Air India’s fuel-saving initiative on Delhi-Hyderabad flight

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on April 29, 2019 Published on April 29, 2019

Air India scripts new era in fuel conservation. File photo   -  REUTERS

Regulations require that every aircraft has to carry enough fuel to fly to the destination and also to an alternative airport in case of flight diversion.

Air India’s Delhi-Hyderabad flight created a new record in Indian aviation history on Monday morning when its Boeing 787 Dreamliner landed in Hyderabad using a new method called ‘Dispatch with No Destination Alternate’.

Regulations require every flight to file an alternative city or airport enroute where the aircraft can land and carries adequate fuel to cover such emergency.

This means that the aircraft carries additional fuel which is a dead weight if there is no diversion from the intended destination. The heavier the aircraft, the more fuel it consumes while flying.

Safety aspects

But now with diversions coming down to ‘insignificant levels’ and increasing reliability of aircraft and technology to guide pilots, it was decided to give ‘Dispatch with No Destination Alternate’ a chance said the Air India pilot who was on the morning Delhi-Hyderabad flight.

“We were carrying more than enough fuel for the flight to land safely. Neither passenger safety nor any other safety is compromised,” said Captain Rajneesh Sharma, a member of the team involved with the project.

The preparation for the flight began almost four months earlier, recalls Captain Digvijay Singh, who was on the flight. Initially, it was the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and various operators who were involved but later the Air Traffic Controller and the Meteorological Department were also roped in.

Requisites for the system

According to the new system, a Dispatch with No Destination Alternate flight can only happen if the destination has two separate runways with instrument approach procedures and the weather an hour before and after the expected time of arrival is ‘visual’ or the pilot has a visibility of 5 km from the runway with cloud ceiling at atleast 2,000 ft. In addition, only pilots who have 300 hours flying as pilots-in-command will be allowed to operate these flights.

For the next 30 days these flights from Delhi to Hyderabad will be monitored and can then be extended to another airport, possibly Kolkata.

Adopting this method will help Air India reduce its fuel requirements by two tonnes on a Boeing 787, while actual consumption of fuel will come down by about 90 kg on a larger Boeing 777.

The actual fuel requirement will come down by four tonnes and fuel consumption will come down by about 140 kg.

Adopting this method will help the carrier reduce its fuel requirements by two tonnes on a Boeing 787





Published on April 29, 2019
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