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New EASA Rules Give Airlines Option To Carry Less Fuel


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Lots of buzz re this on other forums (including what if there is a line up at the alternate airport caused by the number of aircraft diverting) and of course the desire of the "Bean Counters" to save money. 😀

So from the perspective of this forum , a "real problem" or? New EASA Rules Give Airlines Option To Carry Less Fuel | Aviation Week Network

New EASA Rules Give Airlines Option To Carry Less Fuel

Victoria Moores March 28, 2022

refueling airplane

Credit: Chalabala / Getty Images

EASA has published a regulatory change which will allow airlines to reduce the amount of fuel carried for diversions and delays. 

This could cut CO2 emissions by up to 3 million tons annually, representing approximately 1% of European flight emissions.

The change, announced by EASA March 25, will take effect as of Oct. 30, and will more closely align EU rules with ICAO guidance about fuel planning and management.

“There is no reason to lift up more fuel reserve into the sky than necessary; lifting fuel burns more fuel,” EASA flight standards director Jesper Rasmussen said. “Most importantly, this can be done without compromising safety. The reduction is possible thanks to better assessment methods and better data, which allow airlines to carry out a more precise risk assessment.”

Airlines are required to carry enough fuel in case of flight plan changes, such as holding delays, or diversions caused by poor weather and other issues. However, this adds weight, increasing fuel consumption and total emissions. Under the new EASA rules, airlines will be able to use data to optimize this additional fuel requirement.

Fuel uplift reductions will vary depending on the routing and aircraft used, as well as whether airlines opt into the full scheme, which has two voluntary options.

“The new rules bring in three different fuel schemes: basic fuel scheme, fuel scheme with variations and individual fuel scheme,” EASA said. “The transition from the current rules to the basic fuel scheme requires little additional effort from the perspective of an air operator.”

EASA said the other two schemes are voluntary and will take more resources to implement as those require enhanced monitoring capabilities from the airlines. The regulator noted that national authorities “will also have to adjust their oversight to ensure that safety levels are not compromised.”

The new rules will also apply to aircraft powered by alternative energy sources, such as electric aircraft.

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There will be some interesting discussions  concerning "the" fuel load  between Ops and the Captain a few times. 

Easy for the guys sitting on the ground to say what the fuel load will be but then again they don't have to fly to some destinations where the weather can be really unpredictable. Been there....done that ... Captains rule !!! 😉

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It is indeed the captain's call, but every group has a few who have a penchant for carrying "granny gas" that never gets used.

I've seen the data that's been used to support exemption applications and it was very impressive. It's hard to argue with statistics that show years of operations that carried fuel that was never used. 

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Uh oh... That sounds like a "But the data!" argument from a man at a desk. Jeff? Statistics vs. Cap'n needs it?

Granny gas has saved lives that we've never heard about. You know that, right? Haven't you ever heard of, or witnessed, an aircraft arrive at the gate with barely more gas than a couple go-arounds would have cost? (or less?) Often with fabulous tales of the whys and what happeneds, of course. Shared with only a few.

Call it "granny gas" if that's how the story goes where you are, but in reality it's also baby gas, child gas, sister gas, mother gas... you get the idea.

But you know that, don't you? ...I acknowledge my memory is rotten, so I'll have to apologize if I've got this wrong, but I thought you used to fly? 

Cheers,

Mitch

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I do think though that sometimes there are other alternatives. For the odd time it will happen you can look at an enroute landing if things go south, and I know on the A340 we could save considerable fuel by reducing to M.80. There are more tools available in our back pocket than simply putting on more fuel, however sometimes more fuel is the best option and maybe the only one.

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Thanks for the thoughtful response J.O.. Who could argue with that? 👍 

As for carbon footprints and such... Obviously every contribution to decreasing the burden we've put on Mother Earth is a good thing. But the reality is probably much worse than we think... and if I were to take a wild-assed stab at a guesstimate, I'd say maybe something near 80% of air travel is not necessary at all. That's a lot of fuel.

I know, that's also another topic.... and a very unpopular opinion in here. 😔 

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4 hours ago, Specs said:

Anybody hear of any rumblings to do the same over here? 

Hi, Specs - The article contains no details to qualify or quantify the changes, but does include following:

  • "The change, announced by EASA March 25, will take effect as of Oct. 30, and will more closely align EU rules with ICAO guidance about fuel planning and management."

EASA rules do seem a bit more generous than than "over here". 

All that said, tho' here's some food for thought (from about 5 years ago) in the other direction :rolleyes::

Quote

"We present the results of flight simulator experiments (60 runs) with randomly selected airline pilots under realistic operational conditions and discuss them in light of current fuel regulations and potential fuel starvation. The experiments were conducted to assess flight crew performance in handling complex technical malfunctions including decision-making in fourth-generation jet aircraft. Our analysis shows that the current fuel requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are not sufficient to guarantee the safety target of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE), which is less than one accident in 10 million flights. To comply with this safety target, we recommend increasing the Final Reserve Fuel from 30 min to 45 min for jet aircraft. The minimum dispatched fuel upon landing should be at least 1 h."

Cheers - IFG :b:

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On 4/29/2022 at 2:04 PM, GDR said:

I do think though that sometimes there are other alternatives. For the odd time it will happen you can look at an enroute landing if things go south, and I know on the A340 we could save considerable fuel by reducing to M.80. There are more tools available in our back pocket than simply putting on more fuel, however sometimes more fuel is the best option and maybe the only one.

Wasn't the A340 susceptible to bird strikes from the back? 😅

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2 minutes ago, Maverick said:

Wasn't the A340 susceptible to bird strikes from the back? 😅

That's a low blow. Certainly not an original line by yours truly, but we used to joke that it got airborne because of the curvature of the earth.

I didn't fly the 47 but I did fly the 767. The flight management systems on the Airbus was far superior to the Boeing product, and from friends who have flown the 777 I gather that still holds true.

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