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JAL Extends User Preferred Route Trials to Australia

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The Japan Airlines Group has extended the use of User Preferred Route (UPR) on its flights between Japan and Australia.

 After receiving safety verifications from the Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the U.S Federal Aviation Administration and Australian civil aviation authorities, UPR trials on the route between Tokyo, Narita and Brisbane as well as Sydney started June 4, 2009.

JAL successfully conducted trials using UPR - a flight path planning system that helps to reduce fuel consumption and thereby reduce CO2 gas emissions, on flights to Hawaii since August 2008.

 By utilizing this method of flight operations on the once-daily, round-trip flights to both destinations in Australia, JAL estimates that it can save up to 1 million lbs. (560,000 liters or 28000 oil drums) of fuel which translates to an approximate decrease in CO2 gas emissions by 1,400 tons, thereby potentially reducing the cost of fuel by 24 million yen.

Furthermore, since May 7 this year, JAL started using the CDA (Continuous Descent Arrival) method for flights landing late at night and early in the morning at Osaka's Kansai International Airport. CDA allows an aircraft to descend continuously from its cruising altitude when approaching the airport. This reduces the use of engine thrust and consequently the amount of fuel used. Using this method on the 3 daily flights operated by JAL during the applicable time belt, an estimated 560,000 lbs. (320,000 liters, 1600 oil drums) of fuel can be saved per year, reducing CO2 gas emissions by 800 tons, and saving approximately 13 million yen in fuel costs.


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.

The JAL Group first 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.

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