Flight Planning Considerations are the critical safety flight plans that describe the proposed aircraft flights. For instance, fuel has to be calculated so as to ensure that there is enough to take the aircraft to the desired destination safely. The requirements of the air traffic control also have to be complied with. Taking precaution of the safety considerations ensures that potential mid-air and destination risks have been minimized to manageable levels. Costs of flights are also minimized by the planning considerations through establishing favorable routes, speeds, and height above sea level. Therefore, flight planners have to establish a minimal necessary fuel capacity to ensure that the aircraft gets to its destination safely and air travel does not suffer. Several important flight considerations have to be made before an air flight from a scheduler to a dispatcher point of view can take place. The main flight planning considerations include:
Routes and Flight Levels
The route that an aircraft takes in the air determines the amount of ground it covers. Flight levels are determined by the winds on that route. Depending on the weight of an aircraft, the rules regarding flight levels at particular points vary. Cruising at lower flight levels consumes more fuel than in higher flight levels. In addition, the weight of the aircraft is the one that determines how high or low a flight level can get. An extra climb fuel is usually required to get to higher flight levels. Irregularities in climb fuels and consumption rates may cause flight discontinuities.
Temperature and other weather condition factors affect the rate of fuel consumption by the aircraft engines. There are two global civil aviation weather forecast centers. One is at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States, while the other is at the Met Office in the UK. They provide weather forecasts for air crafts within intervals of six hours during a flight’s next thirty six hours. Aircrafts are recommended to use full-service weather service due to its advantage of en-route weather updates and efficient route planning. It also keeps the crew informed and the passengers updated in case of a disaster phenomenon such as a typhoon.
Fuel Consumption Rate
The other major flight planning consideration is the aircraft’s fuel consumption rate. It keeps changing due to factors such as the aircraft’s weight, speed relative to the air, age and maintenance of the engines, and the prevailing temperatures. The degradation of an aircraft due to poor maintenance or old age can be estimated by comparing and contrasting between the actual and the predicted fuel burn. Large air crafts such as jumbo jets usually burn up to 80 tons of fuel on a 10 hour flight. The weights of the air crafts keep changing during a flight.
Checking Aircraft Documentation
Depending on the destination country, air crafts are required to provide various documentations before operating through their airspace. Some of the most common aircraft documentations include insurance, noise and registration certificates, and maintenance logs. During flight planning, planners have to ensure that all these are present and duly stamped where required. Depending on various aviation laws, all the required documents have to be well understood and assembled in advance to avoid incidents of delays in arranging ground handling, parking, and securing the required permits.
Security and Geopolitical Issues
Depending on the location and the nature of the air flight, security and geopolitical issues can change rapidly. Some nations are known to have high cases of insecurity right from their airports and it is important to plan and consider the security of the aircraft, passengers, and the crew. Different locations also have different geo-political issues that may compromise the safety of the flight. All these issues have to be taken into consideration by the flight planners.