel and CO2 savings, especially in time-based operations, where financial and environmental benefits through the provision of increased efficiency and punctuality of individual flights are even greater.

Etihad senior manager-fuel efficiency Sander de Moor said: “If successful, apart from entering in a long-term agreement, Etihad will also consider expanding the agreement to cover the en route capability offered by AVTECH’s Aventus Enroute product, covering accurate wind data for the entire flight. Longer term, we are expecting others in the field of aviation to catch up and make these enhanced capabilities and tools a standard, which will help the industry as a whole to become more efficient.”