As reported by the German newspaper Die Welt among others, Ryanair seems to be under authority investigation for having declared a MTOW of 66.990 kg as basis for the calculation of air navigation and landing fees but having systematically exceeded this. Every flight examined by the authority has had an actual takeoff weight above this value, but equal to or below the Boeing-issued maximum TOW of 74.990kg.
It is expected that within Germany alone, the savings amount to around 370.000 Eur. a month. The immediate future seems to hold a sizeable bill for Ryanair.
Nonsense: charges are based on declared MTOW , not actual T/O weight .
The issue seems to be ( if I understood the article correctly) between FR which declared all its aircraft to have a MTOW of 66,9 Tons , and the manufacturer data which says MTOW 75 Tons. What is on the actual Irish registry certificates would be interesting to know. If the Irish allowed 66.9 and someone can prove flights were systematically made well above that figure, the problems for FR and Irish CAA will be far more complex than some money fines about route/landing charges......
If this is true, it's either fraud (including conspiracy to defraud) or corporate negligence. One is a criminal act, the other should be punished by the stock market - when the punitive fines kick in. Also, their auditors should be in a for an appropriate fine as well. Failing to spot an obvious infringement of the rules should also be punished.
When we exceed our RTOW (declared maximum) my crowd offload passengers - we can probably imagine what the thieving pikey's attitude to that would be. Let's have a level playing field shall we.
Unlike 'the old days' when a change in declared MTOW required days of notice and hand delivered parchment to the authority, I understand from a recent discussion here that it can now be 'instant'. What might have happened here is that RY 'forgot' to notify the 'exceedance' in whichever place one does. If true, whether that was through incompetence or deception remains to be decided but may well have handed the authorities a nice large hammer. Not a good move.
Oh dear Piltdown Man, you make a statement such as the one in your last paragraph and will no doubt squeal like a stuck pig when Ryanair want your name and address from PPRuNe so they can ask you to retract and apologise.
The issue seems to be ( if I understood the article correctly) between FR which declared all its aircraft to have a MTOW of 66,9 Tons , and the manufacturer data which says MTOW 75 Tons.
Actually, the issue seems to be a discrepancy between the MTOW declared by Ryanair and what is actually entered for the same airframe into the Irish registry. As the German DFS does not have direct access to the Irish registry they actually had to perform some ramp checks to collect the data and see if there was any discrepancy. Actual take-off weight is of course irrelevant as far as ATC fees are concerned. According to the article actual MTOW was never exceeded.
The wheel appears to be a turnin'. What goes up must come down and all that.
It's my belief that history is a wheel. "Inconsistency is my very essence" -says the wheel- "Rise up on my spokes if you like, but don't complain when you are cast back down into the depths. Good times pass away, but then so do the bad. Mutability is our tragedy, but it is also our hope. The worst of times, like the best, are always passing away" Boethius, 6th Century Philosopher
Mate of mine had the misfortune to wind up working for a bunch of bucket & spade cowboys many years ago. He told me , at the time, that the company declared a few aircraft to have a MTOW well below Manufacturer's figure. He was told by the CP, no less, that this was to avoid Air Traffic charges. However, the aircraft were regularly flown above the "declared" MTOW but never , of course, above the Certified Manufacturers MTOW. Cowboys loved topping up the difference in fuel & making it easy to go long distances without being charged for the heavier weight. But that was a long time ago when the Cranwell twerps were in charge & thought that there was still a war on ! Line blokes, grateful for a job, cheered them on. My mate left. He told the CP that there were two things he would never do; 1. Break the Law. 2. Endanger the lives of innocent pax. He felt that he was being asked to do both on a regular basis.
If this is indeed the case, then Ryanair is not only guilty of fraud, but also of deliberately operating outside the authorised performance enveloppe, which is reason to suspend the Ryanair AOC.
I don't know if you were referring directly to my summary of the article but if that is the case you have completely misunderstood what I said. According to the DFS, Ryanair never exceeded the certification MTOW but allegedly declared an MTOW which was lower than the actual value (from the aircraft's papers), in order to pay less than was actually due. Flight safety was never endangered.
Connecting a few of the dots here, would it not be the best idea to have weighbridges for aircraft in taxiways in order to (a) give the takeoff weight to the captain for thrust settings (b) charge the airline a tariff for TOW, and (c) give a checksum for any irregularities between the expected and actual weights that could point to something awry (such as ice on the wings?)
If they're charging based on takeoff weight and Ryanair saved millions, then the cost of a weighbridge pales into insignificance just on that saving alone, let alone the savings in lives and money from incidents based on false TOW.
Ryn operates with variable MTOW: 66,990; 69,990 and 74,990: you just need to declare which one you use prior to operate the flight. Most of the time the ATOW is well below 66,990 because the commpany is operating short flights, with almost no bags in the hold and little fuel tankering. So there is no massive fraud on en-route fees; maybe few flights had discrepancies due maybe to omission or little coordination between crew and dispatcher or else. but there is no chance a fraud system has been implemented as most of the flights have ATOW around 62 to 64T so no need to fraud!!!
It may have changed but in the past FR SOP was to adjust the certified MTOW downward to reflect the actual TOW. It was a paperwork adjustment which had to be signed for by an engineer. If the next flight required a higher TOW, the aircraft had to be re-certified upwards before departure. Obviously it couldn't be certified above the manufacturers MTOW. The advantages of this system was the calculation of airways charges, landing charges etc is based on certified MTOW. So the lower the better. Obviously if it were to be "forgotten" to re-certify when a higher TOW was achieved, there would be substantial cost savings.
Connecting a few of the dots here, would it not be the best idea to have weighbridges for aircraft in taxiways in order to (a) give the takeoff weight to the captain for thrust settings (b) charge the airline a tariff for TOW, and (c) give a checksum for any irregularities between the expected and actual weights that could point to something awry (such as ice on the wings?
The technology has been around for decades. I tried to sell it to airports during the late 1990s. But it's always down to 'who is going to pay for it?' - the added safety aspect of avoiding wrong take-off calculations never seemed to matter.