Earlier this year, Lufthansa partnered with DFS Aviation Services to develop a new concept for more efficient flight profiles.
The efficient flight profiles concept facilitates continuous descent operations, enabling landings with lower fuel consumption and emissions compared with standard approaches, in addition to reducing noise pollution within the vicinity of the airport.
Established and implemented in a record time of five weeks, Lufthansa and DFS took advantage of the decline in traffic caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which opened up opportunities to optimise flight profiles.
Initial evaluations show that the Lufthansa Group alone has been able to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 2,000 tonnes per month since the introduction.
The introduction of the efficient flight profiles concept allows aircraft to plan both laterally and vertically optimised flight routings on the approach to Frankfurt and Munich Airport from distances of more than 200 nautical miles.
Aircraft are cleared for a direct flight from upper airspace to the initial approach fix with a lead time of up to half an hour.
The initial approach fix is the point from which aircraft start to land.
Close coordination between the air navigation services providers involved allow the efficient flight profiles to be set up, up to one week before the flight takes place.
Clearances are agreed at an early stage, thus enabling smooth approaches that avoid lateral and vertical corrections as much as possible.
Klaus Froese, chief executive of Lufthansa Hub Frankfurt, stressed: “We, working with air traffic control, took advantage of the low traffic volume to develop and introduce more optimised approach profiles – and we did all this within a few weeks.
“I am extremely confident that the new approach procedure will have its place in daily flight operations, even as traffic volumes increase.”