Set up by NATS, the group meets regularly to identify practical ways of improving flight efficiency and cutting fuel costs.
Last year it established changes to route restrictions and raised standing agreements allowing airlines to accurately flight plan in line with real world procedures. As a result, aircraft are now able to fuel for the routes they actually fly, as opposed to the legacy routes and levels that are no longer current.
Andy Shand, NATS General Manager of Customers Affairs, said: “Working with our customers to improve the efficiency of our airspace means they can flight plan more accurately, therefore needing less fuel to begin with and then burning less fuel in-flight.
“The 19,000 tonnes of fuel we saved last year is beyond our 18,000 tonne target and that is testament to the effectiveness of the partnership and the excellent relationship we have with our customers.”
NATS has a strategic aim to reduce air traffic related emissions by on average 10% per flight by 2020 from a 2006 baseline. Since then it has cumulatively enabled over 400,000 tonnes of fuel savings, worth over £270m to the airlines.
Andy Shand added: “Combining our 3Di airspace inefficiency modelling capability and the SPACE airspace simulation centre gives NATS the ability to respond to requests for change and deliver tangible saving for our customers.”