Multiple Types Of Flight Optimization


Multiple Types of Flight Optimization

Jimmy Gadallah | - 05/23/2016
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Featured, Planning and Operating

Are you aware of ways to potentially save time, fuel, and money on your next mission? Exploring different methods of flight plan optimization and ways to streamline missions can deliver these savings. This is the subject of our technical whitepaper ‘The Basics of Flight Plan Optimization’. In today’s blog, we explore the different types of flight optimization available.  

In terms of flight planning optimization, most of the time we discuss finding the route with the fastest time and least amount of fuel burned between departure and destination.

However, there are many other types of optimization that exist, and no optimization method is best for all operators or all flights.

If there is an important meeting that must not be missed, the flight department may lean towards time optimization instead of fuel burn, economics, or ride quality. On the other side, nervous travelers may opt for the best ride quality, the route with the least amount of bumps, regardless if that route takes 30 minutes longer and burns more fuel.

A few of the most popular types of optimization are:

Type of Optimization Definition
Time Optimizing a flight plan to achieve the shortest en route time possible, regardless of the impact on fuel burn, economics, or ride quality.
Fuel Burn Optimizing a flight plan to achieve the lowest possible fuel burn, regardless of the impact on time, economics, or ride quality.
Economic Optimizing a flight plan to achieve the lowest monetary cost of operation, in terms of direct operating costs (DOCs), variable costs, en route charges, terminal charges, and other ancillary charges, such as overflight permits or government fees. This method involves some degree of fuel optimization as well since fuel burn is directly correlated with the economics of the aircraft’s operating costs. This method does not consider time optimization a critical trait; the only critical item is the effect on the bottom line.
Ride Quality Optimizing a flight plan with regards to flight comfort, most notably the strict avoidance of turbulence, avoiding unnecessary turns or maneuvers, and steep takeoff and landing transitions.  This method does not consider time, fuel burn, or economic optimization.


For more in-depth information on the three segments of flight and the algorithms used to build optimized routing, you can download the technical white paper, The Basics of Flight Plan Optimization, which is available to download here: