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forget about saving fuel

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forget about saving fuel

Old 7th May 2010, 20:31
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forget about saving fuel

Thinking about asking for a shortcut?


EUROCONTROL - Flight Plan & ATFCM adherence
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Old 8th May 2010, 16:30
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We've always been receiving several "directs" in European airspace when entering and exiting from Far East and Middle Eastern routes, even when not having specifically requested it.

Short cuts are not just to save fuel, but primarily to minimize airways turns and to fly in a straight line for crew and passenger comfort.
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Old 8th May 2010, 16:57
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Yes, of course, but the POINT of the report/paper is that very 'happening' is causing flow control to partly break down and suggests it should cease.
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Old 8th May 2010, 18:13
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Eurocontrol should concentrate more on reorganizing their airspace layout, coordination between the various agencies, interaction with the military,wider implementation of PRNAV/ADS-B/GPS and other pro-active initiatives instead of finding excuses for being inefficient.
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Old 8th May 2010, 19:05
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The biggest provider of shortcuts is controller initiative. Unfortunately short cuts can bring aircraft into a sector or sectors for which they were not originally planned, resulting in sector overload. Controllers are being discouraged to initiate shortcuts to avoid any such unexpected overloads.
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Old 8th May 2010, 19:38
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Eurocontrol should concentrate more on reorganizing their airspace layout, coordination between the various agencies, interaction with the military,wider implementation of PRNAV/ADS-B/GPS and other pro-active initiatives instead of finding excuses for being inefficient.
Eurocontrol only provide Air Traffic Services over Maastricht Upper Air Space so any changes suggested are going to be pretty limited !

The Eurocontrol Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) generally do a pretty good job of providing safe flows over the whole of Europe, but the issues you mention are the domain of the individual State authorities, via the various Air Traffic Services providers. Until the airspace becomes a seemless entity, managed by a central agency, you won't see much progress. There's a lot of politics to be talked and concessions made before then, unfortunately.
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Old 8th May 2010, 20:02
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So, are they implying that a direct given by an ATCO will/may inconvenience another ATCO's plan further down the route?
If so then that really is something for the ATC agencies to sort out but they should bear in mind that, over the year, a lot of fuel is saved by direct routing as there would be if we could reduce holding at destination, either racetrack or extended or reduced speed or long stepped descents (no names, no packdrill).

Glad I'm not the senior ATCO tasked with coming up with the cunning plan
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Old 10th May 2010, 03:44
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Dumb pilot comment, but direct routing ove Europe typically saves three to four minutes. How big an impact can that have? Three minutes, it's the difference of being number one or two for departure for example, or giving way to the Iberia in Madrid!

I understand that every tiny little bit helps, but if they start refusing directs, they might as well tell us all to forget econ speeds, fly at FL300 and descend 300 miles out. Ooops...that already happens.
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Old 10th May 2010, 04:28
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Sorry What The Mean Of That , May Be Fuel Is Expensive
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Old 10th May 2010, 10:29
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PENKO, if you fly for an airline with a large fleet you multiply 3-4 mins shortcut per a/c per sector per day, that will equate to quite an impressive fuel cost saving over a year. I grant you that you may have to hold or take the scenic route at your destination but that may happen anyway. Therefore, the potential savings in shortcuts are still effective.
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Old 10th May 2010, 10:33
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Avman - read Penko's post again?
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Old 10th May 2010, 10:52
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Well, I'm trying to.
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Old 10th May 2010, 11:14
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Avman, in light of this topic I'm questioning how big of an impact a direct route can have on the flow of traffic, since those few minutes saved in the air are invariably lost elsewhere during the whole operation! The impact on fuel burn is well known
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Old 10th May 2010, 12:20
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since those few minutes saved in the air are invariably lost elsewhere during the whole operation
Well i guess you could not take the directs and still have the dlays at the other end. You can't win so just take the dam directs.
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Old 10th May 2010, 12:26
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Down here, in Spain, we´ve been complaining about sector overload for some months, this is the answer we got. Do you really think this only applies to Maastricht? It is the perfect excuse for any ANSP. Now it´s atco´s fault for trying to help, not theirs.
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Old 10th May 2010, 17:08
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Guys it doesn't matter really, but please read my post in the context of this topic! I'm on your side. I'm being cynical about Eurocontrol.
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Old 10th May 2010, 20:09
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Leaving aside the issue of direct routings, which should be solved by more and more flight plan based direct routings, the fact remains that a large percentage of traffic is requesting a different level than the one they have in their flight plan. If we could have companies filing what they actually want and if those companies would ensure that their crews stick to these plans, we would make a huge step forward.
A margin for operational reasons, from both an ATC and a flight deck perspective, should always be included. It is not the idea to put pilots and controllers in a straightjacket.
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Old 10th May 2010, 21:20
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The issue is not fuel burn or shorter (direct) routings is about maximizing capacity, i.e. moving a maximum of aircfaft in a given piece of airspace .

Every controller hates to be told what to to with his traffic once he/she is in charge ( that included me ) and giving a direct is what the pilot (normally) wants, save time and fuel, I get the a/c sooner away to the next frequency, everyone happy.
That was the old way.
Now let me try to explain the today way in short :

Today is max capacity to avoid delays.(*) If you want this as a goal, you start to do something like in the busy parts of the USA, everyone on fixed tracks, same speed , 5 or 10 NM appart, very, very early descents.

Today 55-60a/c per hour per sector is max. So if the less busy sectors down the route give a direct to everyone , some will get early and a sector-funnel down the line will get 65 or 70 and that becomes a safety issue.
Same reasoning with RFLs. If everyone request 350+ cruising to CFMU , you get delays, but if the mid sector 290-340 is less busy , airline X might want to refile a lower cruising level to get no delay through that area.
Pilot still like higher of course, but if the controller obliges the system no longer works.
Difficult transition times between controllers trained the old way and the maximizing capacity issues of today

As to those that believe the 2 or 3 min make no difference, revisit Ueberlingen. ATC system down, 7min on the stips, no problem. Both aircraft sent direct by previous centres, 0 min abeam TRA.

(*) This is today, might change tomorrow with oil at 150US/barell.
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Old 11th May 2010, 06:21
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During the Berlin airlift, aircraft were landing at Tegel and Templehof with 60 second intervals. The only way that could be achieved was if everyone flew at the same speed and at the assigned level they were given as they entered the three corridors. Once the maximum number of aircraft had landed, the airfield switched to departures at the same rate. The first aircraft to land was unloaded and ready to leave as the last aircraft landed.
It would be interesting to see if such a system would work for all the London airports, 2 hours of just arrivals, then 2 hours of just departures. It would certainly make flow control a lot simpler, bearing in mind that the technology available in the early 50s was somewaht less sophisticated than today's.
In case anyone is wondering, my tongue is lodged ever so slightly in my cheek, but only a little.
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Old 11th May 2010, 08:03
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Although nowhere near that density, the 'early' commercial schedules into Pristina (Kosovo) had to make landing and departure windows (primarily due to apron space), and it worked pretty well. Great co-operation from ATC across Europe too to help us.
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