Global results: KEA and FEA-FW comparison

The AURORA research project consolidates the results of their new metrics that encapsulate the operational objectives of the airlines.

The following post is going to take in consideration KEA and FEA-FW indicators to show some of these results.

KEA indicator is currently used by the PRU in their efficiency analysis and reports, and the new indicator of AURORA project demonstrates that KEA indicator is not enough to understand flights inefficiencies. This has been also expressed by the Airspace Users in the different Worshops held with them.  Speed, vertical profile, wind conditions and aircraft performances are factors affecting FEA-FW and that not being specifically considered in the KEA calculations.

The analyzed scenarios were the ADS-B equipped flights that took-off and landed inside the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) area, flying between 12:00 and 14:00 and for specific city pairs during the whole day, occurring on February 20th and 24th 2017.

The next figures present all the trajectories in each scenario color-coded by the values of the indicators, meaning that warmer colours have the worst efficiency values.

As can be appreciated, warmer colours in the figures of FEA-FW indicator show that most of the ECAC areas are more inefficient than expected when analyzing KEA indicator. The comparison between ECAC mean values also identified this trend: 14.9% and 15.3% for FEA-FW indicator, 9.7% and 10.2% for KEA indicator on the 20th and 24th respectively.

To better understand the key factors causing that KEA is not totally representing the optimal fuel consumption of the flights, the following figures show a KLM flight which value of KEA is 8.9% against 22.3% value of FEA-FW.

KLM1084 optimal fuel-based trajectory is flown at a lower speed than the actual trajectory, and the rate of climb and descent are also lower. These factors imply less fuel consumption.

We should also highlight that the fuel consumption of the actual trajectory is almost the same than the fuel consumption of the geodesic trajectory. So, although KEA implies that actual horizontal distance is 8.9% more than the horizontal distance of the geodesic, other factors such as speed or weather conditions could be associated to the fact that fuel consumption of the actual trajectory is reduce to a 2.2% more than the fuel consumption of the geodesic. Speed seems to be the factor with higher influence.