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Fuel - Regulations

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Description

Fuel requirements for a given flight profile, be it Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight, are published in the regulations produced by the National Aviation Authority (National Aviation Authority (NAA)) for the country of aircraft registration. The basis for these National regulations can be found within Annex 6 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS). The National Aviation Authority, often referred to as the "Regulator" or "Regualating Authority" has the inherent right to make adjustments to the ICAO SARPs comensurate with the needs and characteristics of their sovereign airspace.

ICAO SARPs

The following text has been extracted from ICAO Annex 6, chapter 4.

4.3.6.1 'All aeroplanes' - A flight shall not be commenced unless , taking into account both the meteorological conditions and any delays that are expected in flight , the aeroplane carries sufficient fuel and oil to ensure that it can safely complete the flight. In addition , a reserve shall be carried to provide for contingencies
4.3.6.2 'Piston-engined aeroplanes' - The fuel and oil carried in order to comply with 4.3.6.1 shall , in the case of piston-engined aeroplanes , be at least the amount sufficient to allow the aeroplane:
4.3.6.2.1 - When a destination alternate aerodrome is required , either: a) to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned thence to the most critical (in terms of fuel consumption) alternate aerodrome specified in the operational and ATS flight plans and thereafter for a period of 45 minutes ; or b) to fly to the alternate aerodrome via any predetermined point and thereafter for 45 minutes , provided that this shall not be less than the amount required to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned and thereafter for: 1) 45 minutes plus 15 per cent of the flight time planned to be spent at the cruising level(s) , or 2) two hours , whichever is less.
4.3.6.2.2 - When a destination alternate aerodrome is not required: a) in terms of 4.3.4.3 a) , to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned and thereafter for a period of 45 minutes ; or b) in terms of 4.3.4.3 b) , to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned and thereafter for: 1) 45 minutes plus 15 per cent of the flight time planned to be spent at the cruising level(s) , or 2) two hours , whichever is less.
4.3.6.3 'Turbine-engined aeroplanes' - The fuel and oil carried in order to comply with 4.3.6.1 shall , in the case of turbine-engined aeroplanes , be at least the amount sufficient to allow the aeroplane
4.3.6.3.1 - When a destination alternate aerodrome is required , either: a) to fly to and execute an approach , and a missed approach , at the aerodrome to which the flight is planned , and thereafter: 1) to fly to the alternate aerodrome specified in the operational and ATS flight plans ; and then 2) to fly for 30 minutes at holding speed at 450 m (1 500 ft) above the alternate aerodrome under standard temperature conditions , and approach and land ; and 3) to have an additional amount of fuel sufficient to provide for the increased consumption on the occurrence of any of the potential contingencies specified by the operator to the satisfaction of the State of the Operator ; or b) to fly to the alternate aerodrome via any predetermined point and thereafter for 30 minutes at 450 m (1 500 ft) above the alternate aerodrome , due provision having been made for an additional amount of fuel sufficient to provide for the increased consumption on the occurrence of any of the potential contingencies specified by the operator to the satisfaction of the State of the Operator ; provided that fuel shall not be less than the amount of fuel required to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned and thereafter for two hours at normal cruise consumption
4.3.6.3.2 - When a destination alternate aerodrome is not required: a) in terms of 4.3.4.3 a) , to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned and additionally: 1) to fly 30 minutes at holding speed at 450 m (1 500 ft) above the aerodrome to which the flight is planned under standard temperature conditions ; and 2) to have an additional amount of fuel , sufficient to provide for the increased consumption on the occurrence of any of the potential contingencies specified by the operator to the satisfaction of the State of the Operator ; and b) in terms of 4.3.4.3 b) , to fly to the aerodrome to which the flight is planned and thereafter for a period of two hours at normal cruise consumption.
4.3.6.4 - In computing the fuel and oil required in 4.3.6.1 at least the following shall be considered: a) meteorological conditions forecast ; b) expected air traffic control routings and traffic delays ; c) for IFR flight , one instrument approach at the destination aerodrome , including a missed approach ; d) the procedures prescribed in the operations manual for loss of pressurization , where applicable , or failure of one engine while en route ; and e) any other conditions that may delay the landing of the aeroplane or increase fuel and/or oil consumption.
Note.- Nothing in 4.3.6 precludes amendment of a flight plan in flight in order to replan the flight to another aerodrome , provided that the requirements of 4.3.6 can be complied with from the point where the flight has been replanned.

