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How a Bahamian company can help airlines go green

THE BACSWN team during a recent visit to Colorado.

THE BACSWN team during a recent visit to Colorado.

By YOURI KEMP

Tribune Business Reporter

ykemp@tribunemedia.net

The Bahamas Aviation, Climate & Severe Wx Network Ltd (BACSWN) is in position to help airlines to gain carbon credits with its new technology.

Lyrone Burrows, president and chief executive officer of BACSWN, told Tribune Business that their company will be able to put airlines in position to create carbon credits through their path-breaking weather monitoring technology.

And the company has caught the attention of project scientist Roelof Bruintjes, who stressed the importance of the field that the company is pioneering.

He said of the company’s work: “I was very impressed… primarily because this took weather forecasting and early warning systems to a next step, especially as it pertained to aviation and making aviation safer - but also in terms of all the displays and all the technology that is required for doing a proper job in terms of aviation safety. And then both after safety comes efficiency. How can we most efficiently help aviation and this is what the airlines want also. That impressed me tremendously.”

He added: “And this goes into climate change also. The more efficient and the more safer we work, the less we waste things and fuel, and the better it is for the climate.”

Mr Burrows said: “Based on the discussions we had with the National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) last week and we asked them based on their knowledge and how those credits would accrue, and they indicated what we had anticipated, which is that the credits if there are any created will be owned by the airlines utilising our technology.”

He continued: “Once we are able to confirm and show by virtue of our technology that the airlines would be able to derive carbon credits, what we can actually do is price that with a discount into the cost of our technology.”

The ultimate aim of BACSWN is provide real-time, 3D visualisation of hyperlocal weather. This will be achieved through the implementation of a meteorological watch office (MWO). The MWO will provide real-time weather data for the aviation industry, using next generation technology that will deliver real time weather to the cockpit and all stakeholders in the flight chain.

This type of technology will be critical to the airline industry because it would help them to better gauge flight patterns and also be in a position to time their flights more accurately and save on fuel costs, where they will be able to gain carbon credits from the fuel efficiency.

Professor Bruintjes said: “That is what the future is. Just recently we have seen the AI and the ChatGPT come along. This also has to be in terms of our forecasting. We need to present our measurements and forecasting in three dimensions. This can help people, aviation, pilots, traffic controllers tremendously to maneouvre through difficult situations. Especially in The Bahamas where most of the weather is convective based, you have thunderstorms, then also the hurricanes, and winds change all the time in these situations. That is important in terms of visualising this. Again, the saying is a picture is worth a thousand words is tremendously true, and now that we can do this in 3D and we have the computing capability to do this, this will really be the future in presenting our forecasts.

Mr Burrows added: “Let’s say that the airlines recognise that through using our technology they will be able to save an average of 10 minutes per flight and saving that 10 minutes per flight average generates $100m in fuel savings from carbon emissions. So they would be able to apply for $100m in credits and what that means is that when we are pricing the costs of our technology, along with our baseline price with our regular profit, we can then say, out of that $100m that the airlines would be able to obtain, how much of that are we prepared to take ourselves and allow the airlines to benefit from the balance.”

He continued, “Let’s say okay, we can do a 50/50 split of the $100m. So when we price our product, or our fees, we increase it by $50m, all other things being equal, the airline’s run their numbers, and they recognize that purchasing this for $50m, we’re able to generate $100m in credits. So we’re actually coming out $50m ahead of the game, as opposed to not buying the technology and being slammed with penalties because of their carbon and not getting the efficiencies of reducing our flights by $10m, which has other knock-on positive effects.”

BACSWN aims to commence service through the use of existing national radars and related weather monitoring equipment but will significantly increase weather equipment throughout the islands of The Bahamas to better track and predict the movement of major weather events through the archipelago, with the aim to reducing the risk of loss of life primarily and assisting airlines in building efficiencies will be a residual effect of their overall objectives.

BACSWN is in advances stages with finalising partnerships with American defence contractor Raytheon Technologies along with NCAR to bring this cutting edge technology to the Caribbean.

Mr Burrows added: “The technologies to be deployed are from our strategic partnership with Raytheon Technologies and their sub-partner Tomorrow.io both of whom are key players in the weather and aviation space.

“The proprietary placement of BACSWN radars and weather equipment, and the processing of the data through their systems will provide opportunities for enhanced weather forecasting for all locations within The Bahamas.”

Prof Bruintjes added: “It would benefit aviation tremendously. There are already recent reports that climate change may increase turbulence aloft so these severe weather forecasts can help tremendously.

“There are a lot of things that are going to happen in the next ten years… but especially weather because weather is one of the most important impacts on aviation that cost aviation, the airlines a lot of money but also in terms of flying more efficiently and also understanding the impacts of climate change.”

Comments

K4C 1 year, 1 month ago

Starting next week, a international program starts, the purchasing of intelligence credits

zemilou 1 year, 1 month ago

A way of making those of us, especially those who travel extensively for pleasure, feel good because we've "neutralized" our impact on the environment? Greenwashing? Another money making scam?

As a February 22, 2023 New York Times story about studies regarding the effectiveness of carbon offsets noted:

"In most cases, carbon offsets do not capture or reduce real emissions, and they have a dismal record when it comes to actually averting future emissions. Air-travel carbon offsets are no different, as our colleagues at The New York Times concluded. What’s worse: Even if the projects these offsets supported were effective, they are so inexpensive (about $19, for instance, for a round trip on Hawaiian Airlines from Honolulu to New York) that what you pay wouldn’t come close to negating your share of environmental damage caused by flying."

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