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Thursday, June 4, 2009

JAL extends UPR trial to Australia

UPR stands for User Preferred Route, which means each flight is free to choose its own route to fly to the destination instead of using the fixed routes set by the air traffic controllers (ATC). JAL currently conduct trails for flights between Japan and Hawaii (Narita-Honolulu, Narita-Kona, Osaka-Honolulu, and Nagoya-Honolulu). Starting from June 4 2009, it will extends the trial to flights between Narita and Brisbane and Sydney.

Flying through the correct weather system can actually improve the fuel efficiency. For example, it is more efficient for an east-bound flight to fly through the North of a low pressure system in the Northern Hemisphere. The problem with the current fixed route system is that the flight path is determined long before departure and by the time the flight departs, the weather most likely has changed. Also, the route does not take into account of the aircraft being used nor flight load. By using UPR, the airlines can determine the optimal flight path based on the most current weather conditions, and other factors which will probably result in a more optimal path.

At the end, this saves the airlines money (ok...and helps the environment too). So I guess this is a win-win situation.

Source: JAL Press Release



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