Farnborough Air Show

"Tailored" arrivals reduce fuel and cut emissions

 - August 5, 2008, 8:32 AM

Boeing and its partners in industry and government accomplished significant reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions during recent tests of “tailored” arrivals, which enabled aircraft to fully use air-to-ground datalink technology to descend into San Francisco International Airport with minimal direct air traffic control intervention.

Between Dec. 4, 2007, and March 23, 2008, United Airlines, Air New Zealand and Japan Airlines completed 57 flights into SFO that used a continuous descent approach rather than a series of level segments as now required.
The tailored-arrivals approach reduced fuel consumption during descents by up to 39 percent–depending on airplane type–and total carbon emissions by more than 500,000 pounds.

The project relied on key technologies supplied by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA. The FAA’s Ocean 21 system delivers data to and streamlines communications between flight crews and air traffic controllers. NASA’s En-route Descent Adviser computes fuel-efficient descent solutions.

The tailored-arrivals procedures will be used later this year at Miami International Airport as part of a joint FAA-European Commission initiative to accelerate the practical implementation of transatlantic air traffic management improvements that can reduce emissions and noise.
The airlines involved in the San Francisco flights used Boeing 777-200ER and 747-400 airplanes. On average, full-tailored arrival approaches reduced fuel consumption of the 777s by 1,303 pounds per flight, or about 34 percent. For the 747s, the savings totaled 2,291 pounds, or about 39 percent.

Even partial use of the tailored- arrivals approach, which occurred on 119 additional flights, produced fuel savings of 379 pounds per flight for the 777s and 1,100 pounds per flight for the 747s.

The San Francisco effort began as a development project between Boeing and NASA and continues in partnership with the FAA. It also is part of an international program to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Boeing and its partners in industry and government accomplished significant reductions in fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions during recent tests of “tailored” arrivals, which enabled aircraft to fully use air-to-ground datalink technology to descend into San Francisco International Airport with minimal direct air traffic control intervention.

Between Dec. 4, 2007, and March 23, 2008, United Airlines, Air New Zealand and Japan Airlines completed 57 flights into SFO that used a continuous descent approach rather than a series of level segments as now required.

The tailored-arrivals approach reduced fuel consumption during descents by up to 39 percent–depending on airplane type–and total carbon emissions by more than 500,000 pounds.

The project relied on key technologies supplied by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA. The FAA’s Ocean 21 system delivers data to and streamlines communications between flight crews and air traffic controllers. NASA’s En-route Descent Adviser computes fuel-efficient descent solutions.

The tailored-arrivals procedures will be used later this year at Miami International Airport as part of a joint FAA-European Commission initiative to accelerate the practical implementation of transatlantic air traffic management improvements that can reduce emissions and noise.

The airlines involved in the San Francisco flights used Boeing 777-200ER and 747-400 airplanes. On average, full-tailored arrival approaches reduced fuel consumption of the 777s by 1,303 pounds per flight, or about 34 percent. For the 747s, the savings totaled 2,291 pounds, or about 39 percent.

Even partial use of the tailored- arrivals approach, which occurred on 119 additional flights, produced fuel savings of 379 pounds per flight for the 777s and 1,100 pounds per flight for the 747s.

The San Francisco effort began as a development project between Boeing and NASA and continues in partnership with the FAA. It also is part of an international program to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.