1981-10-01

Airline Flight Planning - The Weather Connection 811067

Airline flight planning has shown little improvement in accuracy since the introduction of computerized techniques in 1964. This has primarily been, because both the type of weather product utilized by the carriers and the way they have employed it has remained unchanged over the past 15 years. The airlines now have an opportunity to make a significant advance in this area with attendant benefits in fuel savings. Most of the technological ingredients are in place, but it will take increased cooperation between government and the private sector if cost effective improvements are to be made on a reasonable time scale. This paper reviews the meteorological basis for the present method of flight planning and analyzes its impact on current flight operations. A new approach is suggested for developing a weather data base, for flight planning, which has the potential of providing a fuel savings of between 2 and 3 percent on long distance flights.

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