(photo: Japan Airlines)
Fri 5 Jun 2009 – Japan Airlines (JAL) has just started trialling the use of User Preferred Route (UPR) on flights between Tokyo Narita and Brisbane, as well as Sydney. The procedure sets a unique and optimal flight path for each aircraft to fly what it judges to be the most efficient route so shortening flight times and reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Since last month, JAL has begun using Continuous Descent Arrival (CDA) procedures for flights landing late at night and early in the morning at Osaka’s Kansai International.
JAL has been conducting UPR trials on flights to Hawaii since August 2008 and has now received safety approvals from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Australian civil aviation authorities to extend the trial to the Brisbane and Sydney routes.
By utilizing UPR on the once-daily, round-trip flights to both destinations, JAL estimates that it can save annually up to 454 tonnes of fuel, which translates to an approximate decrease in CO2 emissions of 1,400 tonnes and a fuel cost reduction of 24 million yen ($245,000).
CDA allows an aircraft to descend continuously from its cruising altitude when approaching the airport, thereby reducing the use of engine thrust and consequently the amount of fuel used. Using this method on the three daily flights operated by JAL during the relevant time periods, an estimated 254 tonnes of fuel can be saved per year, reducing CO2 emissions by 800 tonnes and saving around 13 million yen ($133,000) in fuel costs.
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