Effect of vertical profile inefficiency during descent on fuel burn, emissions and flight time

Aksoy H., Usanmaz O., Turgut E. T.

AERONAUTICAL JOURNAL, vol.122, no.1252, pp.913-932, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 122 Issue: 1252
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/aer.2018.41
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.913-932
  • Keywords: Vertical profile inefficiency, CDA operations, CCO operations, fuel consumption, emissions
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Vertical profile inefficiency caused by low-level flight segments during arrival and departure operations has a great impact on the financial cost of operators as well as negative environmental effects. In this regard, continuous descent and climb operations for arrival and departure phases are mostly preferred as one of the methods that reduce or eliminate vertical profile inefficiencies. In this study, focus is put on the arrival phase and the purpose is: (i) to analyse the vertical profiles of arrival traffic at Mugla Milas-Bodrum Airport (BJV), Antalya Airport (AYT) and Ankara Esenboga Airport (ESB) and to characterise the level-offs that occur in the arrival phase and (ii) to quantify the potential time, fuel and emission savings in the event of a shift of inefficient low-level flight segments to the cruise segment of equal distance. For the purpose of this paper, real-time flight data is used for the analysis of the vertical profiles of flights. Flight parameters, such as latitude, longitude, altitude, speed and so on are used to determine, visualise and characterise level-off segments. The Boeing Fuel Flow Method 2 is used to calculate emissions at any altitude. Analyses of the results show that 80%, 74% and 69% of arrival traffic at BJV, AYT and ESB, respectively. were exposed to at least one level-off lasting longer than 20 seconds and significant potential for time, fuel and emissions savings exist for three airports.