The first lightweight cargo nets, made with ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMwPE) fibre Dyneema®, manufactured by DSM Dyneema were handed over to Air France-KLM at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam this week. Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo is expected to save over 210 gallons of kerosene fuel per year with this new lightweight net, which means carbon dioxide emissions will be over 2.5 tonnes less per net per year.
Innovative and sustainable
Produced by AmSafe Bridport, leader in aviation restraint technology, the nets will in future be used on all aircraft operated by Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo, the dedicated air cargo business of the Air France-KLM Group. It is the first major airline group to replace all cargo pallet nets, normally made in polyester (PET) fibre, with the innovative lightweight nets.
“We are proud to be the first major airline group to introduce light weight nets with Dyneema®,” said Camiel Eurlings, CEO of KLM. “At Air France-KLM, we are fully committed to reduce our carbon footprint, and our efforts are being recognised. For the eighth year running, Air France KLM has come out at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the airline sector.” “Weight reduction on board our aircraft is an important part of those efforts. These lightweight nets can lead to important reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and are the latest in a series of efforts we are taking to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Easy to use
Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo, AmSafe Bridport and DSM have been collaborating on the development and testing of the lightweight nets for several years, producing nets that weigh around 9 kg, which is half the weight of a traditional net in PET fibre. New lightweight nets with Dyneema® are also said to allow operatives to handle them more easily and safely, as they are more damage-resistant than polyester nets. According to Dyneema®, they also offer an extension in their lifetime to 5 years in comparison to the current standard of 3 years.
AmSafe Bridport’s president Ian Kentfield highlighted the collaborative efforts between the three companies that had made possible such an important step forward in reducing aircraft emissions. “Delivery of a new product to a customer requires a good in depth understanding of their needs and requirements,” he said. “We have worked closely together for seven years to ensure this product meets Air France-KLM’s needs operationally, financially and aesthetically, and that it can fulfil the performance criteria of a cargo pallet net for its entire five- year lifetime – which is 60% longer than rival products.”
Atzo Nicolaï President Netherland of DSM, said that the new nets provided an excellent example of DSM’s use of ‘bright science to create brighter living’, and its spirit of collaboration with industry partners. “Sustainability is key, and the reductions in emissions that Air France-KLM will achieve are very impressive,” he commented.
Author: Billy Hunter