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
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 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.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.