Have You Ever ‘Wondered?’ HOW MUCH FUEL DO AIRCRAFT NEED TO Carry? HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE HAD ENOUGH FUEL? well here is the answer for that.
Regulators such as EASA and the FAA specify the minimum amount of fuel that a passenger jet must carry. Airlines
are required to carry significantly more fuel for a flight than is required to get from point A to point B in
case of an unexpected event such as an airport closure or aircraft emergency. Commercial flights typically carry
at least one hour’s worth of extra fuel on top of what is required to get to their destination, but this is
frequently increased by the pilots depending on the day’s circumstances.
Airlines must adhere to regulatory requirements when transporting fuel. The majority of government policies are
broadly similar and are detailed in each airline’s operating manual. According to EASA regulations (which are
very similar to those of the FAA and other authorities), the Captain must ensure that he has the following
minimum fuel before departure:
1. Travel Fuel
2. If a flight is planned with no alternate, divert fuel or hold fuel for 15 minutes.
3. Fuel Reserve
4. Emergency Fuel
5. Taxi fuel
6. Additional Fuel
Lets discuss each fuel and its usage.
1. Trip fuel
Fuel required from takeoff to touchdown, assuming departure on the SID from the assumed runway and arrival using
the STAR for the assumed arrival runway and routing based on the forecast wind.<break time=’2s’/>
2. Diversion Fuel
Fuel consumed during the go-around at the destination, as well as the climb, cruise, descent, approach, and
landing at the alternate airport of choice. Normally, this is calculated as the planned landing weight minus the
If no alternate flight is planned, the diversion fuel figure must be replaced by 15 minutes of holding fuel at
1500 feet above the destination airfield in standard conditions.
3. Reserve Fuel
Is there a minimum amount of fuel that must be present in tanks at the alternate airfield? (or destination if no
planned alternate). The figure is based on 30 minutes of fuel holding at 1500 feet in a clean configuration with
a planned landing weight.
4. Contingency Fuel
This is done to account for unanticipated deviations from the planned operation. For example, different winds or
temperatures than predicted, or ATC restrictions on levels and speed. It can be used at any time after delivery
(once aircraft moves under its own power). It cannot be planned to be used previously. It is more likely to be
used for flight or arrival delays.
5. Taxi Fuel
This is fuel for the APU to burn on the ground, start the engine, and taxi out. Most airlines calculate this
using statistical data and the taxi time in minutes.
6. Additional Fuel
If the existing total fuel is insufficient to cover an engine failure or de-pressurization at the most critical
point along the route, additional fuel is planned and loaded. Fuel planning must allow for a descent and trip
fuel to an alternate airfield, a 15-minute hold at 1500 feet, and an approach and landing.