Affiliations: System Engineer, Lufthansa Systems, Raunheim, Germany | Product Development, Lufthansa Systems, Raunheim, Germany | Institute of Aircraft Design, Technische Universität München, Garching, Germany
Note:  Corresponding author: Andreas Henn, System Engineer, Lufthansa Systems, Am Prime Parc 2, 65479 Raunheim, Germany. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: This analysis evaluates the ecological and economic impact of Freeflight trajectories in a Single European Sky. The analysis is based on the comparison of trajectories in the European airway network and trajectories in an envisioned Freeflight airspace in Europe made possible through the implementation of the Single European Sky. Freeflight trajectories are expected to have increased flight efficiency compared to network trajectories and thus help to establish the environmental objectives of the SESAR initiative. In the context of this study, the flight planning software Lido/Flight is used to simulate network trajectories and so-called Freeflight trajectories. Network trajectories are based on the European airway network of 2008 including all relevant flight planning restrictions. Freeflight trajectories are considered to model business trajectories in a Single European Sky, according to current research activities by the SESAR joint undertaking that are not limited to the existing airway network. Using an adaptive method to represent European air traffic, a representative flight sample consisting of 505 flight legs was simulated. This sample was generated from statistics of the most frequented European flight legs in 2007 provided by the Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU). The simulation delivered 12.120 trajectories of which the results were aggregated and compared in order to identify key differences between Freeflight and network trajectories. The results of the analysis show that Freeflight has significant saving potential compared to network trajectories in terms of fuel consumption, operating costs, flying time and flying distance. On the basis of the assumptions made, the fuel consumption of a Freeflight trajectory, compared to the according network trajectory, is in average 3.18% less. This is equivalent to an average reduction of fuel burn by 109.6 kg per flight. Extrapolating these findings to the entire European air traffic of 2007, the annual fuel consumption can be reduced by 835,425,671 kg in case of Freeflight. These numbers show the significant economic and ecological impact of the envisioned flight planning process in a Single European Sky compared to the status quo.
Keywords: SESAR, air traffic management (ATM), airspace user costs, efficiency, freeflight, business trajectory