Aggressive Fuel-Saving Measures Reduce Costs Considerably
An aggressive fuel
conversation program at UPS, ramped up due to ever-increasing fuel
costs, is saving the worldwide cargo airline real money -- to the
tune of $1 million saved in fuel costs each month.
Fuel-saving measures such as reducing the amount of fuel carried
on the aircraft (not all flights need full tanks,) taxiing on one
engine, and greater reliance on external power hookups are
paying off for the carrier, that is also encouraging pilots to slow
down to the most fuel-efficient speed possible as long as it
doesn't significantly delay time-critical packages.
"Since we fly more than 265 heavy jet aircraft, environmental
concerns have always been factored into the operation of UPS
Airlines," said Capt. Tom Olson, UPS Flight Operations fuel
manager, to GreenBiz.com. "But in today's world of rising prices,
it's more critical than ever to operate efficiently. Our fuel
conservation initiatives are innovative as well as environmentally
Olson's primary job is to reduce the carrier's fuel costs by
constantly re-examining how the airline operates. One additional
way the company is looking at to further reduce fuel consumption is
the continuous descent approach, or CDA. Under the program --
currently being tested at airports in Louisville, KY and
Sacramento, CA -- planes descend at idle to burn less fuel. Reduced
noise and fewer particulate emissions are also benefits of the CDA
approach, according to Olson.
The airline is seeking FAA approval to implement CDA into
several flights by the end of the year.
UPS is also testing Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast
(ADS-B) technology on 104 B757 and B767 aircraft. The system allows
UPS to manage its own aircraft departures, instead of relying
solely on ATC. By reducing the amount of time an aircraft waits in
the queue or at the hold-short line, the company further saves on
fuel. UPS has the only fleet equipped with ADS-B, said Olson.
"UPS customers benefit from our ability to carefully manage and
conserve fuel throughout the business, particularly when prices are
surging," said UPS airline and international operations vice
president Bob Lekites. "We believe our customers recognize and
appreciate UPS's commitment to efficient operations."