Bringing Data Science Into The Cockpit To Reduce Fuel Burn And Carbon Emission

Air transport is grappling with an unprecedented and unstable mix of global economic and environmental challenges. Critical are the high price volatility of jet fuel and the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions.

So here’s some good news. Using new data-driven, innovative, and straightforward inflight guidance solutions, SITA can save airlines US$1m net a year for each batch of 20 jet aircraft operated, while cutting CO2 emissions by thousands of tons.

SITA OptiClimb and SITA OptiDirect form part of the SITA OptiFlight suite – in-flight tactical recommendations based on tail-specific predictive performance modelling.

seamless integration in the cockpit ecosystem

SITA OptiClimb and SITA OptiDirect are compatible with any jet aircraft type. They fully integrate with airlines’ current IT and cockpit ecosystem – requiring less investment in the technology and ensuring timely and straightforward adoption by pilots.

Both solutions also complement the legacy fuel dashboard used by airlines. And they enable pilots and airlines to achieve further fuel savings.

More than 1,000 aircraft worldwide are already reaping the rewards. And the suite is currently available for the following models: B-737, 757, 767, 787, 777; A320, 330, 350; and E190.

SITA OptiClimb: inflight guidance to optimize aircraft climb-out

SITA OptiClimb is the only in-flight fuel efficiency solution available now that provides pilots with guidance on optimizing aircraft climb-out.

The solution combines aircraft tail-specific machine learning with 4D weather forecasts to recommend optimized speed changes at different altitudes. It predicts fuel burn in tens of thousands of flight scenarios, issuing recommended climb speeds to pilots ahead of each flight.

For example, speed recommendations match actual take-off weight and winds. Customized speeds will be provided using weather inputs every 1,000 feet.

Applying SITA OptiClimb recommendations offer systematic and significant fuel savings for each climb-out. For example, on the climb-out phase of a single flight – the most fuel consuming of all flight phases – the solution saves up to 5% in fuel and CO2 emissions.

Over the course of a year, this translates into average savings on a single aircraft of 80 tons in fuel and 250 tons in carbon emissions. and reductions in annual CO2 emissions of thousands of tons and operational costs of millions of dollars. If the global jet airline fleet used SITA OptiClimb, the emission of 5.6m tons of CO2 could be avoided annually.

SITA OptiDirect: shortcut opportunities based on historical tracks flown

Flight plans are often very constrained and do not always follow the shortest or optimal route, depending on the winds and temperatures encountered along the route. Once the aircraft is at cruise level, pilots can ask air traffic control for a direct route or a shortcut to save both time and fuel.

However, they do not have information on which shortcuts have been previously flown – nor how much fuel and time could be saved by taking a specific short cut, based on real-time weather conditions.

SITA OptiDirect fills the gap. Thanks to machine-learning algorithms applied to historical flight data and combined with a waypoints database, SITA OptiDirect recommends shortcuts with time and fuel saving information.

As a result, and armed with hard information and recommendations, pilots are keener on asking for shortcuts. A more efficient flight delivers extra fuel savings during the cruise, as well as a quicker and less carbon-intensive flight.

Join the SITA OptiFlight community and together we can strengthen fuel-saving and emission-saving initiatives. As of today, the operations of 1,000+ aircraft worldwide are optimized thanks to the use of SITA OptiFlight solutions. Get in touch to boost your journey to more sustainable operations.

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