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CAL's first climate-monitoring plane begins service

2012/06/26 21:22:23

Taipei, June 26 (CNA) A China Airlines (CAL) aircraft equipped with a climate monitoring system flew to Hong Kong Tuesday, the company's first plane that will be used on a global ecological mission.

The A340-300 passenger jet is fitted with the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) and will be used for a Pacific greenhouse gases measurement project being jointly promoted by the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration, the National Science Council and National Central University, Taiwan's largest carrier said.

According to CAL, it is the first carrier in Asia to join the IAGOS program, and its plane is the world's first civil aircraft that will collect gases in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

The IAGOS device, installed under the cockpit, collects high-altitude gas data through sample-taking gear installed on the aircraft so that researchers can observe changes in the concentration of gases like ozone, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide compounds in the atmosphere, according to CAL.

As soon as the aircraft lands, the data it has collected will be transmitted via satellite to European centers for research in global warming and climate change, the company said. It noted that in Taiwan, the environmental protection authorities and National Central University will also use the data in their analyses of sources of air pollution over Taiwan.

Following the Hong Kong trip, the aircraft will mainly be used on the Taipei-Vancouver route, according to CAL.

(By Chao Hsiao-huei and Elizabeth Hsu)