I am trying to write an algorithm modelling the 'Airplane landing problem'. The aim is to land a sequence of airplanes while minimizing the operating costs and respecting constraints such as the separation between consecutive airplanes. Hence, I need to be able to quantify these operating costs in particular fuel consumption.

Basically, in my simulation - it's a very simple approach - airplanes can be in 3 different regimes :

  • the aircraft can be asked to fly faster than it's preferred speed, it's called time advance and it's one of the tools used to reduce congestion
  • the aircraft can of course fly at it's preferred speed
  • the aircraft can be asked to fly a holding pattern

I would like to elaborate a function that would give the fuel consumption in function of the time for every mode. I absolutely don't know where to start. The only information that I find deal with the preferred speed consumption. How can I model the two others regimes ?

Edit : Indeed, the part concerning holding patterns is similar to this other question. However, I don't think any information on time advance has been given so I would like to focus my question on this. Also, if anyone has more information on fuel consumption in holding patterns than would by very helpful. Thank you very much

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is very similar to this question, possibly even a dupe. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Jan 28, 2017 at 20:11
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Possible duplicate of What is the fuel consumption of an aircraft in a holding pattern? $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Jan 28, 2017 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ If the existing question has the info you need about holding patterns, you can edit this to focus on the time advance question. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Jan 28, 2017 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the confusion, I edited $\endgroup$
    – Jkev
    Jan 29, 2017 at 23:47

1 Answer 1


Approaches take relatively little time, and have various throttle ranges, from idle to slow level flight. I would simply model as if the aircraft were flying level for the distance of the approach, you will over estimate fuel consumption for the approach itself, but for even a 60 minute flight the error would be tiny. You simply cannot accurately predict what is going to happen.


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