Lufthansa is currently testing a new continuous descent operation at Munich Airport, which it has developed together with German Air Traffic Control in Munich.
It will thereby help all airline companies to save fuel and protect the environment.
Since October 2013, the process known as Continuous Descent Operations gives the pilot the opportunity, when descending to Munich Airport from the North, to optimise their descent within the framework of certain altitude and speed windows.
In comparison to conventional methods, such an approach saves around 100 liters of kerosene on a long-haul flight and around 50 litres per short-haul flight.
An early descent means that flight segments are flown at a lower altitude.
These are uneconomical as a result of higher fuel consumption in the denser layer of air.
The testing of the CDO in Munich has so far proved very successful from the point of view of the participants and will continue until the end of 2014.
It is planned to prove the everyday suitability of the procedure and also analyse the extent to which the new approaches are still possible even in heavy traffic.
In the course of the year the trial will also be extended to approaches from the South. CDO currently finds itself in the official approval process as an official descent procedure.
The new process, co-developed by Munich’s Lufthansa fleet management, is part of the Group-wide SCORE project ‘Fuel Efficiency’.
Experts from Lufthansa Group Airlines and Lufthansa Technik are thereby collecting proven and successful practical solutions in order to effectively increase the efficient use of kerosene.
After all, fuel represents the largest operating cost item for the Lufthansa Group and for years has been becoming an increasingly expensive item.