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Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management

1st Edition Effective December 2004

International Air Transport Association Montreal – Geneva

The material contained in this document represents a combination of inputs from a number of professional airline and air traffic control sources, and is written from the perspective of “aviation professional to aviation

professional”. Some airlines, pilots, engineers, dispatchers, and controllers may already be practicing these techniques. Others may have evaluated them and assessed that they are not suitable in their environment. IATA encourages you to review the material, to evaluate whether or not the noted procedures could be safely applied in your area, and to provide suggestions or share additional material aimed at further enhancing professional awareness of the critical importance of fuel conservation. DISCLAIMER: This guidance material is provided to allow airlines to identify potential areas for fuel and environmental efficiency, and is not meant to imply that any action should be taken until further research has been undertaken, appropriate risk and safety evaluation conducted, regulatory authority obtained, and relevant airline policies, practices, or documentation amended

Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management Ref. No: 9093-01 ISBN 92-9195-444-6 © 2004 International Air Transport Association. All rights reserved. Montreal — Geneva

FOREWORD ....................................................................................................................................................... III 1. INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................................. 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 3.1 3.2 4.1 5.1 5.2 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7.1 7.2 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 9.1 9.2: 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 FUEL MANAGEMENT AND SAFETY................................................................................................... 1 FUEL MANAGEMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT .............................................................................. 1 ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EFFICIENT FUEL MANAGEMENT ............................................................. 1 BASIC FACTS REGARDING FUEL CONSUMPTION.......................................................................... 2 EFFICIENT FLIGHT PLANNING ........................................................................................................... 3 STATISTICAL AND DISCRETIONARY FUEL ...................................................................................... 3 ALTERNATE SELECTION .................................................................................................................... 3 RE-DISPATCH AND RE-CLEARANCE TECHNIQUES ....................................................................... 5 FUEL TANKERING ............................................................................................................................... 5 WEIGHT MANAGEMENT ..................................................................................................................... 5 CENTER OF GRAVITY MANAGEMENT .............................................................................................. 6 FLIGHT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM PROGRAMMING.......................................................................... 7 AUXILIARY POWER UNIT (APU) MANAGEMENT .............................................................................. 8 ENGINE START-UP AND TAXI .......................................................................................................... 11 REDUCED THRUST TAKE-OFF ........................................................................................................ 13 INITIAL CLIMB OUT PROFILE MANAGEMENT ................................................................................ 13 LATERAL TRACK MANAGEMENT .................................................................................................... 15 VERTICAL PROFILE MANAGEMENT IN CRUISE ............................................................................ 15 CRUISE SPEED MANAGEMENT ....................................................................................................... 16 COST INDEX MANAGEMENT............................................................................................................ 17 FMS DESCENT PROFILE MANAGEMENT ....................................................................................... 19 DESCENT PROFILE MANAGEMENT FOR NON-FMS AIRCRAFT .................................................. 21 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE DECELERATED APPROACH ............................................................ 23 REDUCED FLAP LANDING................................................................................................................ 25 IDLE ENGINE REVERSE ON LANDING ............................................................................................ 26 ENGINE-OUT TAXI-IN ........................................................................................................................ 26 FLIGHT SCHEDULE AND FUEL MANAGEMENT ............................................................................. 29 CALCULATION OF SAVINGS ............................................................................................................ 29 MISSION MANAGEMENT................................................................................................................... 33 COST INDEX COMPUTATION ........................................................................................................... 35 FUEL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM (FUEL MI)............................................................. 36 HIGH COST OF FULL THRUST TAKE-OFF ...................................................................................... 39

2. FLIGHT PLANNING ....................................................................................................................................... 3

3. PRE-FLIGHT PROCEDURES ........................................................................................................................ 7

4. START AND TAXI ........................................................................................................................................ 11 5. DEPARTURE AND CLIMB........................................................................................................................... 13

6. CRUISE MANAGEMENT .............................................................................................................................. 15

7. DESCENT ..................................................................................................................................................... 19

8. APPROACH AND LANDING ....................................................................................................................... 23

9. MISSION MANAGEMENT............................................................................................................................ 29


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
10. MAINTENANCE CONSIDERATIONS ........................................................................................................ 41 10.1 10.2 10.3 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 12.8 12.9 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 13 INITIAL CONSIDERATIONS ............................................................................................................... 41 POTENTIAL MAINTENANCE ACTIONS............................................................................................. 41 ESTIMATED FUEL SAVINGS ............................................................................................................. 44 OBJECTIVES OF FLIGHT PLANNING ............................................................................................... 47 FLIGHT PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS ........................................................................................... 47 ROUTE SELECTION AND PLANNING............................................................................................... 47 ALTERNATE SELECTION .................................................................................................................. 48 STATISTICAL DISCRETIONARY FUELS........................................................................................... 48 FUEL TANKERING.............................................................................................................................. 49 RE-DISPATCH TECHNIQUE .............................................................................................................. 50 FLIGHT DISPATCHER – PILOT RELATIONSHIP.............................................................................. 50 FLIGHT WATCH .................................................................................................................................. 50 OVERVIEW.......................................................................................................................................... 53 FUEL IS BURNED TO CARRY FUEL ................................................................................................. 53 STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT.............................................................................................................. 54 AT THE GATE ..................................................................................................................................... 55 TAXIING AND DEPARTURE............................................................................................................... 55 CLIMB .................................................................................................................................................. 56 CRUISE................................................................................................................................................ 56 SPEED AND VECTORING.................................................................................................................. 56 DIRECT ROUTING .............................................................................................................................. 57 DESCENT ............................................................................................................................................ 58 HOLDING............................................................................................................................................. 58 APPROACH AND LANDING ............................................................................................................... 58 WHAT CAN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS DO? .............................................................................. 59

11. DISPATCH CONSIDERATIONS................................................................................................................. 47

12. AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL ........................................................................................................................... 53

FUEL AND EMISSIONS EFFICIENCY CHECKLIST ............................................................................. 61


Welcome to the first edition of the IATA ‘Guidance Material on Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management’. The record high prices experienced during 2004 are a vivid reminder of the strategic nature of fuel in the aviation business. In response to this ‘crisis’, IATA launched a ‘Fuel Action Plan’ on the 24th August 2004 when IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani wrote to the Board of Governors setting out mitigation strategies aimed at alleviating the burden of high prices on the industry. This IATA guide is the result of three months of intense effort by the IATA team and airline representatives to work together with our fuel specialists. Their challenge was not only to cover a wide area that cuts across many functional divides in the airline organisation, but also to include and highlight the all-important roles played by air traffic controllers, dispatchers, maintenance personnel – as well as pilots - in this endeavour. Indeed, IATA encourages a holistic approach to fuel efficiency management through which, it believes, the maximum benefit can be derived for the whole community. I wish to emphasise that fuel management is first and foremost about safety. A fuel efficiency program does NOT — and should NEVER — aim at compromising safety. However, we can improve our bottom-line — and make a difference to the environment — by carefully and intelligently burning our fuel. We have thus quoted figures in terms of dollar savings or kilograms of pollutants wherever appropriate to give a sense of what impact a fuel conservation measure will have on our operations, the industry and the environment. Needless to say, Flight Operations is the centrepiece of the document where all flight phases are critically examined in the pursuit of better fuel economy. A Flight Dispatcher section discusses the critical elements and techniques that can be used in determining the optimum fuel load for a particular flight. An Engineering and Maintenance chapter discusses the simple — and sometimes more complex — tasks that would get the best fuel performance from an aircraft. And last but not least is the Air Traffic Controller section, which highlights the strategic and tactical measures that controllers can take to assist airlines in reducing fuel burn. We recognise that some airlines will already have fuel efficiency programs in place and have made this a permanent feature in their operations. We offer them the checklist at the end of the document, which will allow the conduct of a ‘self-check’ on their operations, and determine how comprehensive and/or how deep their programs are. For others who have yet to develop a structured and systematic approach to fuel efficiency, we invite them to make full use of the document. If you need more information about fuel conservation, please consult our website at: Guenther Matschnigg, Senior Vice President, Safety, Operations and Infrastructure



Accurate and efficient fuel management on the part of the airline and flight crews improves safety, because it requires additional attention, accuracy and increased situational awareness. By accurately managing fuel, airlines can: Ensure that proper risk management processes for fuel boarding are in place by carrying enough fuel to the high-risk airports and less fuel to airports where it is not required. Minimize the risk of unplanned fuel diversion Ensure that flights land with adequate fuel on board Ensure that crews maintain a safe and efficient approach to fuel management


A 1% saving in fuel for an A320 or B737-300 aircraft will result in a yearly reduction of fuel consumption by 100 metric tons (32,835 US Gal) and save airlines approximately USD$50,000 per aircraft. It will also decrease the emission of pollutants by the following amounts: 318.7 tons of CO2; 123.9 tons of H2O; 2.112 tons of NOx; 98 kg of SO2; and 56 kg of CO


Fuel is the second largest cost item after employee wages. For some airlines, fuel represents approximately 20% or more of the total budget. Airlines that have an aggressive fuel saving program can reduce their overall fuel budget by at least 5%. Fuel savings directly affect the bottom line. In an environment of extreme competition, airlines that manage fuel efficiently will have a definite competitive advantage. Because of low profit margins, to compensate for each dollar wasted in fuel burn, airlines would have to generate 15 to 20 dollars in additional revenues to achieve the same profit. All departments including Flight Operations must be accountable for efficient fuel management. Effective communications, efficient procedures, adequate training programs and proactive management of each flight will minimize overall corporate costs (fuel, time cost, connections, etc) and ensure the company’s success. For example, by slowing down flights scheduled to arrive early not only saves fuel, but also reduces emissions and, in some cases, prevents ramp and gate congestion. On-time arrivals improve ground staff efficiency and customer service. Airlines must sensitize government regulators to the additional costs such as delays, fuel and emissions which result from certain regulations, inefficient ATC route structure and excessive ATC restrictions. Some of the factors that contribute to an increase in fuel consumption and gas emissions include insufficient ATC staffing, inadequate and antiquated equipment, inefficient and cumbersome procedures, unnecessary route or altitude restrictions for controllers’ convenience, restrictive and inflexible noise abatement procedures, and poor communication facilities.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Airlines perform limited maintenance to their fleet due to the cost of aircraft down time or spare engines. Regular maintenance contributes to an airplane’s fuel efficiency. During normal line operation, for every 3,000 hours of flight time or 1,000 cycles, new airplanes will lose approximately 1% efficiency. After a few years of operation, the fuel burn performance of an aircraft will tend to stabilize at between 5 - 7% above baseline new aircraft performance levels. Some aircraft will burn as much as 10% or more in certain circumstances. Major engine overhauls will normally recover approximately ½ of the efficiency degradation compared to a new engine. Engine wash, airframe control rigging, buffing and good paint condition can reduce fuel burn from one to two percent in some cases.


An efficient flight planning system should have the full range of Cost Index (CI) planning capability with appropriate vertical and lateral optimization. The vertical and lateral profiles should change with the planned CI because the winds and temperatures vary at different altitudes. Consequently, the final flight levels and route solution would normally differ. For greater accuracy, a flight-planned route should include the planned takeoff runway, the departure and arrival procedures, and landing runway rather than planning from centers of the departure and destination airport. In addition, Cost Index based flight plans should be available for non-Flight Management Computer Systems (FMCS) equipped aircraft. CI optimization is a critical tool for performance optimization and cost control. While many modern larger aircraft are equipped with CI optimization embedded in the FMCS, many regional jet aircraft and other older generation aircraft, do not have the necessary technology. However, CI optimization is available for these aircraft from vendors of Cost Index systems, which operate independently of the FMCS. That technology is available as a software application on Class 1 and Class 2 Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) systems and even as a flip chart or booklet-based system. Compared to fixed-Mach flight planning or Long Range Cruise (LRC) speeds, CI optimization of planned speeds will yield savings from 2 to 3% and in some cases as much as 10% when a flight is restricted to a low altitude or in unusually strong winds. In certain circumstances, on-board CI performance systems, whether embedded in the FMCS or operating on an EFB or in a flip chart, will be of great value for making tactical decisions by flight crews and assist in saving fuel and valuable time, or both.


One of the difficult tasks for flight dispatchers and pilots during flight planning is to board the correct amount of fuel above the minimum regulatory requirements. Because of the high cost of carrying extra fuel, careful consideration is required to minimize expenses. It is therefore important to develop and maintain up-to-date statistics by aircraft type (from a Fuel Management Information System) on the amount of fuel consumed above the planned fuel burn for each route and aircraft type. Several factors will impact a flight’s fuel burn, including the time of day, day of the week, seasons, runway configuration, training, etc. The idea is to acquire data from which discretionary fuel can be better optimized on a specific route. Used in conjunction with other information such as Airport Traffic Demand charts and graphical traffic display, traffic advisories from ATC units, and weather information, fuel can be optimized accurately resulting in minimum cost and improved safety, because it will also decrease the chances of unplanned diversions. Experience has demonstrated that without proper statistics, an average of 2 to 3 times the amount of discretionary fuel was carried compared to the amount determined from statistical information. A confidence factor covering 99% of the flights will demonstrate that in most cases, no additional fuel above regulated contingency fuel is required. Flight statistics help increase the flight crew’s confidence level of the flight planning system and will reduce their tendency of ad hoc fuel boarding.


One of the most important aspects of fuel optimization is the alternate selection process. With today’s modern aircraft and advanced approach aids at modern airports, diversions are a rare event. The weather requirements for an alternate are very conservative and have not changed in


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
recent years in spite of the significant advances in aircraft navigation and landing systems, improved weather reporting including satellite and radar imaging and improved airport ground systems technology. The primary reasons for diversions are equally divided between medical emergencies, maintenance or weather. Most diversions are not to the planned alternate. There are several reasons why the selection of alternate airports is not fully optimized. Many airlines have not carefully analyzed the best and most efficient alternate for each destination. Many alternate airports are selected because of a dispatcher’s familiarity with that airport or with the services available in case of diversion, or for personal preferences, etc. Many times a long alternate is selected with the full knowledge that if a flight diverts, it will divert to an airport other than the designated alternate airport. As for pilots, they might prefer a specific alternate because of comfort, familiarity, available charts, perceived traffic, ground servicing and communications after landing, etc. When an alternate is carried for regulatory reason such as international flights but the weather and traffic at destination are such that a diversion is very unlikely, the closest suitable alternate (the one that requires the least fuel) should be selected. In some cases, the use of re-dispatch or reclearance can be used where the alternate can be dropped once the flight is approaching its destination. On longer-range flights, not only is it expensive to carry a long alternate [from a fuel point of view], but payload can also be affected. Every ton of fuel not carried to destination can enable the boarding of additional 10 revenue passengers. As the risk of diversion increases, an important factor to consider when selecting the alternate is customer service and rerouting. Look for an alternate that will offer a quick a turn-around and a rapid return to normal operation, proximity to hotels and restaurants, customs and visa requirements, etc. Airlines should, subject to regulations, establish a clear policy that outlines the actions to take by the crew when the weather at destination or alternate airports deteriorates. The following scenarios could be considered: • If the weather at destination is above alternate weather limits and the weather at the designated alternate airport decreases unexpectedly below normal approach limits, the flight can continue at the captain’s discretion after verifying that the landing at destination can be assured and the no unreasonable traffic delays are expected. If the weather at destination is between normal approach and alternate weather limits, the weather at the alternate should remain at least above normal approach limits with no traffic delays expected. If the weather at destination decreases below normal CAT I ILS approach limits, then the weather at the designated alternate should remain above normal alternate limits.

Caution is required to ensure that a flight does not end up without options. Unless the landing can be safely assured at either the destination or the alternate airports with no anticipated ATC delays, an enroute landing should be considered. To improve the alternate selection process, consider the following steps: • • • • Designate a primary alternate at every destination Perform a detailed review of all possible alternates for each new destination List all the available alternates in order of fuel requirements for reference Ensure that the information regarding handling details, communications, approach charts, etc are readily available for the closest alternates


Flight Planning
• • Ascertain that both the crews and dispatchers are fully familiar the primary and closest alternates for each destinations Perform regular reviews to ensure adherence to the established alternate selection process by both pilots and dispatchers.


Re-Dispatch and Re-Clearance procedures offer significant potential savings. However, the ReDispatch technique is preferable because ATC clears the flight to destination from the onset and all the necessary fuel requirements are clearly established before flight departure. Re-Clearance, on the other hand, requires the flight to change destination while enroute, which is cumbersome. With accurate flight planning systems, most of the flight planned contingency fuels remain unused and the re-dispatched technique will bring large benefits in both fuel savings and payload optimization especially on long-range flights. Depending on an airline’s fuel policy, between 5 - 10% of contingency fuel is normally boarded. Since flight conditions can vary during flight and possibly the alternate airport is no longer required for arrival, re-dispatching the flight can prevent an enroute stop while carrying maximum payload.


