I am currently studying the fuel policy planning criteria for ATPL EASA(A) and i just learnt that the alternate fuel does NOT comprise the missed approach at the alternate destination aerodrome; in case of such a situation and without contingency fuel (imagine that is already used during trip), what is the procedure then since that I probably have to use the final reserve fuel? I guess that I should declare an emergency, how would it be declared?

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    $\begingroup$ This scenario highlights the importance of selecting an alternate where a successful approach is certain. It is not a formality. $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented Jul 23, 2019 at 4:37

2 Answers 2


Let's assume you started exactly with ICAO minimum fuel required (as explained in What are the ICAO fuel reserve requirements?):

  • Taxi fuel Let's assume you used all of it at your departure airport.
  • Trip fuel Used for the flight to the destination airport.
  • Contingency fuel Let's assume this was used in a holding pattern at the destination.
  • Alternate fuel Used for a go around at the destination and the subsequent flight to the alternate airport.
  • Final reserve Not used yet.
  • Additional fuel Let's assume you did not take any.

Under these assumptions you would be using the Final reserve fuel for your go around at the alternate airport. At this point you should declare an emergency (see Do I have to declare an emergency if I cut into fuel reserves?) by broadcasting


as explained in What is the correct phraseology for declaring a fuel emergency?. ATC will then assist you to get to any suitable airport as soon as possible.


This is fully the pilot responsibilities; if he has a fuel quantity problem, or if he believes that again a missed approach may occur, prior to commencing the alternate approach, he must make a specific request to ATC in the event that one occurs. Such a request may include heading and altitude instructions to avoid in-flight delays (such as holds) and efficiently maneuver the aircraft into position for the next approach.


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