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The great unknown regarding the fuel requirements

Is it enough if operators study only a few airports?

 Is it possible to include an average?

When an aircraft departs from an airport, everybody hopes that arrival to the destination airport will be successful. But sometimes, although all the procedures, meteo, notams… were checked, the aircraft is forced to do a missed approach procedure MSA. That means the pilot in command must follow the procedure in case of the approach cannot be finished. We can find these procedures, for example, in airport charts. 

Nevertheless, is the fuel required to do a missed approach the same for all the airports?

Evidently, the fuel is not the same. Every airport has a procedure and the total nautical miles for every missed approach is different. For this reason, Civil Aviation is asking to the operators to analyze the missed approach procedure of the airports where they operate to have the fuel required for missed approach in consideration when they calculate the minimum fuel for a flight. 

According to the CAT.OP.MPA.150

“The operator shall establish a fuel policy for the purpose of flight planning and in-flight replanning to ensure that every flight carries sufficient fuel for the planned operation and reserves to cover deviations from the planned operation.” That means that “The operator shall ensure that the pre-flight calculation of usable fuel required for a flight includes: taxi fuel; trip fuel; reserve fuel consisting of contingency fuel, alternate fuel, if a destination alternate aerodrome is required, final reserve fuel and additional fuel, if required by the type of operation and extra fuel is required by the commander.” CAT.OP.MPA.150


CAT.OPS.MPA.150 Fuel policy iberosime flight services MSA



But it is in the AMC1.CAT.OP.MPA.150 where we can find more information about the missed approach requirements. Here we can read that alternate fuel must include “fuel for a missed approach from the applicable DA/H or MDA/H at the destination aerodrome to missed approach altitude, taking into account the complete missed approach procedure MSA” and also “fuel form climb from missed approach altitude to cruising level/altitude, taking into account the expected departure routing.” 



This is an easy task when we have an airline that operates to the same airports every time. However, what happens with the charter airlines for example? We can fly to different airports every day. In this case, Iberosime FS can help you. In fact, we analyze the nautical miles required to do a missed approach for a specific airport before the flight and we include this distance in our flight plan program.  That way the fuel is calculated and included in the minimum fuel required by the flight plan. We check all the missed approach for an airport and choose the longest one. In other words, that way the airlines are covered for all missed approach of that airport.

In addition, we are also in charge in case of an update of these missed approaches. Therefore, if charts are changed, we will check again the missed approach procedures and update the fuel required if this has changed.

In conclusion, as always, Iberosime FS adapts our procedure to the needs of the operator. 

By Ana Fernández, Duty manager Iberosime FS

Check more in our website iberosime.com

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