Fuel tankering should be an integral part of the flight planning system. For ecological reasons, consider tankering only when there is a definite commercial benefit for the airline. Tankering is normally limited to short flights or for tactical reasons. Consider the full cost of carrying the additional fuel, including wear and tear on the aircraft. To avoid overweight landings, the planned landing weights must be monitored. Anticipate the possibility of last minute additional cargo, goshow passengers or changes in aircraft route scheduling. Also consider the departure and arrival runway conditions, the lower enroute altitudes that, in some cases, can limit the cruise altitude options to avoid turbulence or cause additional detouring around weather.


Carrying extra weight on board will result in additional fuel burn equivalent to about 4% per hour of the extra weight carried. This will vary depending on the aircraft type, the flight profile flown, etc. The best way to get an accurate measurement of the penalty associated with the additional weight carried is to compute the flight plan for different weight combinations. Here is a list of items which will result in significant additional fuel consumption when all added up. • • • • • • • • • • Old magazines and newspapers Galley containers, ovens, extra supplies Excess duty free material Extra water in the tanks not required for the flight Pillows and blankets Excessive crew baggage Extra airline magazines and publicity in seat pockets Infrequent toilet servicing Empty baggage and cargo containers Moisture accumulation in the aircraft insulation


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
• • • • Accumulated dirt every where in the aircraft Parts of the aircraft which can be replaced by lighter ones such as carpets, seats, fire extinguishers, tires, etc. Fuel tankering Over fueling

Aircraft servicing, caterers, In-Flight service and line maintenance personnel all have an important role to play to minimized excess weight on board aircraft.


An aircraft stability in flight is assured by maintaining the Center of Gravity forward of the Center of Lift. To do so will require that the tail plane produce downward lift which has to be compensated by the main wings. The further forward the Center of Gravity, the greater the downward lift required from the tail plane and the more the main wings have to compensate and therefore the greater the drag. There are obviously limits to the fore and aft loading of an airplane to retain a minimum stability in flight. Depending on the aircraft type, drag created by loading an aircraft to the maximum forward Center of Gravity can increase drag by up to 3% compared to loading the aircraft to the most rearward Center of Gravity where drag can be reduced by approximately 1.5% of nominal drag. Therefore properly managing the Center of Gravity can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency.


Most modern aircraft are equipped with different sophistication types of Flight Management Systems (FMS). Some will have fuel Cost Index [CI] optimization capabilities and extremely accurate time and fuel predictions. Others will have basic capabilities with no speed or CI optimization. Whatever system is available, crews should make maximum use of the FMS capabilities to monitor the operation and operate the flight as efficiently as possible. Like any computer, the quality of the information entered in the FMS will determine the accuracy of the system’s information and predictions. The present discussion will center on the more advanced FMS in an attempt to make the best use of their capabilities from a crew point of view. At the preflight programming level, the FMS will serve as an excellent means of performing a cross check of the flight plan time and fuel data. While many pilots have different methods of performing fuel checks during flight planning, many limitations exist. Fuel performance charts will only consider data provided by manufacturers and they have many limitations. Items such as aircraft specific airframe and engine in service deterioration, Cost Index, winds and temperatures at specific waypoints, last minute Zero Fuel Weight changes, etc. are not considered. Some crews will use an average burn figure per hour and will do a rough check based on the flight time, etc. The problem is that all the various methods are very approximate and basically are not precise methods of cross checking the accuracy of the flight plan. Accurate programming of the FMS for long-range flights is critical. For instance, a one-degree deviation in temperature will change the true airspeed by one knot. While that may not seem significant consider the following example. If the average temperature is 10 degrees above or below standard, on a 15 hour flight, it can cover a distance of ± 150 nautical miles and impact the Estimated Arrival Time by as much as ± 20 minutes. Insert the most accurate available information in the FMS. For instance, the departure runway, Standard Instrument Departure with appropriate transition, the planned route with the planned arrival procedure (STAR or FMS) and the planned runway should be inserted during preflight. It is critical to enter the winds and temperatures at each waypoint (ideally these should be downloaded directly from the flight planning system) as well as the altitude step-climbs (or descents) as these will be used by the FMS to further compute additional wind predictions and times. If the FMS optimum altitude predictions are to be used, the winds above and below the planned cruise flight level must also be inserted as these will be considered when determining if an altitude change is fuel efficient. The more advanced FMS will also consider the Cost Index selected to determine the optimum altitude. Once all of the available information has been inserted, the fuel and flight times should be accurate and any discrepancies should be reconciled before flight. The minimum Fuel over Destination (FOD), which should include the regulatory final holding fuel (30 or 45 minutes), plus the alternate fuel, should be subtracted from the planned FOD to determine the amount of discretionary fuel for the trip. Improperly programming the FMS may lead to crews wanting to add fuel to compensate for inaccuracies. This can be costly especially on long range flights where it can impact the payload. The in-service performance deterioration factor (drag factor) of a specific aircraft should be entered in the FMS for increased accuracy.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
On long flights, after several hours, more recent winds and temperatures should be updated. When the cruise altitude is different from flight plan, winds and temperatures for the new altitudes should be inserted. Once airborne, the FOD and ETA should be monitored continuously and cross-checked with the flight plan. Any differences should be reconciled. If a high Cost Index was planned for the flight and the FOD falls below the desired level, the CI should be reduced to ensure that adequate fuel is available on arrival. If the flight is held at a less than optimal altitude for some time, allow the FMS to compute the best Mach for that altitude to minimize the fuel burn. If the ETA varies from the normally scheduled arrival time, coordinate with Operations Control and Dispatch to adjust the ETA as discussed in the Mission Management section. The idea is to ensure that the most accurate information is inserted in the FMS to maximize it usefulness, improve safety while reducing cost.


While always keeping the comfort passengers in mind, efficient APU management can yield significant savings. Depending on the aircraft type, the cost of APU usage is about 30 to 50 times more expensive than the gate supplied electrical power. Not only does the APU consume a large amount of fuel and cause pollution, it also incurs high maintenance cost. The APU is often used to compensate for shortcomings in ground operation. Here is a list of reasons that lead to excessive use of APU: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Inadequate SOPs; Ground electrical power unavailable; Ground air conditioning or heating unavailable; Shortage of ground personnel to connect the ground support equipment; APU air conditioning provided to unattended airplanes; Aircraft abandoned with the APU running; APU operating overnight; Excessive aircraft towing using the APU; Aircraft plugged to ground electrical but APU still operating; Maintenance performed on the aircraft with the APU instead of ground power; Excessive charges for ground equipment or lack of an adequate servicing contract with ground handling agencies often encourages airlines to use the APU; Incompatible or unreliable gate power for certain aircraft types; Crews who have completed their flight leave the aircraft with the APU operating; Unnecessary operation of APU during taxi, takeoff and landing; APU operating in flight with unserviceable generator; and Lack of training and sensitization of personnel. When the APU is required, the load should be minimized by using pneumatics only when necessary. For certain APU types, the fuel consumption is reduced by as much as 35%.


Pre-Flight Procedures

If the APU is started when a flight arrives, and if the turn time for the airplane is more than one hour and is left unattended, consider de-powering the aircraft once the passengers have deplaned. Airlines should develop a system to track APU usage and correct any excessive usage.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Avoid starting engines at the gate because it will not only increase fuel consumption and pollution but it can also be hazardous for ground personnel. If a departure slot time would result in a long taxi time and if gate occupancy permits, consider delaying the pushback and absorbing some of the delay at the gate with the engine off. To minimize departure delays and ramp congestion, engine start-up and push-back procedures should be streamlined and coordinated. Inefficient procedures at busy airports can delay several other aircraft with engines operating. Once a ramp crew has pushed back an airplane, the ramp crew must disconnect the tow bar and communication cord as soon as possible. To minimize power requirements during initial roll out and minimize ground hazard, position the aircraft in the initial taxi out direction. An engine-out taxi procedure should be considered when: • • • Ramp and taxiway conditions permit The aircraft weight is below maximum landing weight The anticipated taxi time and specific aircraft system permits.

If a flight’s weight is light, and the flight crew chooses to taxi with all engines running, the crew may have to ride the brakes. This can cause excessive wear and heating of the brakes. Cold soaked engines might require longer warm up time. Engine out taxi requires slightly more anticipation compared to taxiing with all engines operating. Crews that never use engine out taxi procedures will consider them awkward while crews who consistently use them will consider them routine. Before using engine out procedures, airlines must ensure that the SOPs regarding engine out taxi are well established and crews properly trained. When unanticipated delays are encountered during taxi-out, consider engine out taxi or shutting down engines during extensive delays. On some engine types, the use of engine anti-ice on the ground will result in increased idle RPM and fuel consumption in addition to the possibility of foreign object damage. On slippery taxiways, it might be difficult to stop the aircraft with engines spooled up. Momentarily turning off engine anti-ice will facilitate stopping. In congested ramp areas, delay turning on engine anti-ice to prevent blasting due to spool up. If de-icing is to be performed at a centralized de-icing area and a long deicing is anticipated, consider to shutting engines down during de-icing.


Taxi speeds
A lot of time can be made up or lost while taxiing. In ideal conditions, the recommended taxi speeds should be around 10 knots for maneuvering and on straight taxiways; however, speeds up to 30 knots are acceptable. Flight crews must remember that fuel burn with engines that are idling on the ground equates approximately 25% of cruise power.


Choice of Departure Runway vs. Taxi times
At low-density airports, there might be a choice of departure runways. It is always difficult to establish a trade off point regarding the cost of taxiing versus air-time but here is a rule of thumb. Strictly based on fuel consumption, it might be worthwhile to taxi 4 minutes for every minute of airtime saved. For example, a flight departing in a direction 180 degrees from the intended flight course may need to travel an extra 15 miles in the air. This will have to be made up at cruise altitude at the cost of 2 minutes of air-time. In this case, it may be more cost efficient to taxi an


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
extra 6 to 8 minutes. There are other considerations however; if a flight is late with several connections and a short turn around on arrival and if the selection of a different runway can possibly result in additional ground delays, it might be worthwhile to use the most expeditious runway. Crew cost is another factor to consider.


Compared to full thrust, the use of reduced thrust will not reduce fuel consumption during takeoff. However, it will preserve engine life and reduce fuel consumption over time. The majority of engine wear will occur at higher temperatures. For instance, a 1% reduction from full take off thrust will result in a 10% saving in engine life. The first few degrees are the most damaging. Consistent use of reduced thrust will more than double engine life and prevent rapid performance deterioration. Reduced thrust is also important on the first flight of the day when the engine core is cold. When possible, avoid the use of engine anti-icing during takeoff as it will further increase the engine operating temperature (EGT). Avoid using full thrust at the first sign of a slight tail wind. When calculating the required takeoff power, consider the tail wind component. In most cases, it will require a decrease of a few degrees in the assumed temperature and will still permit some reduction from full thrust.


Note: The following departure procedures must be compatible with local noise abatement procedures. Speed and flap management on departure will greatly impact fuel consumption and flight time. Once the flight is airborne, the flaps and slats should be retracted as soon as possible. Although the flaps and slats increase lift, they also increase drag and therefore increase fuel consumption However, when departing in a direction opposite to the desired enroute course, there may be some advantages to maintaining the takeoff flap setting and trading speed for altitude until the aircraft reaches the initial altitude where a turn to the on-course can be initiated. This will minimize the distance away from the intended direction. It will also maintain a lower speed and allow for a faster turn rate to the on-course for a specific bank angle (when possible use bank angles of up to 30 degrees). When the flight is within 90 degrees from the intended course, flight crews should accelerate to normal climb speeds. If a flight is departing away from the intended course, and a turn cannot be initiated before a certain point from the departure course, then cleaning up the flaps and slats will improve departure efficiency. Speed should not be increased above minimum clean drag speed until the aircraft is within 90 degrees from the intended course.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Most efficient flight planning systems will consider all possible routes or portions thereof to determine the most efficient routing between the airport of origin and the destination including the planned departure runway and procedures, winds, temperatures at altitude, airways restrictions, NOTAMS, restricted areas, arrival procedures and expected landing runways, etc. The cost of airways and overflight charges must also be considered. The problem with many flight-planning systems is that the route analysis is based on a fixed Mach number analysis of minimum time tracks. That is very simplistic and the ultimate objective of the system should be to find a minimum cost route based on Cost Index, looking at the route possibilities vertically and laterally. Higher Cost Index values will tend to drive altitude selection to lower Flight Levels due to the higher True Air Speed values, assuming the system is optimizing based on Cost Index and not on simplistic parameters. Failure to monitor overflight charges can result in several thousands of dollars in additional costs. Crews should attempt to fly the planned track as closely as possible while taking some short direct routings to minimize large turns at waypoints. It is important to adhere to the general routing of the flight plan. When accepting a long direct routing, there is also the danger of crossing restricted or military areas and when in doubt, it is desirable to adhere to the planned routing. On long flights, there could be some value in reevaluating the routing because after several hours of flying, the wind forecast might have changed. Re-planning and re-filing the route after departure can be difficult for the crews. ATC services will generally not accept changes to the planned route from the ground when a flight is airborne. In some cases, if the actual winds turn out to be different than those forecasted - a rare case in today’s modern flight planning systems with accurate wind and temperature data - there might be some value in re-optimizing the whole flight plan and routing. The use of pre-determined routes and altitude capping should be avoided and the route optimized according to the flight conditions for the day of operation, unless required due to heavy traffic, specific local procedures, or restricted by a preferred ATC route system.


Planning the most efficient vertical profile offers great potential savings. An accurate flight planning system will produce the best vertical profile based on the wind field at each waypoint, the aircraft weight, temperatures and the flight specific Cost Index (assuming the airline is using the correct Cost Index values adapted to its cost structure and the flight planning system incorporates Cost Index values in its altitude selection process). Flight planning systems normally look at all available altitudes to achieve the minimum cost per ground mile. A properly optimized flight plan will provide the best altitude profile to be flown for the current mission conditions. This may include descents to lower altitudes to take advantage of better wind / TAS combinations. In the case of a flight being forced to deviate from its flight planned altitude profile, the wind values for the next usable flight levels above and below the planned altitudes should be available to assist the crew in making tactical decisions. If forced away from the planned altitudes, crews should attempt to return to the flight planned vertical profile as soon as the restrictions are cancelled. Use FMS suggested optimum altitudes with care. Unless the wind field (including winds above and below planned altitudes) and temperatures at the planned waypoints are accurately inserted into the FMS by either an automatic download or manually, the recommended FMS optimum altitude


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
will be incorrect. Some older FMS versions will recommend a flight level based on weight regardless of winds or Cost Index. In the case of older generation or regional aircraft without FMS altitude information available, the Aircraft Operating Manuals simply recommend altitudes normally based on weight for LRC speeds (no wind or Cost Index input). Performance advisory systems are available for non-FMS aircraft, which enable the use of Cost Index speeds and altitude optimization. These systems are available in either in a booklet format, electronically as part of the Electronic Flight Bag system (EFB), or in a stand-alone system. Ideally, the optimization from these systems should be integrated to the flight planning system for greater flight planning accuracy and optimization. Cost Index optimization will result in substantial fuel and time savings, while balancing the time and fuel costs for a specific airline cost structure. They would also permit the use of tactical Cost Indices for day-to-day operation to accelerate flights when adverse winds are impacting on the on-time performance or during delays when several passenger connections are affected. The use of lower Cost Index values should also be available to reduce speed for flights arriving early thereby reducing fuel consumption and minimizing the chances of gate holds and possibly ramp congestion. If a flight is restricted to a lower than planned altitude for a significant time period such as ocean crossings, allow the Cost Index to determine the best Mach for that altitude. This process may result in additional time costs; however, there will be significant fuel savings. In some extreme cases, it might even allow for the completion of the flight rather than diverting for fuel. If the actual aircraft weight differs significantly from the flight-planned weight, the best option is to re-compute the flight plan to achieve a better optimized vertical flight profile. On short flights, the most efficient vertical profile would be to continue climbing until intercepting the descent profile. However, this is not always practical. Most optimum altitude data for short flights will assume a minimum cruise time of 5 minutes. Total air distance should be considered when selecting the optimum altitude on short flights, including the departure and arrival runways and procedures.


