Consortium optimizes Oceanic flight routes saving 2.5% on emissions

The DORIS (Dynamic Optimization of the Route In flight) project, integrated in the AIRE programme and co-sponsored by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, concluded recently the validation of oceanic airspace flight routes dynamic optimization. The project was conducted by a consortium involving NAV Portugal, Air Europa, Iberia, INECO, AESA and SENASA. As a Partner to the AIRE Agreement the FAA supported the project and provided air traffic services for the flights transiting from Santa Maria FIR (NAV Portugal) to the New York FIR.
The results assessed from 44 flights showed that the optimized routes resulted an average reduction per flight of 995 kg in fuel consumption, with consequent savings of 3134 kg in CO2 emissions. This represents a saving of 2.5% of both the total fuel used and the CO2 emissions for the entire flight.

For the validation purpose several routes of the Air Europa A330 and Iberia A340 transatlantic flight networks, connecting the Iberian Peninsula to the Americas, were considered during a four month flight trial period, from March to June. Focus was placed in the routes from Madrid to Miami, Bogotá, San José, Caracas, Havana, Guatemala, Santo Domingo and Cancun, with more than 100 flight candidates from each of the airlines on which 110 flight optimizations for both airlines where

In current transoceanic operational environment, a significant share of the air traffic does not fly in the most fuel efficient route, leading to inefficient fuel usage. The flight planning process, which is planned some time ahead of flight departure, in order to allow for sufficient coordination between airlines, airports and ANSPs, and where the route is optimized based on the information available at that time, may be enhanced by an in-flight re-planning, namely during the cruise phase considering some flight operational conditions updates (take-off weight, new meteorological forecasts). Then a more fuel efficient air-distance route may be found which does not coincide with the initial plan.

In order to take advantage of the continuous watch for an optimized route, proper coordination between the different actors was crucial. The operational and technical optimization enablers of this project were based on: the ATM flexibility in the North Atlantic random route airspace as well as the full exploitation of data link communications between the airline HQ and the aircraft (ACARS) and between the aircraft and the ACCs (FANS CPDLC) to support the route change in flight.

The DORIS optimization process improved the flexibility to change flight routes in flight and it did not introduce a significant workload either for the ATC or the flight crew. The results presented suggest the update of current airlines policy to enforce the use of the optimization procedures in every day operations.

Future evolutions from the DORIS project may include the extension of the dynamic route optimization process to other trajectory domains (vertical and speed deviations), and the communication of the demonstration results to the maximum audience with view to increase the number of participating airlines applying the concept in current demonstration airspace.


There are no comments yet for this item

Join the discussion

You can only add a comment when you are logged in. Click here to login