Amendment 36 to Annex 6 effective as of 15 November 2012 provides the following additional guidance:

4.3.7 In-flight fuel management
4.3.7.1 An operator shall establish policies and procedures, approved by the State of the Operator, to ensure that in-flight fuel checks and fuel management are performed.
4.3.7.2 The pilot-in-command shall continually ensure that the amount of usable fuel remaining on board is not less than the fuel required to proceed to an aerodrome where a safe landing can be made with the planned final reserve fuel remaining upon landing.
4.3.7.2.1 The pilot-in-command shall request delay information from ATC when unanticipated circumstances may result in landing at the destination aerodrome with less than the final reserve fuel plus any fuel required to proceed to an alternate aerodrome or the fuel required to operate to an isolated aerodrome.
4.3.7.2.2 The pilot-in-command shall advise ATC of a minimum fuel state by declaring MINIMUM FUEL when, having committed to land at a specific aerodrome, the pilot calculates that any change to the existing clearance to that aerodrome may result in landing with less than planned final reserve fuel.
Note 1.— The declaration of MINIMUM FUEL informs ATC that all planned aerodrome options have been reduced to a specific aerodrome of intended landing and any change to the existing clearance may result in landing with less than planned final reserve fuel. This is not an emergency situation but an indication that an emergency situation is possible should any additional delay occur.
Note 2.— Guidance on declaring minimum fuel is contained in the Fuel Planning Manual (Doc 9976). It should be noted that Pilots should not expect any form of priority handling as a result of a “MINIMUM FUEL” declaration. ATC will, however, advise the flight crew of any additional expected delays as well as coordinate when transferring control of the aeroplane to ensure other ATC units are aware of the flight’s fuel state.
4.3.7.2.3 The pilot-in-command shall declare a situation of fuel emergency by broadcasting MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, FUEL, when the calculated usable fuel predicted to be available upon landing at the nearest aerodrome where a safe landing can be made is less than the planned final reserve fuel.
Note 1.— The planned final reserve fuel refers to the value calculated in 4.3.6.3 e) 1) or 2) and is the minimum amount of fuel required upon landing at any aerodrome.
Note 2.— The words “MAYDAY FUEL” describe the nature of the distress conditions as required in Annex 10, Volume II, 5.3.2.1, b) 3.
Note 3.— Guidance on procedures for in-flight fuel management are contained in the Fuel Planning Manual (Doc 9976)

European Union Regulation

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) No 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 lays down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

The regulation contains fuel regulations an example of which is:

"CAT.OP.MPA.150 Fuel policy
The operator shall establish a fuel policy for the purpose of flight planning and in-flight replanning to ensure that every flight carries sufficient fuel for the planned operation and reserves to cover deviations from the planned operation. The fuel policy and any change to it require prior approval by the competent authority"

National Regulations

The National Aviation Authority of each ICAO member country or region has the inherent right to make adjustments to the ICAO SARPs comensurate with characteristics of their sovereign airspace and the needs of their operators. In virtually all cases, the National Authorities use the ICAO fuel recommendations, as stated above, to form the framework of their basic National fuel regulations. The Authority might then publish regulations which allow for modified, reduced or enhanced fuel requirements. Examples of such regulations include provisions for No Alternate IFR flight, reduced or even zero contingency fuel (route reserve) requirements and regulations on the amount and use of final reserve fuel. In these cases, the Operator will be required to seek special approval from the Regulator to conduct flights using the enhanced regulations and, normally, will be required to meet specified criteria to qualify for approval. These criteria could include, but are not limited to, a fuel monitoring program, a specified level of flight following capability and/or specific flight crew training criteria. It is normal practice for the Regulating Authority to specify the required contents of the Company Operations Manual. The required content is likely to include publication of a description of Company fuel policy plus any specific Regualtory approvals for non-standard fuel requirements (and all associated restrictions and guidance material) within the Company Operations Manual.

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