In normal cruise conditions, FMS equipped aircraft should produce an optimized Mach number based on the selected Cost Index, the aircraft weight, altitude, temperature and wind conditions. The Cost Index should not be changed to control the Mach number. As the winds, weights and FL change, regardless of how well they match the flight plan, allow the FMS to compute the best Mach. The above assumes that the Cost Index selected is properly optimized for a specific airline’s cost structure. Manually overriding the FMS speed will normally result in a loss of efficiency either in time, fuel or both. Several aircraft types do not have FMS speed optimization. In this case, either a fixed Mach speed or Long Range Cruise (LRC) speed is typically used. LRC speed is equivalent to 99% of the Maximum Range Cruise (MRC) fuel burn but it does not account for the wind effect. Again, there are optimization systems, paper or electronic, which provide an optimized Mach and improve the cruise efficiency from about 3 to 7% depending on flight conditions and altitude. The Cost Index selected for a flight should be based on actual airline cost structure. It should also be route specific since the price of fuel will often vary at each origin airport. However, the use of “non standard” Cost Index values can be used if the flight conditions for that day are different than the average. Higher head winds, last minute delays, curfews, slot times, gate constraints, downline impact of on subsequent flight, etc. can increase a delay costs and the use of higher than normal Cost Index can be utilized to minimize the delay cost. On the other hand, for an early arrival


Cruise Management
situation, a lower than “standard” Cost Index can be used to reduce the speed of an early flight. This will save fuel and prevent possible gate holds, ramp congestion, and additional ground staff costs. While the cost of fuel should be minimized, other costs must be considered when selecting a specific mission Cost Index. Post departure re-optimization of the flight speed profile should be considered to reduce other time related costs.


Cost Index is the ratio of the cost of time over the cost of fuel. When entered into the FMS, it optimizes the flight profile to balance the cost of time (crews, aircraft time based maintenance, etc) against the cost of fuel. For instance, if time is not a factor (Cost Index= “0”), the use of cost index 0 would optimize the flight for minimum fuel burn taking into consideration the aircraft weight, altitude, temperature and wind conditions. If time is critical and the flight must be conducted at minimum time, then Cost Index 999 (or the maximum for a particular aircraft type) would yield the minimum time flight but at the expense of significant increase in fuel consumption. Note carefully that in an optimal system that is not simply a case of “going fast”. Rather, it is a complex optimization of the winds at different flight levels with the TAS values at those levels (and if in the flight planning system, also considers the routes) to produce a true minimum flight time scenario, but at a minimum possible burn for that flight time. That is why Cost Index is used - the result is an optimal solution; minimum possible burn for the flight time, or minimum flight time for the burn. Cost Index “0” should seldom be used because cost of time is usually a factor. A tactical exception would be an in-flight delay, such as a hold. In that case, use of Cost Index zero (or even slower) will be appropriate. Cost Index values at the maximum limit are also used less frequently, however, if circumstances support the cost of the fuel, then it is worth the extra fuel burn for the flight time savings. Airline that maximize the use of Cost Index will conduct a study of all time related costs and determine the best default Cost Index for day-to-day operation. Since the cost of fuel differs from airport to airport, the default Cost Index should be route specific. Because the flight schedule will subsequently have an impact on the speed at which flights are operated on the day of flight, the scheduled flight times should be based on speeds derived from the route specific default Cost Index. It is very important that airlines spend the time and effort to properly determine the most cost efficient value to minimize overall cost. There are, however, other time related costs that occur during the day-to-day operation that would justify not using default Cost Index. Stronger than usual headwinds or a last minute delay can affect several connecting passengers, impact subsequent flights with short turn around times, miss a curfew or a slot time, create gate occupancy conflicts, crew legalities or connections. As can be seen, the cost of time can vary and the use of other than default Cost Index values will help minimize the time related costs even though additional fuel could be consumed in the process. Flight crews are normally in a difficult position to decide on the most appropriate Cost Index for the flight. Flight dispatch or Operations Control must proactively plan and monitor of the flight progress. Finally, whatever airlines decide to do, they must ensure that all processes are well defined, managed and fully integrated. Furthermore, the value of effective training cannot be overemphasized. These processes can be somewhat counterintuitive and compliance will be somewhat proportional to understanding. The benefits of a well thought out performance optimization program are significant.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


A properly planned and executed descent offers the greatest opportunity for fuel savings. The ideal profile is an uninterrupted descent from cruise altitude without the use of thrust or speed brakes until reaching the final approach stabilization altitude. Adhere as closely as possible to the computed descent speeds and monitor the decent profile to determine as early as possible if adjustments are required. If above profile, correct by increasing speed rather than using speed brakes. If below profile, correct by reducing descent speed slightly to regain profile or make power adjustments for profile correction as high as possible.


FMS Descent Profile
FMS systems can compute accurate and efficient descent profiles. Except for tactical reasons, do not intervene by descending early or late, or otherwise by modifying speeds and descent rates. In the final approach area, avoid taking flaps early and use the minimum drag speeds when conditions permit. The need to intervene may be necessary in certain situations but unless the profile is modified by ATC, it should be flown as planned. When possible, allow the technology to do what it was designed to accomplish. To be accurate and efficient, the FMS should be allowed to manage the descent profile, The number one rule in programming the FMS is to enter the approximate descent and approach pattern which will most likely to be flown, especially the first altitude restriction to be met. Otherwise, the top of descent point computed by the FMS profile will be erroneous and the aircraft’s energy state in the terminal area will be incorrect. Energy management is of the utmost importance during the descent profile and the approach. Failure to properly program the FMS will undermine the crew’s confidence in the system and may lead to a destabilized approach by placing the aircraft too high on close final. Monitoring the previous traffic clearances may provide some clues to the restrictions that can be anticipated.


Energy Management and Trade off
The FMS is continuously working toward the next altitude and/or speed restriction. The crew should always have an ultimate target in mind (such as turning base at 4,000 feet AGL and 210 knots) during the descent profile to be exactly as planned for the final approach. Properly programming the FMS ensures the maximum benefit from its capabilities. During descent and approach, unless specific speeds are assigned, the crews should attempt to use speeds that are most convenient and economical, continuously trading speed for altitude or vice versa when required. Energy management and trade off should always be kept in mind. On descent, if the flight encounters a temporary altitude restriction that takes the aircraft high on the profile, the speed, unless a hard speed is assigned by ATC, should be reduced as much as possible down to minimum drag clean speed if necessary. Then the speed can subsequently be increased back to normal descent or higher speed if required to regain the descent profile.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Distance, speed and altitude trade off
Generally, the following rules can be used for a quick calculation between distance, speed and altitude trade-off: • • • An aircraft in clean configuration and at idle power will decelerate 10 knots per nautical mile when in level flight. i.e. 60 knots speed loss will require about 6 NM In a clean configuration and at idle power, an aircraft will descend 1,000 feet per 3 NM A flight that has decelerated 60 knots when in level flight and subsequently regains initial speed will lose 2,000 feet (1,000 feet per 30 knots) during acceleration to previous speed.

For example, flights arriving downwind from the landing runway could most likely receive an altitude restriction to cross downwind from the airport at about 6,000 feet. If any kind of tailwind exists on the downwind leg or if a Visual Approach is expected, the flight, from an energy standpoint flying at 6,000 feet and at 250 knots, for certain aircraft types (B767, A320) would be high on the profile and need extra drag to complete the approach. If the speed abeam the airport while at 6,000 feet is reduced to 190 knots instead of 250 knots, the aircraft’s energy level would be equivalent to that of crossing the abeam point at 250 knots but at 4,000 feet. At 190 knots, 9 NM would be required to descend from 6,000 feet to 3,000 feet and this would place the aircraft in a good position for an energy efficient approach when turning on final. Otherwise, the need to reduce speed from 250 knots to 190 knots and descend at the same time would make the aircraft too energy rich and would require the use of speed brakes. Closely monitor the energy level of the flight and make the appropriate adjustments to avoid continuous alternating use of thrust and speed brakes during descent and approach.


Descent Profile Wind Corrections
A clear understanding of the FMS Vertical Navigation (VNAV) capabilities will permit the crews to establish a much improved descent profile. For a more accurate FMS computation of the descent profile, insert the descent winds. If the descent winds are not entered in the FMS, a wind profile will be built assuming a constant decreasing wind speed from the cruise level down to the airport altitude. On some aircraft, the computed descent winds at each waypoint can be seen on the flight plan page and can be compared to the forecast winds. If they are found to be significantly different, then the forecasted winds should be updated in the FMS. Chances are that the descent winds will vary from the assumed wind profile built by the FMS. If the winds are noticeably different than those computed by the FMS, like in the case of a jet stream or increasing winds after the descent is initiated, the pilot can, re-select the Direct To function to the active waypoint after the winds stabilize. This allows the FMS to recalculate a new wind profile and descent vertical flight path using actual winds from the present altitude and will create a new possibly more accurate descent profile. It is important to take corrective action as high as possible to allow sufficient time for the extra energy to be burnt off with additional speed in case of an increasing tailwind or to regain the proper profile as high as possible with increased thrust when in an increasing headwind.




Landing Weight
Higher landing weights will increase the descent distance for the same descent speed since it takes longer to dissipate greater potential energy. However, if the descent speed is increased, then the additional energy will be absorbed by the increased drag and the descent angle will then be increased. For instance, competition gliders will carry water ballast to increase speed while maintaining the best angle of attack. Some modern FMS systems will vary the descent speed in accordance with landing weight. Other optimization systems will account for the landing weight while computing the descent profile.


Engine Anti-Ice
On some aircraft types (Airbus 330, Boeing 767, etc.), the engines will automatically spool up upon selection of engine anti-ice. In some cases, this can force the aircraft above the computed descent profile as the increased speeds might not be sufficient to absorb the extra energy. When engine icing is anticipated, for the aircraft which do not account for the use of engine ice on descent, plan a lower than desired descent speed in the FMS for profile computation purposes. The increased speed resulting from the use of engine anti-ice will bring the descent speed closer to the desired descent speed. If the flight is on profile when the engine anti-ice is selected, attempt to increase speed rather than using speed brakes to absorb the extra energy.


ATC Restrictions
When on descent profile, if the descent is interrupted temporarily forcing the aircraft above profile, slow down as much as possible while in level flight and then trade the surplus altitude to subsequently regain the descent speed and profile. This minimizes the chances of subsequent use of speed brakes. This could be subject to ATC restrictions depending on circumstances.


Penalties for Early/Late Descent
Profiles that commence too early or too late cause a significant increase in fuel usage. If one is to err, it is better to be slightly early on descent rather than late. If one starts down early, the opportunity of regaining the optimum profile is available and it should be done as high as possible. If the descent is started too late, then the fuel has already been consumed by remaining at altitude and it can never be recovered since the extra energy must now be dissipated with increased drag. Ideally, the descent profile should be planned correctly. Some crews tend to always undershoot target altitudes for comfort. Appropriate programming of the Flight Management Systems should enable the aircraft to accurately be on profile. Note: There is obviously a greater use of speed brakes for crews who are new on an aircraft type or have less experience on heavy jets but speed brakes should not be a substitute for adequate descent profile management and overall planning. The goal is to reach the initial approach point at the right altitude and the correct speed without the use of speed brakes or power. Ideally, the descent should be uninterrupted.


Refer to chapter 7.1 for a more detailed description of descent profile planning. For non-FMS aircraft, decent planning requires the pilot to pro-actively accomplish a descent without using engine thrust or speed brakes until final approach. As in the case of FMS aircraft, it is necessary to work towards the next altitude and/or speed restriction while continuously monitoring and applying


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
corrective actions early in the descent. If the flight is high on profile, excess altitude needs to be consumed preferably by increasing the descent speed rather than using speed brakes. It is assumed that crews will fly at the most efficient descent speeds unless a restriction is given by ATC. Ideally, when a flight is approximately 30 miles away from the destination, the aircraft should be at 10,000 feet and 250 knots. However, depending on the glide ratio, some aircraft might need additional distance to slow down from 250 knots to minimum drag clean speed and reach 3,000 feet at about 10 miles on final approach. At descent speeds of approximately 280 knots, a distance of three miles per thousand feet of altitude lost from cruise altitude to 10,000 feet should be a reasonable initial estimate. So, a descent from 35,000 feet to 10,000 feet would normally require about 75 nautical miles. However, a correction should be applied for the wind component. Assuming a normal descent wind profile, a correction of 15% of the top of descent wind component should be added to the descent distance to 10,000 feet for a tailwind or subtracted for a headwind. If the aircraft is flying at a fixed descent speed, some distance correction also needs to be applied for the landing weight. When the flight is close to maximum landing weight, an additional 5-mile correction should be added to the descent distance. When the flight is at low landing weights, a 5-mile correction should be subtracted from the computed descent distance. If the descent is interrupted temporarily due to an ATC altitude restriction, it is important to reduce speed all the way to the minimum drag clean speed if required and subsequently regain the descent profile vertical flight path by accelerating back to the normal or higher descent speed. It is cheaper to initiate a descent slightly early than late. It is always possible to reestablish the proper profile by making an early correction to the descent profile at a high altitude. If the descent is started late and the higher descent speed cannot burn the excess energy, then the energy has already been consumed at altitude and the speed brakes will most likely be required during descent. Precise descent profile computation and management presents the greatest opportunity for fuel savings. In addition, it will ensure that the aircraft arrives at the proper altitude and speed at the initial approach point thereby blending nicely into a stabilized and safe approach.


The most fuel-efficient arrival allows the descent profile to flow unrestricted into final approach without the use of engines thrust or speed brakes. The following should be considered: • Since normally the descent speed below 10,000 feet is limited to 250 kts, that speed should be maintained until ready to reduce speed to the minimum drag clean speed in preparation for the approach phase. When feasible, use or request speed vectors to prevent excessive distance travel to establish the aircraft on final approach. This will often require some initiative by the crew. Remember that most aircraft have a significant speed margin of almost 150 knots between VMO and clean maneuvering speed during the descent phase. Keep the aircraft clean! Flaps and slats are not designed as drag devices for slowing down but to produce lift. In the process, there is a significant drag increase. Continuous extension of flap at near limiting speeds also increases the risk of component failure. Note that ATC might not always be aware of the clean maneuvering speed for your aircraft type. Often a word to them will save an unnecessary early flap extension. Don’t be afraid to retract the flaps should the approach be extended Request the arrival sequence number from the Approach Controller on initial contact. This makes it easier to estimate the distance to touch down. Decide how to manage the energy and whether to slow down early to minimum drag speed to prevent excessive downwind vectoring. Avoid dumping excess altitude too early or use of speed brakes to a cleared altitude and then having to add power to fly level at that cleared altitude for an extended period of time Unless assigned a hard speed by ATC or by a specific procedure, do not hesitate to use speed control to best advantage

• •


FMS Arrivals
Many airports use FMS arrivals. A well-designed FMS arrival should allow a flight to descend and maneuver with the engines at idle and the engines ‘spooling-up’ at the final approach fix, thus saving fuel.


Visual Approaches
Although ATC expects the FMS arrival to be flown as planned, it is sometimes possible to perform a Visual Approach from the downwind leg. A Visual Approach will save some additional fuel. Calculations indicate that in some cases, fuel savings associated with Visual Approaches equal a total of 2 minutes at idle power fuel flow (20 kg for the A320/B737). The distance traveled is reduced by approximately 3 miles for each of the downwind and final approach. The aircraft is assumed to roll out on final approach at approximately 2 miles back from the FAF when conducting a Visual Approach. The Visual Approach offers an opportunity to best optimize all of the above recommendations. During FMS approaches, which are designed for IFR conditions, the use of a Visual Approach will normally result in additional savings.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
8.1.3 Decelerated Approaches (Low Noise Low Drag)
Although this is an Airbus recommended procedure, it applies to most aircraft types. The Low Noise/Low Drag approach has been used to minimize noise in several countries for many years. The basic principles apply to other aircraft types with minor variations depending on specific characteristics. The advantages of the Decelerated Approach are as follows: • • • • Lower fuel consumption and emissions Lower noise levels Time savings Flexibility and ability to vary speed to suit ATC

Another advantage of using the Decelerated Approach is that it sets some clearly defined target altitudes and speeds to achieve during the approach. After a few approaches, it will result in improved standards because most approaches at various airports will be completed in an identical manner. Presently, many crews will start flap selection at a distance that varies from over 20 miles to less than 5 miles from touchdown with little consistency from one approach to another. In the case of the Decelerated Approach, the slats and flaps selections are mainly a function of altitude above the ground rather than a distance to the touch down point. This permits improved energy management during the approach. Using the Final Approach Fix (FAF) to establish the stabilization altitude will lead to inconsistencies as the FAF can be located at a distance which can vary greatly from the runway threshold. Basically, the aircraft is kept in a clean configuration with the speed reducing to minimum drag clean speed until base leg or prior to turning final at approximately 3,000 feet above ground. At that point, the initial slat selection is made and the speed adjusted to the slats only minimum drag speed. If the aircraft intercepts the glide slope above 3,000 feet, slats/flaps selections should be delayed until reaching that target altitude. The ability to maintain speed on the glide slope in a clean configuration will depend on the aircraft type, the landing weight and the wind component. If possible, use speed brakes to control speed rather than flap or gear extension to control speed. The next target is 2,000 feet AGL where the initial trailing flaps are selected (approximately 15 degrees depending on the aircraft type). This normally occurs just outside the Final Approach Fix and a gradual reduction toward the final approach speed is started. When the flaps have reached their intermediate position, the landing gear is lowered. The final landing flap selection is made to achieve approach stabilization by 1,000 feet AGL. Note that the flight should be configured at the approach speed by 1,000 feet AGL. If by 500 AGL, the flight is not fully stabilized, a Go-Around should be considered. Flight crews will quickly become familiar with the Decelerated Approach and significant fuel savings will result.


