Fuel consumption securing the top of the list, fuel planning is critical when it comes to air transportation. Optimizing the amount of fuel used is vital to manage cost and profitability. Although many airports have their aviation fuel supplied by pipelines, in remote parts of the world fuel may need to be flown in which leads to increase in costs.

Fuel planning should ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, policies where applicable and with the day of flight, specific criteria of aircraft, crew, payload, de-icing requirements, origin, route, notified airspace, destination and weather. Also, with SAF (Sustainable aviation fuel) gaining prominence ,2022 has been a pivotal year as growth in the market picks up pace. Key policies to boost adoption are progressing through their respective legislatures. The number of forward purchase agreements have surged as airlines demonstrate their commitment to the clean fuel, and new projects boost anticipated production capacity.

Jet fuel

What is Fuel Planning?

Fuel planning can be described as the activity of calculating the total amount of fuel required to complete a flight safely which comprises of: –

Trip Fuel– the amount of fuel needed from departure to destination, including takeoff, climb, cruise flight, descent, approach until touchdown at the destination

Contingency Fuel-amount of fuel to account for unexpected situations, bad weather, flight level variations etc.

Taxi Fuel– the amount needed before takeoff and after landing which usually include fuel for pre-start APU consumption, and the actual taxiing. It is generally planned as a fixed quantity for an average taxi time.

Extra Fuel– refers to the amount added at the captain’s or dispatcher’s discretion. The pilot in command may request for extra fuel beyond the minimum fuel required legally if deemed necessary

Ballast Fuel or Zero Fuel weight– fuel that is not used for any stage of the flight and used for emergency situations

Alternate Fuel– refers to the amount pilots would need from the missed approach point at the destination aerodrome until the landing at the alternate aerodrome. Meanwhile planning alternate fuel, the following points should be considered:
– Time of missed approach at the destination airport.
– Climb to en-route altitude, cruise, and descent at an alternate aerodrome.
– Approach at alternate.
– Landing at the alternate aerodrome.
– Extra 45 minutes at normal cruising speed.

Final reserve Fuel– refers to the minimum fuel required to fly for 30 minutes at 1,500 feet above the alternate aerodrome or, if an alternate is not required, at the destination aerodrome at holding speed in ISA conditions.
Block fuel -total amount of fuel required for the flight and is the sum of the Taxi fuel, the Trip fuel, the Contingency fuel, the Alternate fuel, the Final Reserve fuel, the Additional fuel, and any Extra fuel


Fuel planning process can be hindered by time constraints, adverse weather conditions, inaccurate load, as well as complacency on the part of the dispatchers or pilots. Situation arises with increased costs when there are local shortages of aviation fuel. This might occur, for example, if there are flying requirements to remote areas of the world where the demand for Jet A1 or Avgas fuel is low. Such situations may arise in rural areas of North America as well as certain regions within Africa and Asia.

Sustainable Fuel

As air travel demand increases, so too does the consumption of jet fuel, and that means more emissions. Since the earliest months of the pandemic, fuel consumption in North America, Western Europe and Asia has surged more than threefold to a combined 4.2 million barrels per day as borders have reopened and carriers have operated at full capacity. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) are one of few low-carbon technologies with the potential to help decarbonize the aviation sector and are the only feasible option in the near term.


Effective preflight fuel planning is only possible when you associate with an aviation expert with fuel supply services and comprehensive understanding of regulations, policies and aircraft limitations and have timely access to all essential information inclusive of but not limited to weather, payload, maintenance status, crew limitations and departure, route and arrival delays and restrictions.

For clients who wants to ensure they are receiving the best jet fuel price turn to our expertise. When there is plenty of jet fuel around, the price you pay to refuel should be comparatively less. Unfortunately, this could not be always favorable especially when you are a one-off customer with no previous history in the area. This is where collaborating with AeroControl’s network of fuel providers benefit our clients. Finding zero rated fuel suppliers or VAT exempt fuel and tracking down fuel suppliers who can refuel aircraft with no additional costs can turn beneficial. With AeroControl’s extensive network of aviation fuel suppliers, finding cost-effective jet fuel solutions turns out as an easy process

Reference: Various sources

For aviation fuel support contact us at ops@aerocontrolgroup.com or +971 4 80 20 800