Environmental Cost of Different Unit Rates

Flight planning is a large part of the air traffic operations that are presently being conducted. Airlines strive to achieve the cheapest and most cost effective routes for their flights, resulting in aircraft sometimes flying longer routes in order to avoid expensive air-spaces with high unit rates.

This issue has been an ongoing obstacle for the Swedish air navigation provider, LFV, as some airlines tend to fly over the Baltic Sea, through the Baltic countries, instead of the shorter route through Swedish airspace. These protracted routes result in extra kilometers being flown yearly, consuming extra fuel, as well as imply a revenue loss to LFV and Sweden.

Data of flight plans from 28th April 2014 to 3rd May 2014 have been collected and analyzed in conjuncture with literature and previous relevant studies. The study was further supplemented with data gathered through interviews with the Swedish Air Traffic Control Center at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Scandinavian Airlines, Novair, and LFV.

The conclusions of this study is that the airspace dodging behavior generate a revenue loss to LFV, totaling approximately €5 032 354 million per year. Should these flights fly the shortest route between their origin and ‘destination, the before mentioned sum would mean an increase in LFV’s reported revenue from air traffic control services by 2%. Airspace dodging also results in roughly 380 408 superfluous kilometers being flown and 1,874, 486 liters of additional fuel being consumed every year.
Source: Linköping University
Authors: Ngo, David | Shamoun, Frida

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