High Head Winds on Final will result in long final legs
When high winds (30 knots or more) are encountered on final approach, its effect on the intermediate approach pattern can be significant. Slower traffic will often cause the subsequent traffic to back up and will result in very long final approach legs at low speed in a high drag configuration.


Approach and Landing
When this is anticipated, subject to ATC restrictions, the crew should attempt slow down as soon as the situation is recognized (normally early downwind). All speeds above minimum drag clean speed should be traded for altitude even if that will make the flight appear high on final. The flights will likely end up on a long approach and the extra altitude can be used up once the flight is turned toward final. It is not difficult to eliminate excess altitude on final approach when headwinds winds are strong.

The idea is to reduce speed early, when possible, to minimize excessive downwind travel and getting into a high drag configuration while on the final approach in a strong headwind. This is extremely inefficient and will consume a significant amount of fuel during the final leg. Slowing down early will improve the possibilities of maintaining the aircraft in a clean configuration as long as possible once on final. At this point, the previous traffic would have had time to move forward. This should help position the flight for a low drag approach, which is even more critical in a high head wind situation.


Most airplanes are certified to land without using full landing flaps. Some aircraft types even have auto-land capability while using reduced flap settings. When conditions are appropriate, landing at less than full flap has some definite advantages. At the last flap setting more drag than lift is normally generated. Reduced flap landings will not only reduce fuel consumption but also decrease chemical and noise emissions. When landing an airplane with reduced flaps, fuel burn is reduced by approximately 25 kg in fuel on an A320/B737 landing and 50 kg for an A340/B777 size aircraft. Some of the factors to consider when performing a reduced flap landing include: • • • • The landing weight; The runway length; The runway exit point and occupancy time; The runway surface conditions;


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
• • Possible tail wind component on final approach; and Brake cooling during short turn around times

The average increase in speed for reduced flap is landing is approximately 5 knots and the extra landing distance around 500 feet. Several airlines have made reduced flap landing procedures a standard.


With the ever increasing price of fuel and environmental considerations, the use of idle engine reverse should be used whenever possible. The main advantages of using idle reverse on landing include: • • • • • • • • • • Reduction in fuel consumption; Reduction in environment emissions; Reduction in noise emissions; Better passenger comfort; Elimination of a high power cycle on the engines; Reduction of foreign object damage (FOD); Reduction in potential engine stall and re-ingestion; Increased engine reliability; Lower cooling time requirement before shutting engines down for engine-out taxi; and Slower engine performance deterioration.

Most modern aircraft now use carbon brakes. Brake wear is more a function of the number of applications rather than the amount of braking used. Carbon brakes can withstand higher temperatures without loss of efficiency or fading. In the case of an airplane equipped with autobrake capability, the braking selection will determine the rate of deceleration, and the stopping distance is generally identical to landing with full reverse thrust. When using idle reverse on landing, the following factors should be considered: • • • • • Runway length and aircraft landing weight; Tailwind on final approach; Runway surface condition; Touch down point; and Turn around time.

On long runways, idle reverse thrust can decelerate the aircraft sufficiently without using the brakes.


Under normal conditions, engine-out taxi-in should be a standard procedure. SOPs that are well designed encourage engine-out taxi with minimal work for the flight crew. When using the engineout taxi procedure, anticipation is important and the aircraft must be kept moving. Flight crews will require training and familiarization with engine-out taxi procedures. Crews familiar with engine-out


Approach and Landing
taxi-in procedures follow the procedure after almost every landing. The main advantages are the following: • • • • • • • Reduction in fuel consumption; Reduction in pollution; and Reduction in brake wear.

Consider the following before apply engine-out taxi-in procedures: Taxiway surface conditions; Taxi-in time; Ramp congestion; and Local airport regulations.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Based on an accurate airline cost structure, an optimized schedule takes into account efficient aircraft speeds. Airlines must use rationale business-based methodologies for establishing optimized Cost Index values (CI) for each aircraft type equipped with Flight Management Systems (FMS) or with other onboard systems capable of CI optimization. The CI should reflect a balance between the fuel cost and other time-based costs specific for the airline and, when the business processes support it, the specific flight based costs. Since the price of fuel is normally different at each departure airport, the specific flight CI should reflect the price differential. Cost Index is a function of time cost over fuel cost. Flying with a high CI will increase aircraft speeds and may result in flying at lower altitudes, depending on conditions. The increased fuel costs are offset by a reduction flight time related costs. A low CI increases the flight time costs, and results in flying at higher altitudes, however it consumes less fuel. For example, a B767 using a very high CI (inappropriately high for the actual corporate time costs in this example) on a 6-hour flight might result in the flight burning 3 tons of additional fuel (US$1500) relative to a flight plan at the correct Cost Index. The time saved at the high Cost Index could be, for this example, 20 minutes flight time worth US$1,000 (1/3 of $3,000 / hour time cost for rental, maintenance, crew, etc.). It would result in a US$500 loss for that flight due to the high cost of fuel compared to value of extra time saved. Using a much-reduced CI, (compared to the hypothetically correct for the airline’s actual cost structure), the operator could reduce the fuel burn by $1,000 but increase the flight time by 15 minutes ($750) thereby reducing the total flight cost by $250. One might want to consider the fact that additional fuel burn in some cases might be cost effective when dealing with of late or oversked flights with numerous connections, curfew or slot restrictions, and impact of the delay on subsequent flights, etc.

9.2 9.2.1

The impact of Air Traffic Control on fuel consumption is covered elsewhere. However the following can have a marked effect on fuel consumption:

• • • • • • •

Excessive Government regulations; Poor ATC route structure; Excessive ATC restrictions for no specific reason or for ATC controllers’ convenience; Lack of sufficient ATC staffing; Poor equipment; Inflexible noise abatement procedures; and Inadequate communications.


Pilot Technique
Through analysis of Fuel Management Information systems, which accurately captures achieved flight performance, it can be demonstrated that the fuel performance of various crews can vary on


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
average from plus or minus 2.5% from planned fuel burns. This can be even more pronounced on short-range flights where a significant portion of the flight is spent maneuvering. Proper training, emphasis on fuel economy, adequate SOPs, proper management leadership and accountability will greatly impact fuel performance. It may be possible to save at least 1% to 2% in fuel consumption if the crews consistently apply all the following fuel saving procedures: • • • • • • • • • • • • APU management; Efficient start up and taxi speeds; Engine-out taxi out; Departure runway selection if possible; Speed control and altitude trade off on departure; Post departure flight profile optimization; Cruise altitude and speed management process; Descent profile planning and management; Low noise low drag approaches procedures; Reduced flap landing; Idle engine reverse on landing; Engine-out taxi in.


Cost Index Flying
Cost Index optimization should be the basis for the optimization of all airline flight operations. The reason is simple; optimal profiles burn the least amount of fuel for a given flight time or, conversely, they have the shortest flight time for a given amount of fuel burn. The best way to plan and fly “optimal” profiles is to use a Cost Index optimization system, both at the flight planning stage and for real time flight management in the cockpit. Airlines that make proper use of Cost Index optimization at the flight planning stage, and on a day-of-flight basis, will achieve the greatest savings. With any optimization system, the system optimizes to a target parameter; in this case, the Cost Index. So, it is obvious that the Cost Index, which is a ratio of the true time cost per minute to the actual fuel cost, must be selected correctly. Since fuel costs, and in some cases, time costs vary with the route, the Cost Index should be route specific. Once an airline has made the internal effort to analyze their incremental time costs, then the Cost Index for each route should be the basis for their schedule construction and day-to-day operations. The potential savings from Cost Index flying vary based on many factors. However, total overall cost savings of approximately 3% - 5% is not unrealistic, especially given current very high fuel costs and the fact that most non-Cost Index flight profiles are rather aggressive and not particularly fuel conservative. When circumstances in the day-to-day operation would result in a flight arriving significantly later than scheduled, (to the point where connections, curfews, etc. would be jeopardized) then it may be appropriate to use a higher Cost Index value to achieve a required target arrival time to minimize these costs. It will result in significant additional savings. The importance of using Cost Index to achieve these accelerated profiles, rather than just “going fast”, is again related to the fact that these profiles are optimal. This results in the achieved flight time being the shortest, and the least amount of fuel-burn the least possible using Cost Index. In


Mission Management
the case of misconnection related costs, these can be very significant and in many cases, can be mitigated by the proper use of accelerated Cost Index profiles. No other method of flying - including fixed Mach, multiple fixed Mach, Long-Range Cruise - will result in optimal profile solutions. Furthermore, these basic profiles also use simplistic altitude selection methods. However, altitude is a critical component of the profile. Cost Index solutions solve both the altitude and Mach number. By using Cost Index profiles significant cost savings will result because of a more efficient overall operation, based on both fuel and time based savings.


Accurate Flight Planning
Airlines can save millions of dollars with the right guidance on cost management, an accurate flight planning system, and properly trained dispatchers. Optimizing each flight and avoiding predetermined routes or unnecessary altitude capping will save a significant amount of fuel. An adequate flight planning system will: • • • • Optimize the route laterally, Vertically based on Cost Index, Look at the enroute navigation fees, ETA (connections) Will assess all possible combinations to come up with the minimum cost (fuel and time) for a specific flight.

Savings in excess on 1% to 2% are not unreasonable.


Using Statistics for Fuel Optimization
Fuel in excess of minimum regulations should be planned carefully. The availability of statistics on the additional fuel consumed above the flight plan burn on a specific city pair based on time of day, day of the week, season, etc will yield valuable information to both the dispatchers and crews. The information will help them determine the right amount of fuel for the flight. In general, crews are in a difficult position to assess the correct amount of fuel required for a flight because of a lack of information on the actual traffic, the available time to flight plan, aircraft turn around times, ATS special advisories, frequency of flying that route, wanting comfort fuel, and lack of adequate statistics, etc. Almost invariably, the fuel added by crews without coordination with the dispatcher remains unused. Boarding additional fuel based on adequate statistics will reduce fuel burn from 0.5% to 1%.


Alternate Selection
Diversions for modern aircraft flying to airports with sophisticated ground equipment are a rare occurrence. On average, diversions will occur about one in a thousand flights. Normally, most of the diversions are not weather related but are about one third for mechanical reasons, one third for medical reasons and the rest for weather. Most of the weather related diversions were most likely anticipated based on the forecast. It is therefore important to select the most efficient alternate based on circumstances. This is assuming that a no-alternate IFR flight is not possible. Many factors can affect the alternate selection. Airlines should systematically review the availability of the closest alternate for each destination. If the chance of diversion is very small, then select the closest alternate based on realistic distance to travel as per the anticipated ATC routing. When the chance of diversion increases, a more appropriate alternate should be planned taking into consideration all factors that can minimize the impact on the operation (see the alternate selection chapter for more details). An efficient alternate selection process can yield savings of 0.5% to1% in fuel not considering its impact on payload and other costs.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
9.2.7 Aircraft Fuel Burn Management
As aircraft are put into operation, each airplane develops its own burn characteristics. If we compare a new airplane to one which is the same model and that has been in operation for a few years, you may see a difference in the fuel burn in excess of 5%. Accurately tracking each aircraft and adjusting flight plan fuel burns will reduce the carriage of unnecessary fuel. This is particularly critical for long-range airplanes. The failure to properly manage specific aircraft fuel burns will lead flight crews to develop their own system and add fuel on just about every flight. This lack of confidence in the planning system will be very costly and can lead to an increase fuel cost in the order of 0.5% to 1%.


Depending on circumstances, the potential savings from tankering will vary between airlines. An adequate tankering process will yield significant savings. Proper fuel supply management will prevent tactical tankering, which is normally costly (see the Tankering section for more details). An efficient tankering program should save airlines between 0.5% to 1% and more in fuel cost.


Zero Fuel Weight Management
Proper estimation of the Zero Fuel weight is critical because it will decrease the carriage of unnecessary fuel or prevents a possible last minute delay for additional fuel. It will also have a significant impact on the flight profile. Again, poor EZFW predictions will undermine the confidence in the flight planning system and lead to the tendency to load additional fuel to compensate for inaccuracies. Savings in the order of 0.5% to 1% are possible.


Center of Gravity Management
Flying with an aircraft loaded to the most forward Center of Gravity will consume approximately 3% more fuel above baseline Center of Gravity loading while flying with the most rearward Center of Gravity will reduce fuel consumption by as much as 1.5% depending on the aircraft type. Overall, properly managing the Center of Gravity will easily yield saving in the order of 1% to 2% during line operation.


Aircraft maintenance impacts the efficiency of an aircraft. Engine washes, flight control rigging, airframe buffing, paint condition, engine overhaul, door seals, protruding controls, spoilers, doors, etc contribute to the reduction of an airplane’s fuel efficiency. With improved maintenance, approximately 1% – 2 % in fuel savings can be realized. Refer to section 10 for more details.


Others savings
Other savings related to ETA management, over fuelling, APU handling by ground and maintenance staff can bring additional savings.


Total potential savings
Depending on the present efficiency status, airlines that proactively manage fuel initiatives, and develop sensitization, training and incentive programs have a potential fuel savings of 9% to 17%. Airlines will yield great benefits with minimum investment if they review their fuel management procedures, identifying all the areas of potential savings and update their SOPs and training programs. The leadership has to come from upper management and people have to be made accountable especially Flight Operations managers.


Mission Management
9.3 9.3.1 MISSION MANAGEMENT The schedule
Approximately 50% of an overall airline budget is consumed by actually flying aircraft. Managers often assume that this is just the cost of doing business when effectively there are many opportunities to improve efficiency. An airline schedule will have a significant impact on efficiency. As discussed earlier, developing a schedule based on speeds resulting from the proper use of Cost Index optimization adjusted to the airline Real costs (fuel and time) is essential to achieving efficiency. The schedule will not only determine the way flights are subsequently operated to maintain On-Time Performance (OTP) but it will have a significant impact on the cost of operating a flight (fuel prices, crews, fleet planning and aircraft utilization, maintenance, connections, and so on). Therefore, assuming that the schedule is properly built, the next challenge is how to manage a mission to minimize overall airline costs. The importance of accurate flight planning including the proper use of Cost Index, alternate selection, discretionary fuel addition based on appropriate risk management, tankering, etc, are discussed in other sections.


On-Time performance
Not only is On-Time Performance critical to customer satisfaction but operating on-time will minimize disruption costs. While departing on time is very important, arriving on schedule is even more critical. If a flight is planned with a forecast late arrival, then an analysis of the late arrival costs should be made to determine whether or not the time should be recovered in flight, based on an analysis of the cost of the late arrival. Even early flights can increase cost, as they could have been operated at a lower Cost Index thus reducing fuel consumption. In addition, early arriving flights have other costs such as gate holds and utilization, ramp congestion, additional ground staff, and so on. Late arriving flights on the other hand will not only incur the above mentioned costs but can have a serious impact on passenger and baggage connections, curfews or slot times. The real cost of misconnections is most difficult to assess and will depend greatly on circumstances. If a passenger misses his connection but is accommodated on an early connecting flight with empty seats - assuming of course that passenger did not have serious time constraints on arrival - then the impact of a delay can be minimal. But if the passenger misses an important connection, which negates the whole purpose of his trip, the consequences can be serious. In addition, when the passenger needs to be protected on another airline, most of the ticket revenue can be lost. Finally, the loss of “value passenger” goodwill is hard to measure but may result in the passenger selecting other airlines for future travel. Late flights will also impact baggage connections, which can be a serious irritant for passengers. Some airlines spend millions of dollars delivering baggage to irate passengers every year. Late flights can have repercussions on numerous subsequent flights throughout the day and the cost of a late flight can rapidly multiply several times. It is therefore of utmost importance to develop an On-Time Performance culture not only for flight crews - but for every staff member, including passenger agents, servicing crews, maintenance, and gate planners, who can all influence the OTP. Staff has to be sensitized that there are great costs associated with any delay at all.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
9.3.3 Managing the mission
The tactical use of Cost Index will play an important part on fuel consumption. Speeding up flights should not be a substitute for good ground handling practices or on-time departures. However, if on the day of operation, the winds are stronger than usual - and this will result in a flight arriving late with all the associated costs of a delay - or when a delay is anticipated and there is enough time to plan or re-compute the flight plan, it might be better to speed up the flight (higher Cost Index) when the cost of the additional fuel is less than the anticipated delay costs. It is not always possible to increase the Cost Index sufficiently to compensate for the whole delay but its impact could be mitigated. A close look at the connection distribution might yield a target arrival time that is achievable and results in the minimum cost of operation. This would normally be done at the planning level using proper cost analysis tools. There is no point speeding up a flight where there is no commercial value in doing so. One problem is when a flight encounters a last minute delay and the decision must be taken to minimize the disruption cost. Crews are normally not in a position to be able to assess such a situation although providing crews with a list of connections will certainly raise awareness on their part. The idea is to have the airline’s Operations Control department perform an assessment and determine the course of action that will best minimize the cost of a delay. Some connecting flights might also be delayed and therefore there is no value in speeding up a flight to make those connections. Some other connecting passengers could easily be accommodated on a later flight at minimal cost. The idea is that each situation is different and must be analyzed according to circumstances and on its own merit. The need for effective and timely coordination and communication capability between Operations Control, Dispatch and station control and flight crews cannot be overstated. The question is whether there will be additional fuel on board to accelerate a flight in the event of a last minute delay. Airlines are normally aware of flights that have critical connections. They are also aware that some of these high commercial value flights are likely to experience last minute delays. On those specific flights, extra fuel should be boarded in spite of the additional cost of carrying the acceleration fuel. It is equivalent to buying an insurance policy. It could also in certain circumstances prevent a diversion of a very high commercial value flight in case of a last minute hold on arrival. The question is how much additional fuel to carry. If a flight is already accelerated because of adverse winds or for some other reasons, there is no point carrying additional fuel as it cannot be used for acceleration purposes. There is also a limit as to how fast a flight should be accelerated. Airline policy should determine a maximum Cost Index beyond which excessive fuel is consumed for little time gain. An adequate flight planning system should permit the calculation of all costs associated with a specific flight plan including the available flight time flexibility. If the payload is affected by the carriage of additional fuel, a cost analysis should determine whether to protect the payload or the connections.


The flight crews
Flight crews can play a major role in managing the flight. Being proactive to insure that flights depart on time is important. It is important to arrive early to the aircraft so that crews can ensure that there are no mechanical problems or Minimum Equipment


Mission Management
List [MEL] tasks to be performed, and brief the cabin crew on the need to be ready for on on-time departure. The flight plan package should include a list of connections with the connecting flights and departure times. While Operations Control and Dispatch have numerous flights to handle, crews only manage one flight at a time. They are often aware of problems before other departments. It is important to communicate and coordinate any change of situation as soon as possible. Start up and ramp departure procedures should be efficient. Some airlines have long and cumbersome starting procedures that they block the ramp for 15 minutes or more, causing a tie up for several other flights. Taxi speed should be reasonable. Valuable time can be lost by excessively slow taxi speeds. Crews that are consistently over schedule are probably loosing the best part of the block time during taxi. Airline contracts often have the strange characteristic of rewarding crews that are arriving late (schedule growth) often for no identifiable reasons. Once the flight is airborne, the arrival time can be estimated fairly accurately. If it is determined that the flight will be late at planned speeds, the crew should advise Operations Control or Dispatch of the forecast arrival time and a cost analysis of the late arrival should be performed. If it is decided that the flight should be accelerated, a new optimized flight plan should be computed with a new profile and Cost Index, depending on the fuel available. It is critical for the crew to update the Estimated Arrival Time (ETA) as soon as possible to facilitate the ground coordination such as gate planning, meeting the flight by ground crews, passenger agents to assist with tight connections and rearrange missed connections. An accurate ETA might also allow Operations Control to delay some connecting flights and subsequently accelerate these flights keeping service to customers in mind while minimizing operating costs.


The Cost Index (CI) is a ratio between the costs of time versus the cost of fuel. Ideally, an airline should balance all its operating costs. For instance, operating at very high relative Mach will increase the fuel cost but the time cost is lower and conversely, at lower Mach, the fuel cost is reduced but time cost increases. So how are these costs balanced? On-board Flight Management Systems or other flight profile optimizing systems can calculate the Mach number and altitude to balance the time cost with the fuel cost once the time versus fuel costs ratio (Cost Index) is known. This is why establishing a proper Cost Index for each aircraft type for a specific airline cost is critical. How can this be done? By determining the various time and fuel costs, it is possible to determine the most efficient CI for a specific aircraft type based on the airline’s cost structure. Let’s try an example using metric Cost Index units for an A320: Cost Index = Time Cost / Fuel cost The time costs include any item where the flight time has a direct impact on cost such as crew cost, incremental maintenance costs, etc. It is normally expressed in $/min. e.g.: • • • Crew cost $ 7/min

Incremental maintenance $15/min Total time cost $22/min


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
The cost of fuel is expressed in $/Kg e.g.: $0.60/kg So the Cost Index should be $22/min divided by $0.60/Kg = a CI of 37 As can be seen, airlines that have low time cost structure and high fuel prices should operate at low CI and consequently lower speeds and visa versa. Since the price of fuel is different at every airport, it would be reasonable to adjust the CI to be route specific.


A well-structured Fuel MI enables airlines to track accurately all aspects of fuel usage. It should compare flight-planning information with actual flight data for analysis. A well-structured Fuel MI system should enable the monitoring and analysis of the following areas:


Monitoring the accuracy of the flight planning system
The Fuel MI should include sufficient data to monitor the accuracy and integrity of the flight planning system. Confidence in the accuracy of the flight planning system will go a long way to reduce unnecessary fuel additives.


Tracking of each aircraft fuel burn accurately
Flight planning systems normally use a performance correction factor to match the system with the individual aircraft performance. The ability to track each aircraft accurately is of the utmost importance particularly for long-range flights. In the case where 100 tons of fuel is consumed during a long-range flight, a 1% error in planned fuel burn performance can result in the carriage of one ton of unnecessary fuel. This could also affect as many as 10 passengers or reduce cargo by one ton. In some cases, it could force an enroute fuel landing or arriving at destination with less than regulation fuel. Precisely tracking and managing an aircraft’s specific fuel-burn is critical. It will prevent flight crews from making their own subjective burn corrections, if they have no confidence in the accuracy of flight planning system. Note: Performance correction factors will need adjustments during initial aircraft introduction to match the manufacturer’s claimed performance with the optimization algorithm of the flight planning system. It will also need periodical adjustments during periods of heavy crew training or seasonally for situations such as winter operations, and so on.


Monitoring Fuel on Board (FOB) and fuel uplift
Ask these questions: Is the fuel boarded accurate? Is the fuel billing accurate? Tracking of fuel uplift will ensure proper invoicing. Do flight crews add fuel without coordinating with flight dispatch or load control? Unplanned additional fuel boarded will result in non-optimized vertical and lateral profiles. Re-fuelers also have a tendency to board more fuel than required. Here are some frequently encountered situations and arguments from re-fuelers: • • • • • That crews like a little extra fuel. “Traffic is heavy today” They did not want to reconnect for a couple of hundred of kilograms of fuel The fueling gauges at the refueling station are different from the cockpit Their supervisor told them to always board additional fuel


Mission Management
• It is nice to have a round number for cross checking calculations, etc.

In some cases, boarding fuel in excess of plan can exceed the aircraft’s Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW), resulting in denied boardings, the need to de-fuel or departure delays. Depending on the aircraft type, experience has demonstrated that an average of 200 kg per flight (60 USG) is boarded above the planned fuel. This tendency of over fueling flights will consume 32 metric tons per aircraft of additional fuel based on an annual utilization of 4,000 hours per year. It will also cost almost $US 16,000 for carriage alone not considering the potential revenue loss and wear and tear of the aircraft.


Monitor the Fuel over Destination (FOD)
Tracking the FOD will help monitor the flight planning efficiency and measure the carriage of unnecessary fuel. It will facilitate the development of a statistical approach to fuel planning and provide guidelines to flight crews and dispatchers when boarding additional fuel. Remember, excessive landing fuel will increase wear and tear on the aircraft (brakes, engines). An accurate Fuel MI will facilitate the monitoring of airports where there are significant variations from the planned landing fuel and ensure that sufficient fuel is carried to avoid possible diversions. It will highlight the cost of designating excessively long alternates when planning. Some dispatchers will use distant alternate airports, or the ones they are familiar with rather that the most cost efficient alternate based on an actual probability of a diversion. If a diversion is unlikely and an alternate airport is carried to satisfy regulatory requirements, select the closest suitable alternate. As the probability of a diversion increases, consider passenger convenience, aircraft recovery, crew duty times, etc. when selecting an alternate airport. Today, diversions are rare occurrences with modern aircraft equipped with autoland capabilities, adequate airport facilities and accurate weather reporting. Statistics have demonstrated that on average, diversions occur one in every 1,000 flights of which one third are due to mechanical reasons, another third for medical reasons and the other third for weather. In the case of weather diversions, it is often possible to anticipate the diversion during the flight-planning phase. (Fog, thunderstorms, excessive winds, etc.)


Monitor fuel performance of flight crews
An accurate Fuel MI system will permit the monitoring of the crew’s fuel performance. While the approach should be based on the principle of non-jeopardy, it is possible to determine the efficiency of specific captains by monitoring a reasonable number of flights. . In practice, the variation in fuel burn between crews will be approximately 2-3% above or below the planned flight burn. This is particularly evident for shorter flights because more time is spent maneuvering as opposed to the time in cruise. Reducing the fuel burn per crew by one percent will result in a US$40,000 saving per aircraft on the fleet (A320 or B737). Being able to monitor fuel performance of flight crews will entice them to be more attentive to fuel efficiency, help the airline focus fuel training programs, monitor adherence to fuel saving SOPs and reward the good performers, The Fuel MI should provide feedback to individual captains on how well they manage fuel compared to the average crew. The fuel MI system will also monitor the boarding of additional fuel (planned or unplanned) by flight crews. Because of the limited information available to flight crews during flight planning, the requested additional fuel is usually not required.


Monitor the planning efficiency of Flight Dispatchers
In addition to planning the most cost efficient route and minimizing navigation charges (which in a good flight planning system should do almost automatically), dispatchers must make significant efforts to optimize discretionary fuel and reduce costs while at the same time minimizing the risk of diversions. In addition to maintaining an accurate flight planning system, the airline must provide


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
dispatchers with the appropriate tools including statistical information, accurate and up-to-date weather information, and traffic information (Airport ATC Demand Charts and graphical flight watch). The workload must be appropriate to allow for efficient flight planning. However, some dispatchers will systematically board unnecessary discretionary fuel on flights resulting in significant additional costs incompatible with proper risk management techniques. In some cases, the cost of planning unnecessary fuel by some dispatchers will cost the airline over US$100,000 per year before considering payload and wear on the aircraft. In addition, the flight watch provided by dispatchers, who more closely optimize fuel boarding, is in general of superior quality.


Monitor Estimated Zero Fuel Weight (EZFW) and payload optimization
Dispatchers will tend to overestimate the Estimated Zero Fuel Weight (EZFW) to avoid the last minute requirement for additional fuel. This results in the boarding of unnecessary fuel, which is costly especially on longer flights where it can affect payload. Accurate EZFWs are essential, especially for long-range flights. A proper Fuel MI system will help determine the lost opportunities and the cost of carrying the additional fuel. It will also facilitate the tracking of airports from where maximum EZFW errors occur because of poor load planning. On long-range flights, an airline should consider a fuel top-up policy just before departure. Re-optimizing the fuel and flight profile before departure will minimize the boarding of excess fuel and prevent a return to the gate in case of last minute ZFW increases over the flight plan. It would also permit the boarding of additional fuel should higher speeds (ideally higher Cost Indices) be required to speed up a flight due to a last minute delay. Reassessing the alternate selection before departure might allow for the use of a closer alternate or dropping the alternate altogether as conditions (winds, forecasted ceiling and visibility) could have changed significantly since the initial flight plan calculations.


Develop efficient fuel saving procedures and monitor their effectiveness
Fuel MI will monitor the impact of introducing new fuel management procedures, updated navigation, communication or aircraft systems and engines overhauls.


Monitor fuel cost for the various routes
Routes have to be re-assessed continuously and their cost impact evaluated. Fuel MI will help monitor unwarranted route or altitude restrictions on certain flights, identify fuel inefficient airports and support arguments for procedure changes.


Taxi delays and gate hold including taxi fuel
In addition to accurately boarding the correct taxi fuel at specific airports, closely monitoring taxi times will help analyze their impact on on-time performance. Accurate taxi times and taxi fuel will discourage ad hoc fuel additions by dispatchers and crews. It will also allow the monitor block times for scheduling.


Familiarize managers with the use the Fuel MI system
Are the managers trained to use the Fuel MI system and is the information distributed to the stakeholders? One reason fuel is consumed inefficiently is the lack of reliable statistics and appreciation of its effects on the airline’s overall budget. Often, some managers believe there is


Mission Management
little they can do to save fuel or that a fuel surcharge on tickets will compensate for increase in fuel prices. In the case of Flight Operations, while safety is the primary responsibility, lack of upper management support, training and accountability of managers are the primary reasons for less than optimal fuel management performance.


Most engine manufacturers will agree that the maximum strain on an engine occurs during the takeoff phase because the thermal shock is the greatest with the highest temperatures generated. While jet engines are highly reliable, a full thrust takeoff is when engine failures are most likely to occur. The most common jet engine used today is the CFM 56 (B737/A320). For most airlines, the average time between hot section engine overhauls is approximately 20,000 hours or 10,000 cycles (assuming an average flight time of 2 hours). Experts agree that if full thrust was used for every takeoff, the engine life would be reduced by about half. Overhauling the hot section of a CFM 56 will cost approximately $1 million. A reduced thrust takeoff can save at least $100 per engine per takeoff in unnecessary wear and tear. Full thrust takeoffs will also cause more rapid performance deterioration and increase in specific fuel consumption. Crews should be conscious of the cost of high thrust takeoffs and avoid them when operationally feasible.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Aircraft maintenance personnel have always been very aware of the requirements needed to manage fuel conservation. This chapter is not intended to bring new visions of managing aircraft maintenance – it is simply a list of items that may act as a catalyst, and provoke thought about possible changes in your own particular maintenance operation that will aid in fuel conservation. Operators must, of course, weigh the costs of increased maintenance against the likely benefits derived – they must define a cost/benefit proposition, to balance savings from maintenance performance improvements, versus cost to perform maintenance. A defined process of Service Bulletin (SB) or Modification evaluation for voluntary incorporation of items can play a role in the cost/benefit proposition affecting fleet economics. Even the incorporation of a most desirable modification or item can add weight to the aircraft. The overall fleet cost, for the incorporation not only of the item but the additional fuel required to manage the increased empty weight can be significant. Regular review of aircraft Empty Weight does pay dividends. Aircraft have been known to increase by as much as 1000 pounds in a 5-year period. Any rationalized maintenance approach must be managed through the existing approved maintenance program, the objective being to manage a controlled process rather than executing random oversight over still another activity. Existing task cards (TC) can be revised to include the actions deemed necessary for fuel conservation activities. A key factor to using the existing TC may be the inspection interval. As applicable, new TC’s can be produced to meet this criteria. To the degree possible, every attempt to utilize existing TC’s is best - but guard against overloading the TC content. Once airline management has made the foregoing decisions they need to ensure that adequate resources and personnel are provided both to manage the aircraft downtime, and any requirements that may arise as a result of the fuel conservation efforts. The maintenance training program may provide the best mechanism to initiate fuel conservation efforts, facilitating an explanation to personnel of the rationale behind revisions to the maintenance program.


