India conducts Mumbai UPR oceanic trials

Airports Authority of India has started to allow airlines to choose their own preferred routing in trials conducted in the oceanic region around Mumbai.
Two flights operated by Emirates and Cathay Pacific were managed by Mumbai Air Traffic Control to fly User Preferred Routes (UPR) in the Mumbai Flight Information Region (FIR) on June 28, saving considerable distance and time for the two flights apart from contributing to significant reductions in carbon emissions.
A User Preferred Route (UPR) is a unique flight path flown by each aircraft instead of flying on designated pre-determined ATS routes. The aircraft flight planning computer calculates the best possible track between departure and destination that will most effectively minimise fuel emissions, taking into consideration forecast upper air wind speed/direction, temperature, aircraft type and its performance capability.
Once calculated, the UPR is digitally uplinked to the aircraft for loading to the aircraft flight management computer (FMS). Thus, the system of UPR helps to improve operational efficiency by providing each aircraft with an optimal flight path, thereby reducing flight times. As the aircraft on UPR do not normally cross the established way points, the UPR concept calls for slightly more complex traffic management procedures and applications by controllers.
The UPR, an ANS initiative by Airports Authority of India (AAI), is part of the INSPIRE collaborative programme from AAI, Air Services Australia (ASA)and South Africa’s Air Traffic Navigation Service(ATNS), designed to improve the efficiency and environmental sustainability of aviation across the Arabian sea and Indian ocean region. In its first meeting in May 2011 in Abu Dhabi, the INSPIRE partners planned four INSPIRE Green flights to adopt best practices for reducing emissions and demonstrate the results.
AAI facilitated the INSPIRE Green flights to fly UPRs in Mumbai FIR in July 2011. The flights were successful in demonstrating reduction in carbon emission of 73,000 kg – due in part to UPRs.
The INSPIRE team in its second meeting adopted an initiative of establishing a UPR zone in Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean Region to support further the UPR programme with wider participation by ANSPs and major airlines.
Two flights – UAE412 (Dubai/Sydney) and CPA749 (Hong Kong /Johannesburg) flew UPRs in Mumbai FIR and beyond on 28 June. UAE412 entered Mumbai FIR at KITAL (L894) at 0754 UTC, transitioned from conventional route L894 to User Preferred Route at DONSA at 0847 UTC and exited Mumbai FIR at ESLAV and entered Male FIR at 0953 UTC. CPA 749 entered Mumbai FIR at ELKEL (G465) at 2156 UTC, transitioned from conventional ATS route G465 to UPR and exited Mumbai FIR at 0400S06000E into Seychelles FIR at 2311. Initial reports from CPA data, estimate saving of 1100kg fuel and seven minutes flying time by flying UPR which translates to carbon emission reduction by 3500kg. A detailed report from the airlines involved regarding efficiency and safety of UPRs and emissions saved is due to be released.
Similar UPR operational trials are planned in which two flights (one flight on a Gulf – Australia – Gulf route and one flight on the Africa – Asia – Africa route) will participate every week between 26 July and 22 August. After a review of these flights, plans to increase the frequency of UPR flights in the region will be considered.