JAL trials UPR on Hawaii service

JAL Group has started
trials of User Preferred Route (UPR) for flights between Japan and
Hawaii.If adopted on Hawaii routes, this flight path planning system
will enable the airline group to reduce both its fuel consumption and
CO2 emissions, helping to reduce its fuel bill as well as its
environmental footprint.

A User Preferred Route is a unique flight path for each aircraft instead
of following the conventional approach of flying along predetermined
aviation routes set by air traffic controllers (ATC). Depending upon the
prevailing weather conditions at the time, UPR allows an airline to fly
along what it judges to be the most efficient route for each type of
aircraft used. The system helps to improve operational efficiency by
providing each aircraft with an optimal flight path and shortening
flight times.

Presently, the JAL Group is allowed to use two flight paths between
Japan and Hawaii that are prepared each day by air traffic controllers
based on weather forecasts provided 24 hours in advance of actual flight
departure. As the weather conditions can change by the time of a
flight’s departure, and there are only 2 flight paths routes to choose
from, the aircraft may not be able to fly the most optimal routing. The
most optimal flight path will also differ depending on the type of
aircraft used.

The JAL Group has decided to carry out the trials of UPR, as technical
advancements in aircraft devices and ATC systems have made it easier to
more accurately pinpoint an aircraft’s position in the air, and as the
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Japanese Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLITT) have been conducting since
November 2007 continuous safety examinations of the usage of UPR on
Japan - Hawaii routes.

The airline group will start trials of UPR for scheduled flights serving
on 4 routes between Japan and Hawaii: Narita - Honolulu, Narita - Kona,
Osaka - Honolulu, and Nagoya -Honolulu. UPR will also be trialed on any
extra scheduled flights operated during peak holiday periods, and on
charter flights operated between Japan and Hawaii. In total, the JAL
Group operates approximately 4700 one-way flights per year on these
routes.

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If User Preferred Route were used on all of its flights operating
between Japan and Hawaii, the JAL Group has estimated that it could
potentially reduce its fuel consumption by about 3.4 million lbs (1.93
million liters, 9600 oil drums), resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction
of 4,700 tons and a reduction in fuel costs of 180 million yen per year.
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