The following represent some of the items that may be formally introduced into the Maintenance Program, or existing items that can be expanded upon, to ensure the desired results. The essential target is the elimination of drag - in all its forms. a) Inspect pneumatic manifolds and valves for leaks. Although many manifolds are monitored by over temperature sensing, many others are not. Even those that are monitored may be allowed to leak yet not cause a warning indication because the leak rate is too low. Over an entire aircraft however, this can be a significant loss requiring additional throttle to sustain performance. b) During approach for landing (throttled back), with the air cycle machines operative, and all pneumatic anti-icing/de-icing selected, some aircraft exhibit the need for additional power to provide the level of pneumatic demand, because of the pressure loss caused by leaks. This can also change the approach profile of the aircraft on that approach.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
c) Tired air cycle machines can place a demand for additional pneumatic muscle to drive them. This further adds to the need for additional fuel. d) Inspect for excessive autopilot lateral input. This can cause spoiler panel operation, which induces drag – thus increasing fuel consumption. e) Inspect for marginal aileron rigging that will create unnecessary drag - not to mention sloppy performance. f) Inspect for optimum spoiler control rigging. Spoilers are a full time control parameter - so ensuring better than nominal rigging enhances performance by not adding to the drag component.

g) Ensure that wing leading edges and particularly leading edge flaps, slats and slots are not dented or damaged. h) Rough surfaces alone will increase drag. i) Inspect the flap system rigging for optimum position. These large surfaces are designed to manage flight regime attitudes at controlled speeds. Out of tolerance situations will cause excessive fuel burn. Inspect the rudder control system for optimum rig.


k) Inspect all the flight controls for seal integrity. Ensure that air is directed so as to meet the intent of the design. Where applicable inspect draft curtains for condition and replace as required. l) Inspect all control surfaces for maximized fit and fair positions. Ensure correct flush fasteners are installed on all surfaces. Rough surfaces from any leaks must be corrected.

m) Investigate all reported fuel quantity discrepancies, ensuring that possible problems related to contaminated probes are eliminated. n) Perform calibration checks for the fuel tank indication system ensuring accurate quantity readings. o) Ensure regular fuel tank sumping. Fuel tanks have experienced ice build up 4 feet in length and 18 inches to 2 feet thick. Components in these tanks may not fail immediately but may experience damage leading to calibration issues as well as structural concerns. p) Inspect tanks for algae growth and rectify as required. q) Sump drains can allow fuel seeps or weeps. While these may be an allowable MEL dispatch criteria, over time the fuel can affect surface finish causing roughness and a resulting increase in drag. r) Inspect all areas of the aircraft for both hydraulic and fuel leaks that can degrade surface finish. Rectify leak areas and return surface finish to specification.

s) Inspect pylon and other similar drain systems. Eliminate any source of leaks and ensure surface integrity of surfaces affected. t) Inspect wheel well doors for optimum fit and fair conditions. u) Ensure all door seals are correctly installed and in airworthy condition. v) Review pilot reports for cabin and cargo door complaints. Inspect all doors for optimum fit and fair condition. Ensure door seals integrity. Eliminate any sources of pressure leaks. w) Inspect the aircraft fuselage. All panels must be installed. The fit and fair condition ensuring smooth flow over the edges of the panel/s and mating structure must be maintained. Any rough surfaces must be identified and returned to a smooth condition. Any discrepancies caused by hydraulic or fuel leaks must be corrected.


Maintenance Considerations
x) All antennae must be installed so as to maximize the best fit and fair considerations. This includes attention to the detail of sealing compound applications where required. y) A major area of airflow degradation can be the wing speed fairing/s as well as the Horizontal Stabilizer to Vertical Stabilizer fairings. Inspect these areas to ensure an enhanced installation eliminating sources of unnecessary drag. z) Inspect cockpit Windscreen/s to ensure best fit and fair with the fuselage nose section structure. Any uncured sealant that may have migrated from the sealed area must be removed and the surface area cleaned. aa) Inspect engine and thrust-reverser translating cowls for correctly stowed fit clearances. The following items cause fuel burn deterioration: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Blade rubs – HP Compressor, HP Turbine, airfoil blade erosion. Thermal distortion of blade parts. Blade leading-edge wear. Excessive fan rub strip wear. Lining loss in the HP Compressor. Oil or dirt contamination of LP/HP compressor. Loss of High Pressure Turbine (HPT) outer air seal material. Leaking thrust reverser seals. ECS leaks Failed – open fan air valves Failed – open IDG air cooler valves. Faulty turbine case cooling Failed or faulty 11th stage cooling valves.

bb) On wing engine washing can address dirt accumulation with the compressor. Leakage caused by the bleed air system can be remedied by on wing engine bleed rigging and additionally provide up to 2.5% Specific Fuel Consumption (SFC) benefit. Regular on – wing engine washing can bring as much as a 1.5% SFC improvement. cc) An aircraft wash and polish program can produce clean smooth airflows over the surfaces enhancing fuel burn figures. dd) Ensure regular Instrument Calibration checks. Speed measuring equipment has a large impact on fuel mileage. If speed is not accurate the airplane may be flying faster or slower than intended. On a particular commercial transport flying at .01M faster can increase fuel burn by 1% or more. Maintain calibration of airspeed systems. Plugging or deforming the holes in the alternate static port can result in erroneous instrument readings in the flight deck. Keeping the circled area smooth and clean promotes aerodynamic efficiency. Maintenance operations must ensure the use of proper tooling to block the static ports. Check the Illustrated Tool and Equipment List (ITEL) for the applicable aircraft model


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


Here is an example of the estimated fuel penalty in liters per year, per aircraft, for a 5 millimetre surface mismatch. 5mm Surface Mismatch Passenger Front Door Nose Landing Gear Door Cargo Door - Forward Litres per year per aircraft 9,000 8,400 8,800

Here is an example of the estimated fuel penalty in liters per year, per aircraft, per each 5 centimetres of missing door seals. 5cm Missing Seals Passenger Front Door Cargo Door Litres per year per aircraft Sides 1,500 1,500 Top/Bottom 800 800

Here is an example of the estimated fuel penalty, in liters per year, per aircraft, for a control surface mis-rigging of 10 millimetres. 10mm Mis-Rigging Slat Flap Spoiler Aileron Rudder LITRES PER YEAR PER AIRCRAFT 28,000 10,000 32,000 10,000 13,000

Here are some examples of the estimated penalty in litres per aircraft per year for single dents or blisters. Area Fuselage Wing Tail Surface Area Damaged – 5mm Depth 20 Square CM 80 Square CM 20 Square CM 80 Square CM 20 Square CM 80 Square CM Litres per year per aircraft 70 270 85 370 45 90


Maintenance Considerations
Here are some examples of estimated fuel penalty in litres per year, per aircraft for 0.3 mm of skin roughness over 1 square meter. Skin Roughness over 1m2 on: Fuselage Wing Skin Upper Wing Skin Lower Tail Litres per year per aircraft 3,300 12,000 6,000 5,800

Here are some examples of estimated fuel penalty in litres for parts missing. Type of Deterioration Absence of seal on movable surface Slats (span wise seal) Flaps & Ailerons (chord-wise seal) Elevator Type of Deterioration: Engine Cowl: One pressure relief door missing Cargo Door: Lock cover plate missing Fin/Fuselage junction (fairing & seal missing) Elevator bearing access cover missing Litres per year per aircraft Per meter of missing seal 14,000 9,500 6,300 Litres per year per aircraft 134,000 1,000 39,500 19,000

The double outcome of this drag component is not only the added cost of fuel to overcome it but also the lost payload. On a typical commercial transport it is conceivable, that in order to offset a 1% increase in drag, a reduction in Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW) could be 260 pounds/118 kilograms, in order to maintain a constant takeoff weight. (Note that the reductions vary as actual values vary with distance flown. Also the above figure varies up or down depending on the actual aircraft in question). Considering the example provided above, a 1% drag in terms of gallons per year could result in approximately 25,000 gallons. Any one item on this list may of itself bring miniscule benefit. However, in combination the savings can be substantial per aircraft. Exponentially applying these figures to an operator’s fleet brings large returns.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management


It is generally recognized that being able to get the maximum payload from origin to destination - whilst achieving the highest degree of safety and efficiency - is the main objective of Flight Planning. The Flight Dispatcher and Captain should strive to flight plan to arrive with the correct amount of fuel; no more than or less than the fuel required to safely and efficiently operate the flight.


a) Safety: Consideration of many factors goes into the Flight Planning process. These include: • route selection; • alternate selection; • arrival and departure runways; • enroute alternates if required; MEL; • runway performance limitations; and • origin, En-route, destination and alternate weather. b) Efficiency: No longer is it sufficient just to be safe. It is vital that the Flight Planning process takes into consideration the full range of Cost Index planning capabilities with the appropriate vertical and lateral optimization. The vertical and lateral optimization should vary with the planned Cost Index as the winds and temperatures will vary and therefore the final vertical and lateral profile will be different. The vertical optimization should look both up and down as winds and temperature vary greatly at different altitudes. c) Overflight Fees: In recent years sophisticated Flight Planning systems have been able to select routes that are optimized to produce a Minimum Cost operation taking overflight fees into consideration. In some parts of the world just a minor deviation in the route avoiding a particular country or FIR may produce significant savings in overflight fees.


There are many factors that go into route selection. The choice of route selected by the Flight Dispatcher plays a major role in the profitability of the flight. For example: a) Short Range Flights less than 3 hours: With many short-range flights, the options to save fuel are limited - but with sometimes between 30-40 flights per day between some city pairs the savings quickly accumulate just by saving one minute per flight. In high-density airspace, routes will often be “fixed” by ATC - both in terms of route and altitude. However, occasionally there maybe several “fixed” routes available between any city pair. As a rule, always analyze all available options to ensure maximum fuel efficiency. Take into consideration the navigation capabilities of the aircraft, because in some cases, routes for a city pair may be designated for FMS aircraft only.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
b) Long Range Flights: Today’s Flight Planning systems should be able to optimize for Minimum Distance, Minimum Fuel, Minimum Time or Minimum Cost. It is possible - or sometimes desirable - to fly minimum distance and minimum time. This will often result in a lower flight level therefore increasing the fuel burn. In most cases, however, the choice will come down to a selection between minimum fuel and minimum cost. Where possible plan for enroute step climbs; however when unable to plan the most optimum altitude for fuel economy, it is usually better to opt for the best lateral profile and accept a slightly less than optimal altitude. c) Runway Selection: For greater accuracy, the planned take-off runway, the departure and arrival procedures and landing runway should all be included in the flight planned route.


All alternates shown on the Operational Flight Plan must be in compliance with applicable regulatory and company policies. The following guidelines should be considered during the alternate selection process. Diversions for weather very rarely occur and when they do the aircraft often does not proceed to the flight planned alternate. The cost of carrying the fuel for an alternate is huge; an occasional diversion is often cheaper than carrying extra fuel to prevent a diversion. Despite the best efforts of both the Flight Dispatcher and Captain, diverts will happen. The decision to divert is most often a demonstration of good judgment. Even if the flight was carefully planned, using policy, and all appropriate information, it is conceivable that conditions may change that will ultimately lead to a diversion. This should, therefore, not be considered as a deficiency. a) Take-off Alternates. It is not normally necessary to add fuel for a take off alternate; b) Destination Alternates. Destination Alternates are for planning purposes only and in order to minimize the fuel uplift a careful evaluation of the risk of a diversion is necessary. • • If there is a low risk of a diversion then plan the closest legal alternate or where regulations permit plan “ No alternate IFR”. The risk of not arriving at the airport, and the risk of holding in the terminal area should be separated. Just because the destination weather forecast is poor does not necessarily mean there is a high risk of a diversion. If the airport had multiple runways with Cat II or Cat III approach aids available then the chances of a diversion are minimal. However there may be delays in terminal area if the weather has slowed down the approaches therefore the right amount of additional fuel should be added accordingly. It should not be necessary to have a long alternate AND additional fuel for the terminal area.

For some operational and commercial reasons it may be necessary to flight plan with two alternates. Before planning with two alternates give careful consideration as to why? You may be carrying unnecessary fuel and by having two alternates you are increasing the workload of both the Flight Crew and Flight Dispatcher, as both alternates need to be monitored.


Statistical and Discretionary fuels are those carried over and above Contingency Fuels, which are usually governed by regulation. In the past, Contingency Fuels were often fixed at either 5% or 10% of the burn-off. However, fuel requirements set by the States are often many years out of date and overly conservative and do not take into consideration the accuracy of Flight Planning today. Many airlines have engaged their State regulator and obtained reduced Contingency Fuels based on reliable fuel monitoring


Dispatch Considerations
programs and the provision of statistics demonstrating that safe flight operations can be maintained. Statistical Fuels. Many airlines have now developed a Fuel Management Database for use by Flight Dispatchers and Pilots. It is normally a historical record of actual fuel information such as: • burn off; contingency fuel used versus contingency fuel boarded; additional fuel used versus additional fuel boarded. Accurate additional fuel figure increments should be developed. Additional fuels should only be carried in increments of one minute. Why add 5 minutes of fuel if statistics show that 2 minutes is sufficient? Additional fuels should only be carried for known or forecast operational reasons. Remember a lighter aircraft is a safer aircraft. Amongst other things it provides: • • • • greater terrain clearance on take-off; ability to climb quicker; higher cruise altitude; better stall recovery and lower stall speed; lower approach speed; reduced landing distance and reduced tire and brake wear.

• •

Here are some reasons NOT to carry additional fuel: This flight held for 10 minutes last week; The Captain always likes additional fuel; I don’t trust the forecast, evaluate whether there is a real risk of a diversion; and The payload might increase.

Every time you do not carry additional fuel you are contributing to the profitability of the company, increased payload opportunities and better aircraft performance.


A fuel tankering program should be an integral part of the flight planning system. It is important that the daily fuel price fluctuations are taken into consideration and close liaison with the fuel purchasing department is essential. For ecological reasons, consider tankering only when there is a definite commercial benefit for the airline. Tankering is normally limited to shorter flights, or for operational reasons. Consider the full cost of carrying the additional fuel including wear and tear on the aircraft. When planning to tanker fuel, the maximum limitations of the aircraft should not be approached. This includes maximum performance take off and landing weights as well as the maximum tank capacity of the aircraft. Sufficient margins should be left to allow any last minute additional payload to be carried and so as to not adversely impact the next flight leg. Tankering fuel is not recommended for the following: • • • Flights landing at airports that have reported poor braking action - or weather forecasts predict conditions which may result in poor braking action; Flights landing at airports that have very short runways; Flights landing at "hot/high" airports where single engine go-around limits may be approached;


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
• • Care should be taken when tankering fuel into areas with low temperatures and high relative humidity and precipitation; and Long-haul overseas flights where the cost to carry become excessive and the associated aircraft performance becomes limiting e.g., unable to step climb.


This is a procedure where the flight is not planned all the way to the destination, but is instead planned to an airport short of the destination. For example, a flight planned from Frankfurt to Chicago could be planned at the outset to Toronto with an alternate of Detroit. Once airborne the flight will be able to re-clear to its final destination using some of the contingency fuel as burn fuel. There is usually a re-clearance point where the aircraft must have sufficient fuel onboard to reach its final destination, with an alternate if necessary, and the appropriate amount of contingency fuel. The procedure can offer significant potential fuel savings, as ATC clears the flight to destination from the onset, and all the necessary fuel requirements are clearly established before departure. With accurate flight planning systems, most of the flight planned contingency fuels remain unused, and the re-dispatched technique will bring large benefits in both fuel savings and payload optimization - especially on long-range flights. Depending on an airline’s fuel policy, between 5 - 10% of contingency fuel is normally boarded. Since flight conditions can change during flight, and sometimes the alternate airport is no longer required for the arrival, re-dispatching the flight can prevent an en-route stop while carrying maximum payload. It is recommended that prior to commencing any Re-Dispatch technique for flight planning that the State regulator is consulted to ascertain if the procedure is permitted.


Whilst the Flight Crew has the final responsibility for fuel management in flight, it is the Flight Dispatcher that takes the decisions to board the fuel on the aircraft. Usually by the time the flight crew gets to the aircraft it is too late to take any fuel off, so it is essential the Pilot and Dispatcher work as an effective team to discuss the best and most fuel efficient way to complete the flight. Unfortunately, access to the Flight Deck in many parts of the world is no longer as simple as it once was - even for qualified airline personnel. So it is more difficult for Pilots and Dispatchers to get to know each other. However, there are other ways. When introducing new fuel policies or procedures, have the Pilots and Dispatchers take the same training course. That way there can be an effective exchange of ideas and experiences. Encourage Pilots to visit the Flight Dispatch or Operations center during training sessions. Pilots are often unaware of the sophisticated tools that Dispatchers have at their disposal.


Some airlines have qualified Flight Dispatch personnel where Flight Watch is an integral part of the airline’s operational control process. Certified Flight Dispatchers share responsibility for flight watch with the Pilot-in-Command, and share all pertinent and related flight information and any proposed changes to the Flight Plan.


