June 27 – Boeing says that select 777 and 747 aircraft flown by United Airlines, Air New Zealand and Japan Air Lines have cut their fuel use 34 to 39 percent when using tailored arrivals at San Francisco International Airport.
Oceanic tailored arrivals permit low power, continuous descent approaches into costal destinations designed to reduce fuel burn, emissions, and noise. The arrivals rely on Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) technologies on board participating aircraft and on the ground.
NextGen is the transformation of U.S. aviation using 21st century technologies to ensure future safety, capacity and environmental needs are met.
"Concepts like tailored arrivals can be deployed quickly and at relatively low cost because the technology is in place today," said Kevin Brown, Boeing Vice President and General Manager of Air Traffic Management. "As more airlines and airports use it, we move closer toward realizing the benefits expected from the Next Generation Air Transportation System."
Between December 4, 2007, and March 23, 2008, aircraft participating in trials collectively reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 525,661 pounds, according to data compiled by Boeing. On average, the Boeing 777s flying full-tailored arrivals used 1,303 fewer pounds of fuel, while 747s averaged 2,291 pounds less.
Although full-tailored arrivals account for just 25 to 30 percent of all trial flights to date, significant reductions for partial arrivals were noted as 777s averaged 379 pounds of fuel saved and 747s cut fuel use by 1,100 pounds per flight.
There is a savings even if the whole procedure is not completed. In addition to fuel savings, wear and tear on the aircraft’s engines is reduced, and there are noise reductions as well.
The FAA expects the trials to expand in both scope and application. Tailored arrivals into San Francisco, once only done in the middle of the night, are now conducted at any time of the day and in a wide mix of air traffic. Other trials will soon be started in Miami.