Copa Airlines takes action to protect the environment

Fleet upgrades

Copa Airlines began upgrading its fleet in 2000, acquiring new, more fuel-efficient airplanes. We currently operate one of the continent's most advanced fleets, featuring modern Boeing 737-700s, Boeing 737-800s and Embraer 190ARs.


We were the first airline in Latin America to operate Boeing 737-700 and 800 aircraft with "winglets", which enhance aerodynamics and performance, thereby increasing fuel efficiency. Winglets help protect the environment by reducing noise and greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 5%.

RNAV – Satellite navigation

Satellite navigation allows us to choose the most direct route to various destinations, conserving fuel in the process.

Operating efficiently

We have adopted the following operational practices to reduce fuel consumption per hour of flight:

  • Optimizing altitude and speed at different stages of operation;
  • Optimizing take-off and landing;
  • Towing between hanger and boarding gates, and taxiing with a single motor in airports;
  • Improvements in flight scheduling and the dispatch of aircraft on various routes to optimize use of our fleet;
  • Reduction in the use of APU (Auxiliary Power Units) at airports with GPU (Ground Power Units).

Aircraft maintenance

  • Regular engine cleaning and polishing of wing surfaces;
  • Investigation of pressure leaks in the cabins;
  • Rapid resolution of CDLs (Configuration Deviation List) that affect fuel consumption;
  • Weight reduction on board.

Ground equipment

Thirty-two of the gasoline engines powering our ground equipment were converted to Gas Liquid Processing (GLP) systems, reducing the emissions of our vehicles by 21%.


In 2007, our paper recycling program processed 5,284 pounds of paper waste, and our goal is to increase that number by 15% in 2008. In the maintenance hanger, cans of used oil are recycled, according to cleanliness standards.
The Recycling Program is expanding to all areas of the company, starting with the recycling of materials such as soda cans, glass, and cardboard. We continue to identify new opportunities to increase recycling.

Paper use

Implementation of the e-ticket and the distribution of operational manuals in electronic format diminished the consumption of paper considerably.

Biodegradable products

We use biodegradable products to clean our aircraft and offices.

Environmental audits

At Copa Airlines we undergo annual environmental audits, which ensure we follow through on our actions and avoid discrepancies in the policies we promote. These audits are conducted by an external consulting agency certified by Panama's national environmental authority, ANAM.

In June 2008, we formally submitted to ANAM the Copa Airlines Environmental Audit Plan. We did this is in accordance with the Environmental Adequacy Plan (PAMA, by its Spanish acronym), established by Law 41 of July 1, 1998, and the Executive Decree No. 57 of 2004, which regulates environmental audits. This important step demonstrates our socio-environmental commitment and voluntary compliance with environmental protections.
An inventory of greenhouse gasses: we currently quantify emissions using the methodology set forth in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, based on the guides "Standards for Corporate Responsibility and Reporting" and "The GHG Protocol for Project Accounting".

Framework for collaboration with the National Authority of the Environment (ANAM): Participation in this collaborative effort contributes to the company's robust environmental strategy, enhances its competitive edge, minimizes the environmental impact of its operations, and improves its environmental performance.

Environmental management program

This program, which relies on the collaboration of ANAM, promotes big-picture environmental management and the transformation of practices into models, processes, and systems which are more sustainable and which support innovation, clean production, and a green corporate culture.
The development of this environmental strategy facilitates the continual identification of new mechanisms by which to reduce and/or offset greenhouse gasses, and thereby minimize the environmental impact of the company.

Environmental awareness campaign

In addition to enhancing general knowledge of environmental problems, especially those related to the impact of aviation on the environment, the campaign is designed to demonstrate good environmental practices such as reducing and offsetting emissions, using resources wisely and properly managing the residual waste.

Its objective is to inspire the support and participation of all participants in the company's environmental programs and successfully integrate environmental responsibility across all sectors.