Dispatch Considerations
This process can greatly enhance flight safety, and will ultimately produce the safest and most cost effective operation. The Flight Crew cannot adequately analyze the significant amount of data and factors involved in planning a flight without experienced knowledgeable assistance from the ground. Once a flight is airborne, the Flight Dispatcher can advise the Flight Crew of many issues, all of which will enable the crew to better manage the fuel efficiency of the flight. These include: • • • • • Are there delays at the destination? In which case slow down and save fuel; If the flight is running late, can the aircraft speed up to avoid missed connections? Burning a little more fuel is usually preferable to having passengers miss connecting flights The Re-dispatch technique is best practiced with qualified Flight Dispatchers able to provide the flight crew with the latest information to re-clear them to their destination. Contingency fuel may be available to provide either a longer alternate or provide holding fuel at the destination Additional fuels may be available other than the reason for which they were originally carried.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management



Today's economic climate is very hard on Air Transport Operators and belt tightening is the order of the day. All areas of operation are being investigated with the hope of finding means to economize. The recent dramatic rise in the price of fuel oil means that aviation fuel costs now account for over 20% of the total operating costs for an airline – and in some cases much more. In order to reduce fuel consumption, most Air Transport Operators are making changes to their operating procedures and are attempting to improve flight planning, management and operating techniques. Some of the changes alter the operating characteristics of aircraft and it is here that Air Traffic Control becomes involved. The previous chapters describe many of the fuel saving measures that can be taken by Air Transport Operators. Air traffic controllers, and air navigation service provider managers, are encouraged to read these chapters, to better understand the actions being taken by operators, and to use this knowledge to work with operators in their fuel conservation efforts. This chapter looks at how good strategic Air Traffic Planning and Management practices – and tactical Air Traffic Control practices – can influence and complement operator fuel management practices. There is no intent to change rules or existing ATC procedures – and the primary focus must remain on safety; however where safety is not impacted, every effort should be made to facilitate the actions being taken by operators. Take the following example. There are around 30 million scheduled air transport operations around the globe annually. The average flight time is about 1 hour and 37 minutes. The average operating cost per minute for an air transport operator is USD$100. Reducing flight time by just 1% - that is, by just 1 minute – could reduce airline operating costs by USD$3,000,000,000.00! It is recognized that with high-density traffic any appreciable changes to the day-to-day operation are limited; however there are areas – particularly in lower density environments, or in times of light traffic - where opportunities for greater flexibility do exist, which could be translated into tremendous savings for Air Transport Operators.


On average, a modern jet aircraft burns about 3-4% of the weight of additional fuel carried per hour of flight. So, on a 7-hour trans-Atlantic crossing, if an aircraft boards an extra 5000kg of fuel, it will burn around 1300kg of that fuel – just to carry it! On a 14-hour trans-Pacific flight, it will burn more than half of that fuel – just to carry it. This is a basic - but very costly - fact. For this reason, pilots are encouraged to carry only the minimum load of fuel that is essential to the safety of the flight. Determination of the amount of fuel to be carried is based on a number of factors. Increasingly, dispatchers and airline operational control are using sophisticated programs to determine historical trends in weather diversions at destination, average taxi times, average terminal area manoeuvring and so on to calculate the amount of fuel that should be carried. It should be remembered that the carriage of additional fuel has a two-edged economic effect. Operators incur a cost to carry the fuel – and lose the opportunity to carry the equivalent weight in revenue generating passengers or cargo.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
In many cases the design of airspace, air routes, and ATC procedures is based on “lowest common denominator” principles – that is, they are designed around the “lack of equipage or capability”, rather than catering for the evolving fleet equipage and capability in particular areas. Modern aircraft have the capability to fly direct routes, with great accuracy, and can meet ATC requirements with high levels of confidence, without the need for ATC to apply speed or track interventions. Many terminal area procedures, and many enroute route structures are built around ground based navigation infrastructure that is no longer required. Airspace planners should take every opportunity to review routes, SIDs and STARs and to work with local airline representatives to ensure that established procedures and routes more closely match the capabilities of the fleets. There is a need for ATC managers to constantly review procedures and eliminate inefficiencies in the system. Just because “we have always done it this way - so why change it” is just not good enough. There is a constant need to look at the new generation airplanes with sophisticated navigation systems and capitalize on their capabilities. Some airplanes can give you a required time on arrival (RTA) very precisely to metering points. Most air transport operators recognise the critical importance of fuel costs by assigning a role of Fuel Manager to some the most senior operational staff in their organisations. The role of that person is to look for every opportunity to conserve fuel. Fuel and environment management is a partnership arrangement, and better awareness of the operating paradigms and limitations of each of the ATM partners can add significantly to overall system efficiency. The appointment of a Fuel and Environment Champion within a Service Provider organisation would enable all fuel and environment efficiency actions to be focused and harmonized with airline actions. Indeed, just as for pilots, we recommend that fuel efficiency figures prominently among the key performance indicators of air traffic controllers. Possible Fuel Champion Accountabilities Within the overall constraint that no action will compromise safety, the general role of a Fuel and Environment Champion would include: • • • • • • • Develop programs which will minimize fuel consumption, operational costs and environmental impact for airspace users; Support ATS Planning offices in the design and implementation of fuel efficient routes and terminal area procedures; Work with ATS training institutions to ensure awareness of fuel conservation techniques are incorporated into basic ATS training; Liaise with the fuel managers of locally based airline or other aviation organisations to understand fuel and environmental issues of local importance; Monitor global best demonstrated practices in fuel management throughout the aviation industry; Provide fuel and environment conservation training to all ATS staff – both operational and management, including regular briefings from local airline fuel management staff; Liaise with local air operators, and where there is predominantly through traffic, with the local airline agents, to support the development of efficient ATC procedures and training programs for controllers and ATC managers including the environmental impact of inefficient ATC practices;


Air Traffic Control
• • • Continuously sensitize ATS staff and management about the cost of fuel – both in dollar terms, and environmental impact - and its impact on the operating efficiency of airspace users; Encourage the establishment of familiarization flight for ATC controllers and visits to ATC centers by pilots; Encourage the establishment of a program to visit airline dispatch and flight planning offices, to better understand the factors affecting scheduling and flight mission management.


Aircraft standing on the apron or at a gate prior to flight need power for a range of functions, including air conditioning in the cabin, electrical power to aircraft systems, and so on. An aircraft at the gate could be powered by one of three sources – a ground power unit, an aircraft auxiliary power unit [APU], or the aircraft’s main engine. Using an Airbus A320 as an example, the relative [ground run] costs are: Power From: Ground Power Unit Auxiliary Power Unit Aircraft Engine Operating Cost per Minute USD$0.30 USD$3.00 USD$25.00

In November 2004, average jet-fuel cost was USD$1.70 per gallon. This may not seem like a large sum – however one airline has estimated that its fleet could save $250,000 per year just by delaying APU start by one minute. It’s important, then, for air traffic control to notify aircraft operators as soon as possible if there is likely to be a delay in start or pushback, so that the cheapest power source can be maintained for as long as possible. If delays are anticipated, the sooner the pilot knows the more economical it can be!


The price of taxiing, in fuel alone, can vary from $25.00 per minute for an Airbus A320, to $50.00 per minute for a B747. Every delay, every extended routing, every stop-and-start, costs somebody money. One airline has estimated that one-minute less time spent taxiing on every flight in 2004 would have saved them $1,654,000. Even 10 seconds would have been a $275,666 saving, for one airline. Many operators are introducing new procedures to economize while taxiing. Fuel has become more expensive than brake-wear. Unnecessary engines will be shut down whilst taxiing. An engine out taxi – particularly at airports with long taxi distances – can save many thousands of dollars when aggregated across a fleet over a year – BUT the advantage is lost, of course, if the aircraft must stop and then spool up the active engine[s] to start rolling again. If a taxi delay is anticipated for some reason, advising the pilot of the situation might encourage a gate hold or taxi with one or in some cases 2 engines out taxi. The problem is that often pilots are not able to see a departure line up and only see it as they approach the runway. As a matter of good technique, the practice should be to try to keep aircraft on taxiways moving at all times, and if there is a choice between an aircraft and a vehicle – try to let the vehicles wait. Time spent taxiing in relation to the runway used for departure is being analysed as well. In Fuel Terms, every minute of additional flight time in the wrong direction after departure equals from 3 to 7 minutes of taxi time, depending on the number of operating engines. A B767, for example, could


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
afford up to 12 minutes taxi time on 2 engines in order to trade off a runway aimed the wrong way and use its reciprocal. Most airlines will taxi the extra distance to get a runway that is even 30° closer to the flight path. Again the good technique question should be “could an alternate runway be safely approved?” Both takeoff and landing will be affected by the operators’ energy awareness. Aircraft will be taking off with reduced thrust and lower flap settings, and may be requesting intersection takeoffs in order to save taxi time. Rolling takeoffs are more fuel-efficient.


Airlines say that when departing on a heading away from the destination airport their climb speed will be decided by the following: • • If departure control needs DISTANCE before a turn, the aircraft will complete the noise abatement procedure and accelerate to optimum clean speed to 3000 ft AGL; If altitude is required prior to turning they will maintain minimum clean speed (or max pitch) to that altitude. The aircraft will trade speed for altitude. In other words, it will keep the take off flap configuration so as to reach the altitude with minimum distance where a turn to the oncourse can be initiated as soon as possible. Then at low speed, the rate of turn is very high and the distance away from the intended direction is minimized. When cleared to turn on a normal climb-out they will use the maximum permissible bank and minimum clean speed until within about 90° of the on-course; then commence acceleration to normal climb speed.

Where it is practical to do so – and consistent with safety – controllers should consider canceling Standard Instrument Departures [SIDs] as soon as possible. They should also initiate on-course climbs at pilot discretion.


An A340 flying 4,000 feet below its optimum cruise altitude will use 400 kg of extra fuel per hour. At today’s prices, that works out to USD$176.00 or almost one short-sector return airfare. Every aircraft has an optimum altitude at which it can operate. Optimum altitude, simply stated – and in the absence of other economic factors [refer section 9 – Mission Management] - is the altitude at which aircraft can fly the most ground miles per 1000kg of fuel. This altitude is determined individually using as many of a long list of variables as are available to the pilot. The primary factors considered are aircraft weight (which changes as the aircraft burns fuel), winds at the various altitudes, temperature, and length of the flight stage. Many airlines and charter companies employ the services of central computerized agencies to provide the most up-todate information possible. When the flight segment is too short to permit the optimum altitude, the most fuel-efficient profile is a climb until intercept of the descent profile. It is an unfortunate - although often unavoidable - fact that the efforts made to maximize fuel efficiency in cruise can very quickly be negated by the inability of ATC to approve a request. It is important that ATC maintain a constant awareness of the impact of assigned altitudes on fuel efficiency.


Most airlines operate using a cost index management methodology to determine an optimum cruising speed or Mach Number, in order to either conserve fuel, or to achieve a better “business


Air Traffic Control
outcome”. So, when an operator requests a certain preferred Mach number, it is likely that it has been carefully calculated to achieve a specific economic outcome. The cost penalty of flying at 0.01 Mach high or low could be 5½ cents per mile (at 4.5 million miles per month for one operator this would equal $3,000,000 per year!). With Cost Index optimizing the speed, in most cases changes in the aircraft speed can be mitigated though the en-route phase of flight; however, it becomes a more significant problem as the flight approaches destination. Controllers should also be aware of the meteorological conditions prevailing in their sector of responsibility – and the likely effect in terms of aircraft requested speeds or levels. In order to achieve the desired business outcome, an operator may reduce speed with a tail wind, or increase speed into a headwind. When a speed increase/reduction is required for control purposes try to co-ordinate with adjacent sector/units so as to maintain uniformity throughout the flight segment. Modern aircraft Flight Management Systems [FMS] are able to calculate the effects of a proposed change quite quickly. If there is time, controllers should consider asking a pilot for options. For example, many aircraft have a “Required Time of Arrival” [RTA] function, and over an appropriate route segment can program the FMS so that an aircraft reaches a point with a high degree of accuracy. ATC will achieve their desired outcome – and the pilot and FMS will have determined the most economic way of achieving that outcome. Where a speed restriction or requirement is imposed, it should be canceled as soon as it is no longer required. It is an inevitable part of ATC that in radar areas, aircraft will be vectored. Where there is a choice, however, and provided the route segment is sufficiently long, an aircraft will generally prefer speed control over vectoring. Better still – use the RTA function described earlier Whilst a vector of just 8 miles may seem insignificant, in cruise it amounts to a minute, and if repeated just once per day, it can cost over USD$36,500 per aircraft per year. If there is a message that comes in clear from all airlines, it is that — VECTORING FOR SPACING USES TOO MUCH FUEL! They all prefer to be slowed down for separation rather than sent on wide and fast routes. Speed control is far more efficient than vectors from a fuel economy point of view. In fact, although there is a small penalty for increasing speed (which ATC seldom require) there is a considerable saving in decreasing speed in most cases. It is also important to let pilots know what you intend to do – BEFORE you do it. This is particularly important in a terminal area. If you have an idea of the track miles to run – advise the pilot. This will allow them to adjust their profile. If you know the position in a sequence – let the pilot know. They may be able to monitor the traffic and adjust their profile.


The use of more direct routes, whenever possible, may mean only 10 miles per flight. However, when that 10 miles is multiplied by, say, 10 flights per day, and the number of flights per day times 365, the saving is USD$4,000,000 per aircraft per year! However – direct routing may not always be in an operator’s best interest! In some cases, assigning a direct route to an aircraft can actually take that aircraft into adverse weather conditions that will negate any track mile savings. It may also invalidate already programmed arrival procedures. It is a matter of good technique – in particular where the direct routing is over a relatively long distance – to offer the direct routing to the pilot rather than simply clearing the aircraft. There may be occasions where a pilot is reluctant to question a controller clearance.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
A properly planned and executed descent provides the greatest opportunity to save fuel. The ideal profile is an unrestricted descent from cruise altitude, at a planned distance, without the use of thrust or drag devices until on final approach. On many aircraft start down points are pre-calculated by on-board computers with the following factors taken into consideration: • • • • • Wind corrections Airport altitude Air miles to go (including anticipated vectors) Runway in use Landing weight

If descent is interrupted and the aircraft forced to level off at an intermediate altitude, most pilots will (allow the aircraft to) slow down as much as possible while level, then trade surplus height to regain descent speed. Late descent increases fuel consumption as more time is spent with cruise power and the extra height energy must be dissipated with drag. When possible ATC should give descent clearance when requested by the pilot, or better yet, give such clearance early and advise the pilot to commence descent at his discretion. Controllers should be aware that pilots may use "IDLE THRUST" technique if required to level off for a portion of descent. This will result in a reduction of ground speed until such time as the aircraft begins further descent. This may negate the control effect they were trying to achieve. Significant increases of fuel burn are experienced when descent is commenced either too early or too late. (The penalties are even greater if descent is initiated too late). If descent is started just ten miles early, it can incur a penalty of over 200kg of fuel to a B747. ATC should coordinate descent early - not when the aircraft asks for descent. Better still, controllers should ask pilots when they want to start down.


Holding, although expensive, is sometimes inevitable. In order to reduce the fuel cost as much as possible, consider the following: • • • When advised that a hold is expected, most aircraft will wish to slow down in order to absorb as much time enroute as possible. Some pilots refer to this procedure as a "linear hold". Most aircraft will want to stay at altitude as long as possible. Holding low is very fuel inefficient. If holding is anticipated, let the pilot know early.


The most fuel-efficient aircraft in the approach and landing phase is the NASA space shuttle. It uses no fuel but a carefully calculated system of energy management, which results in the elimination of inertia and altitude simultaneously. It is obvious that aircraft do not operate in the sterile environment that the space shuttle does; however, when the same principles are applied to arriving aircraft the result is a dramatic increase in energy conservation. If the energy that is already contained in the inertia of the aircraft is used (altitude and airspeed) then very little engine power will be required.


Air Traffic Control
To achieve these airlines will: • • • • • request runways which reduce flying time; adjust speed whenever possible rather than flying extra miles; keep the aircraft clean as long as possible in order to reduce unnecessary drag; fly visual approaches whenever able; carry out reduced flap landings whenever possible

Be aware that “idle reverse thrust” is less fuel expensive than “full reverse thrust”. Idle Reverse use is being recommended where operationally feasible. However, because of the extra rollout, aircraft may not be able to clear the runway at their "usual" cutoff. That said, many modern aircraft using auto braking will stop at the same point regardless of the level of reverse thrust used. Auto braking gives a selected rate of deceleration, which under normal conditions will slow the aircraft at the selected rate. Unless there are slippery conditions where the anti-skid system would release the brakes to prevent wheel locks, the stopping point should be the same. Most operators recommend the use of idle reverse to neutralize the engine forward thrust on landing.


