Evaluating the implementation of performance-based fuel uplift regulation for airline operation
While fuel regulations traditionally rely on a prescriptive safety margin approach that includes a significant buffer for fuel loadings, the current enhancements in computational power and understanding of in-flight uncertainties allow for the implementation of a performance-based approach. A performance-based approach is a risk-assessed fuel uplift decision dependent on historical performance and is becoming increasingly plausible and recommended by modern civil aviation authorities. This paper investigates the evolution of fuel planning policies and explores the potential integration of current research pertaining to performance-based fuel policy-making. We consolidate the developments of three research areas - fuel consumption estimation, in-flight uncertainty quantification and decision analysis, and provide insight for regulators and airline operators in identifying potential transformation towards more efficient operations. Three future research directions in (1) risk assessment on fuel uplift decision, (2) uncertainty quantification and propagation and (3) policy assessment and evaluation, are suggested to assist policy-makers in efficiently implementing a performance-based fuel policy.