User preferred routes launched between Melbourne and Auckland

Airlines flying between Melbourne and Auckland in either direction are now able to fly user preferred routes (UPRs) for the first time, increasing efficiency and reducing emissions.
The implementation of UPRs by Airservices and Airways New Zealand allow aircraft to fly the most efficient route rather than following fixed published air routes. Each UPR is custom-designed by the aircraft operator for an individual flight to meet the specific needs of the aircraft.

Airservices Acting General Manager Air Traffic Control, Mark Rodwell, said UPRs were calculated by an aircraft operators flight dispatch with the intent of achieving either a minimum fuel, minimum time or minimum cost flight.

Airlines will be able to make these decisions based on factors such as forecast weather, aircraft type and performance as well as their own scheduling requirements, Mr Rodwell said.

This will enable them to fly optimised routes to achieve better flight efficiency through the use of prevailing wind patterns, delivering shorter flight times, reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Melbourne - Auckland UPR is the first phase of Airservices roll-out of UPRs into the Tasman Sea and eventually across continental Australian airspace.

Mr Rodwell said that Airservices had previously introduced UPRs into lower traffic density airspace such as the Pacific Ocean, and more recently in the Indian Ocean for traffic between Australia and the Middle East and Australia and South Africa.

Airservices National Operations Centre in Canberra works with upper airspace air traffic controllers to publish daily flextracks routes between Australia, Asia and the Middle East, he said.

The flex track delivers a general benefit to operators by producing a limited number of fuel efficient tracks to provide more efficient route options to airlines. They are best described as a short term fixed route to be used by multiple aircraft.

UPRs on the other hand allow airlines to design single-use air routes that meet the specific needs of individual flights.
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