Whenever safely possible, ATC should: • • • • • • • • • • • • “Keep'm Rolling” on the ground — let the vehicle wait Accommodate aircraft taxiing with some engines shut down Approve alternate runways Approve take-off in the direction of flight Provide clearances in time to accommodate rolling Take-Offs Cancel the SID’s as soon as practicable Co-ordinate direct routes Try to approve optimum altitudes Co-ordinate and issue descent clearance early If a hold is anticipated let them know early Use speed control (slow them down) rather than Vectors If two aircraft are tied, try to give preference to “the gas guzzler”.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management




Purpose: IATA recognizes that fuel management strategies form a key component of the commercial advantage that airlines have established over many years. The purpose of this checklist is to: • • allow airline management to audit their current fuel management practices ensure that airlines are taking advantage of all generally available avenues to reduce fuel expenditure, within the bounds of safety.

These lists are intended for internal audit purposes only — i.e., the information is not intended to be returned to IATA, shared with other airlines, nor used in any way other than as a “self-check”. It is likely that most airlines are already applying many of the techniques identified here. Some may not apply to your particular mode of operation. In some cases, however, even one or two of the items raised could have significant benefit to your airline, and we would encourage you to seek further information on these techniques.


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management

Checklist Item

Internal Comments/Internal Action

Is your airline schedule built for maximum fuel efficiency, optimized speeds, and best Cost Index values (Time cost versus fuel cost)? How often is your flight schedule (flight times and Cost Index) adjusted to cater for fuel prices changes? Are your Cost Index values adjusted for specific routes? Is your schedule adjusted for seasons, time of day, and day of the week? Are you using the right aircraft on the right route to minimize fuel consumption per passenger? Do you have a process to perform aircraft swaps based on last minute load changes? Does your schedule minimize aircraft positioning or ferry flights? Do you have an early departure policy for oversked flights that would permit the use of a lower Cost Index and still arrive on time? Is Cost Index flight planning and flying available for your non-FMS aircraft types or other aircraft types? Are high overflight charges causing inefficient fuel planning?


1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8

1.9 1.10

2.1 2.2 2.3

Are you properly and effectively managing the curfews, early morning holds, and so on? Are you attempting to slow down early arriving flights to prevent gate-holds, ramp congestion and reduce fuel consumption? Do you track gate-holds to prevent gate holding short of the gate with engines running, and therefore minimize fuel burn on the ground? Are some routes unnecessarily [flight plan] altitude capped? Are your dispatchers adding fuel for ad-hoc reasons?
(such as night shift, workload, shift changes, specific captains, to avoid calls from the crews, preferences, seat of the pants feelings, habits, don’t trust the forecaster, etc)

2.4 2.5


Checklist Item
2.6 Do you have a well-defined and clear Fuel Policy?
(Usage of available fuels with purpose for each type of additional fuel, Captain’s authority to manage the fuel, efficient fuel reserves, well define categories of discretionary fuels, minimum FODs, fully integrated in the flight planning system, specific guidelines for alternate selection, crew fuel additives, taking advantage of modern aircraft and airport facilities, holding fuel guidelines, unusable fuels, use of minimum reserve fuel, use of alternate, taxi fuel calculations, cost to carry additional fuel information, etc.)

Internal Comments/Internal Action

2.7 2.8

Do you have a recommended arrival fuel for each airport over which dispatchers and pilots should look for opportunities? Are additional fuels itemized on the flight plan?
(ATC delays, Captain’s request, MEL, Weather enroute, ETOPS, etc.)


Are all of your pilots up to the same standard regarding aerodynamics and fuel-efficient flying? Do you train pilots and dispatchers on the fuel policy? Are the crews trained on efficient FMS programming to cross check the flight plan fuel and accurately manage the fuel in-flight? Are all the training captains, line introduction pilots, check pilots, simulator instructors fully conversant with the latest fuel saving techniques. Do they support an efficient fuel management program? Are fuel-saving techniques introduced at initial training, or conversion training? Are these techniques reviewed at the annual training sessions? Do all of your chief pilots and upper management support efficient fuel management? Do you publish the potential savings associated with reducing flight time by one minute, saving 100 kg of fuel, the cost to carry 100 kg extra on each flight, fuel prices, etc? Do you have statistics on diversions?
(Flight diversions today are around one in 1,000 flights and are about 33% for mechanical, 33% for medical reasons, THE LAST 1/3 for weather reasons. Most diversions are to an airport other than the planned alternate.)

3.2 3.3


3.5 3.6


4.1 4.2

Is your alternate selection process optimized to minimize cost and according to the risk level? Do you take maximum advantage of the aircraft technological capabilities and destination approach facilities during flight planning?


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
Checklist Item
4.3 Is your flight-planning system using the lowest possible fuel burn for alternate fuel requirement calculations?

Internal Comments/Internal Action


Do you board additional fuel according to accurate statistics, and are your airport demand charts properly optimized? Do you assign the most fuel economical aircraft to longer routes? Do you have validated data to support such a system? Is discretionary fuel added for foreseeable delays, or for comfort? (Fuel should be added when there is a
strong possibility of it being used)

5.2 5.3


Is the re-clearance or re-dispatch technique used for longer-range flight to minimize fuel burn and optimize payload?

7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5

Do you have a tankering program in place, and is it well optimized? Is your flight planning system properly computing tankering costs? Is the “cost-to-carry” computed by your flight planning system? Do you use strategic tankering and are the costs well understood? How often do you update fuel prices in your flight planning system?

8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4

Is your Fuel MI Database accurate and detailed, and is it comparing actual to flight planning data? Do you have a full time Fuel Program Manager or Fuel Database Manager? Is that person operational i.e., a pilot or dispatcher? Do you use the information properly and distribute it to appropriate stakeholders? Do your stakeholders understand and use the Fuel MI data to improve fuel efficiency?

9.1 9.2 9.3

Do you conduct post-flight analysis of arrival fuel and time performance? Do you have a fuel-efficiency monitoring program for pilots? Are fuel performance statistics and feedback made available to your flight crews?


Checklist Item
9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 9.9 9.10 9.11 9.12 9.13 9.14 Do you have a fuel-performance tracking program for dispatchers? Do you maintain accurate fuel burn data for each specific aircraft? Do you have a system or program to monitor fuel inefficient aircraft and/or engines? Do you have a maintenance program to minimize burn for fuel inefficient aircraft e.g., engine wash, surface condition and cleanliness, aircraft paint? Is the individual aircraft fuel performance regularly updated in your flight planning system? Do you regularly monitor and analyze excessive “Fuel over Destination (FOD)”? Do you monitor over-fueling by re-fuelers or flight crews? Do you monitor and analyze the costs of adding high amounts of discretionary fuel? Do you monitor the cost of using unnecessarily distant alternates? Do you have a no-alternate IFR policy and is it properly used? Are your Chief Pilots and other stakeholders accountable for a fuel-efficient operation?

Internal Comments/Internal Action


Do you have a program to manage aircraft weight?
(such as minimizing the carriage of unnecessary water, magazines and newspaper, toilets servicing, blankets, cargo containers, crew baggage, carry on baggage, unnecessary galley supplies, ovens, garbage, etc)

10.2 10.3 10.4

Do you have a center of gravity management system for passengers and cargo (C of G)? Are your estimated zero fuel weights accurate (EZFW)? Do you have a last minute fuel top-up policy especially for long-range flights to avoid carriage of unnecessary fuel?
(The flight plan is re-optimized for actual weight changes (passengers or cargo), winds, cruise speed and altitudes, connections, dropping of choosing a more efficient alternate, re-optimizing the discretionary fuel, slowing down early flights for fuel efficiency, etc.)

11.1 11.2

Do you have adequate flight-planning guidelines on fuel management and boarding of additional fuel, for flight crews? Do you have a clear policy on the alternate selection process? Do you take maximum advantage of aircraft and airport technology? (CAT
II, CAT III auto-land, better forecasting, traffic information, statistics, etc)


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
Checklist Item
11.3 Do you have an education and sensitization program on the boarding of additional discretionary fuel, the use of statistical discretionary fuel, alternate selection process and flight planning system optimization? Do you have adequate methods of cross-checking the fuel required for the flight (FMS cross check, etc.) to avoid unnecessary last minute requests for additional fuel? Is access to detailed planning information available during flight planning?
(Weather charts, satellite photos, airport traffic information, communications with Dispatch, etc)

Internal Comments/Internal Action



11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9

Are airport traffic information and statistics available at flight planning stations? (Airport demand
charts, etc.)

Do you have guidelines regarding APU management and cost information (electrical, bleed management) for crews and ground staff? Do you have sufficient ground equipment available (GPU, Gate power supply, air conditioners)? Do you have an early departures procedure when passengers boarding and baggage loading are completed?
(This enables the use of a lower Cost Index (speeds) or minimizes the need for higher speeds for oversked flights)

11.10 Do you have efficient start-up and taxi-out procedures? 11.11 Do you have adequate guidelines for taxi speed management? 11.12 Do you have proper and efficient engine-out taxi SOPs? 11.13 Do you have a policy and guideline on departure runway selection and intersection departures when feasible? 11.14 Do you have a specific guideline on the most efficient flap setting for takeoff? 11.15 Do you have a rolling take off policy to reduce fuel consumption, noise and emissions? 11.16 Do you have proper guidelines on efficient departure profile management using speed versus altitude trade-off, including best bank angle for efficient turn radius while minimizing departure procedure distance?
(Use best angle climb speed if heading away from intended course. Determine if distance or altitude is the restriction)

11.17 Do you retract the flaps (clean up the aircraft) as soon as possible on departure?


Checklist Item
11.18 Do you have specific SOPs regarding the efficient use of engine and airframe anti-icing? 11.19 Do you have optimized climb speed profiles taking weight and winds into consideration? Do you have appropriate guidance? 11.20 Do you re-optimize the Cost Index after departure to save fuel for the early arrivals? 11.21 Do you have an overweight landing procedure to avoid fuel dumping? 11.22 Do you have a post-departure policy on reoptimization of mission profile and flight plan based on estimated arrival time (acceleration and slowdown), zero fuel weight change, etc? 11.23 Do you have a passenger connection management program (Operations Control) and only accelerate the flights when there is commercial value or when there is a tactical advantage in doing so? 11.24 Do you have specific guidelines on Flight Management System (FMS) winds and temperatures insertions? 11.25 Do you have a well-defined air conditioning systems management procedure for best fuel efficiency while maintaining passenger comfort? 11.26 Do you have precise crew SOPs regarding the adherence to flight planned cruise speeds, altitudes and planned routing including guidelines for tactical decisions? 11.27 Do you have a procedure for altitude management for short sectors? 11.28 Do you have proper flight control trimming guidelines for applicable aircraft types? 11.29 Do you have a step climb policy for oceanic flight segments and is the flight planning system catering to OCA step climbs procedures? 11.30 Do you have a speed optimization process to determine the most efficient Mach number for flights into fixed Mach areas? 11.31 Do you have guidelines on enroute flight profile management by crews including proper guidelines and training for altitude and direct routing management? 11.32 Do you have a procedure to minimize the distance travelled when deviating for weather? 11.33 Do you provide accurate winds and temperatures for the next usable flight levels above and below the flight planned altitudes? 11.34 Do you consider using less than the maximum number of air conditioning packs or reduced pack flow with light passenger loads? 11.35 Do you have a clear policy on arrival time management and control (ETA Management)?

Internal Comments/Internal Action


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
Checklist Item
11.36 Do you have SOPs on holding procedures, tactical speed and altitude management, information on clean holding configuration and speeds, lengthening of holding pattern to minimize turns, shortening of alternate for additional holding time, etc?
(Linear holding is good if one does not loose an arrival sequence or slot).

Internal Comments/Internal Action

11.37 Do you have an effective flight watch policy, a flight progress monitoring and a flight profile reoptimization for longer flights? 11.38 Do you have a policy of advising flight dispatch of any factor that can affect the present or future flights?
(Weather changes, deviations due to CBs, holdings, diversions, ground delays, un-forecast winds, unexpected turbulence, etc.)

11.39 Do you maximize the use of re-clearance and redispatching techniques? 11.40 Do you have a clear policy on the use of alternate fuel to land at destination if holding or contingency fuels are exceeded while holding? [NOT STATUTORY RESERVE FUEL] 11.41 Do you have descent profile management guidelines including speed versus altitude tradeoffs, FMS programming with descent winds and altitude crossing insertions guidelines? 11.42 Do you have guidelines on arrival procedures and landing runway selection considerations? 11.43 Are your SOPs specific enough on Approach planning? Do you have a policy on keep aircraft clean as long as possible?
(If no ATC speed restrictions exist, recommend the use of speeds that are most efficient as long as possible)

11.44 Is the use of low-noise low-drag approach procedures (decelerated approach) standard for your airline? Are the SOPs specific enough with accurate target altitudes and speeds to maximize the benefits of the procedure? 11.45 Is the use of reduced flap landings a standard with appropriate guidelines? 11.46 Is the use of idle reverse on landing encouraged, and appropriate information available on fuel versus brake-wear trade–off?
(Carbon brakes wear is more a function of the number of applications rather than the amount of braking used. Noise and emissions are reduced and the passenger reaction is normally favourable. With auto brakes, the stopping distance is basically the same with or without reverse.


Checklist Item
11.47 Do you use engine out taxi-in as a standard procedure with appropriate SOPs? 11.48 Do you start the APU on arrival? Is there a policy of shutting down the APU as soon as the ground power is available? 11.49 Do you have an APU management policy on short or long turn-around? Do you have a policy of depowering the aircraft when unattended?

Internal Comments/Internal Action

12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5

Have you established a good working arrangement with your local air traffic authority, to cooperate in airspace, air route and terminal area design? Are your pilots aware of air traffic control procedures and standards, and the limitations or capabilities of the local ATC systems? Do you have a familiarisation program for air traffic controllers to understand the capabilities of your fleet? Does your local air traffic authority have a familiarisation program for your pilots? Do you have an established process to exchange operational concerns or complaints with your local air traffic authority?

13.1 13.2 13.3

Does your maintenance program have an Aerodynamic Deterioration Program? Are aircraft washed buffed and polished ensuring a clean smooth service? Are fuselage doors maintained on a program that ensures the best door to fuselage fit, including door seals that provide enhanced sealing? Are the flight controls generally inspected to ensure that they do provide maximized performance to eliminate drag? More specifically, are spoiler panels rigged to the optimized condition eliminating spoiler float? Are wing leading edge devices, rigged and maintained to maximize performance, eliminating vibrations and drag? Do engine and APU cowls/doors fit correctly eliminating induced drag? Do you ensure a maximized “fit” & “fair” configuration for Wheel Well doors to fuselage?


13.5 13.6

13.7 13.8


Guidance Material and Best Practices for Fuel and Environmental Management
Checklist Item
13.9 Do you ensure maximized “fit” & “fair” configuration for wing to fuselage speed fairings eliminating drag? Do you ensure maximized “fit” & “fair” configuration for Stabilizer to empennage fairings? Are regular inspections carried out to ensure that windscreen to fuselage and skin joints are aerodynamically clean and do not induce drag? Do you utilize an aircraft dents and scratches map, so as to plan maintenance eliminating these sources of drag? Do you manage a program that minimizes/eliminates CDL dispatch of aircraft with items removed from an aircraft that can increase fuel burn through increased drag? Are the airspeed and altimeter calibration readings verified at frequent intervals so as to eliminate errors causing an impact on fuel burn? Are engine inspections conducted to recognize gas path erosion and increased fuel consumption? Do you perform engine and APU compressor washes improving cold stream efficiency? Are engines exposed adequately to out of trim maintenance actions enhancing fuel performance? Have your maintenance ground run specialists been trained adequately and retested at appropriate intervals to ensure ground engine operations that do not cause induced engine fatigue issues. Does your operation maximize the use of ground support equipment eliminating the use of engine and APU use for systems maintenance and overnight considerations? Does your company investigate the economy of alternative fuels, such as Bio –Diesel, to power its ground equipment? Do you conduct regular reviews of Manufacturers Service Bulletins that affect fuel consumption? Have you reviewed the ICAO publication entitled, Operational Opportunities to Minimize Fuel Use and Reduce Emissions? (Cir 303 – AN/176).

Internal Comments/Internal Action

13.10 13.11




13.15 13.16 13.17 13.18



13.21 13.22