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                      THE THIRTY-THIRD MEETING OF THE

                      (Okinawa, Japan, 15-19 November, 2010)

Agenda Item 5:      Air Traffic Management (ATM) Issues

                                         Oceanic Tailored Arrivals

                             (Presented by the Federal Aviation Administration)

               This paper provides an update on the use of Oceanic Tailored Arrivals (TA)
               in the United States.

1.      Introduction

1.1.      The Oceanic Tailored Arrival (OTA) procedure was first introduced at San Francisco International
Airport (KSFO) in November 2006. The procedure which is available to only Future Air Navigation
System (FANS) equipped aircraft, is initiated by a pilot request to air traffic control (ATC) while operating
in oceanic airspace and utilizing Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC). If available, the
controller uplinks to the aircraft a routing clearance that includes a descent profile with speed and altitude
restrictions, as applicable. The pilot accepts the uplinked clearance and utilizes the aircraft’s Flight
Management System to fly the most efficient descent to the arrival airport.

2.      Discussion
2.1.     Since use of the OTA began at KSFO, approximately one third aircraft cleared for OTA have
flown in its entirety. Due to the dynamic nature of air traffic, especially in the approach control
environment, conditions are such that completion of the full arrival profile is not always possible.
Because of this, the majority of OTAs flown result in what are referred to as partial OTAs. However,
studies indicate that significant fuel savings are realized during the initial portion of the procedure, the
unrestricted descent from cruise altitude, and therefore both the full and partial OTAs are considered
2.2.    When the full OTA is flown, the fuel savings realized is between 300 and 536 kilograms (kg) of
fuel, while the partial OTA has an associated savings of between 131 and 300 kg.
2.3.     In July 2010, the OTA into San Francisco was modified slightly to provide the pilot with an
easier-to-read display of the route profile. The change was reflected by an up-numbering of the
procedure name, i.e., Pacific 1 TA became the Pacific 2 TA. The Pacific 2 TA changes are also expected
to lead to an elimination of ATC TA voice coordination requirements between the Control Center and
Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). The change is under review by Northern California
TRACON at this time.
2.4.     Of the three OTAs being utilized in the United States, the Pacific 2 TA continues to be the most
successful and continues to be used on a daily basis. The other OTAs are being used at Los Angeles
International Airport (KLAX) and Miami International Airport (KMIA). Both of these locations have

unique traffic conditions that have created the need for restrictions in the descent profile that somewhat
reduce the overall efficiency of the procedure. However, even with the restrictions, studies indicate that
meaningful fuel savings are being realized. Work continues to enhance the current procedures at both
locations. In addition, work is underway at the FAA headquarters level to develop official FAA
standards for Tailored Arrival development.
2.5.     The FAA is committed to the continued development of the OTA program. It has become a
significant part for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Airspace Modeling of
Optimal Profile Descents. Plans are underway for the timely implementation and integration of Initial
Tailored Arrivals (ITA) into the National Airspace System by early 2011.
2.6.    As other airports are identified as candidates for TA profiles, the procedure for developing the
profile will follow the standard process for developing any other area navigation (RNAV) arrival with the
exception that the profile will not be published. Until such time as a certified data link infrastructure is
available in the US domestic ATC system, TA clearances are only available through the Ocean21 system
and only to FANS 1/A equipped aircraft; therefore, TA profiles will only be developed at those airports
that have arrivals from oceanic airspace.
2.7.     The full range of benefits from TAs will be realized with additional system development to
permit routine operations with a more congested traffic load. The flight deck system components are
currently sufficient to permit moderate, consistent, flight efficiency improvements when used in
conjunction with existing ATC capabilities to provide the requested arrival profiles. The projection for
fuel savings, and emissions reduction, using these procedures were confirmed by the initial TA flight
trials. Allowing the airlines to request and fly these arrival routes now results in immediate cost savings
and emissions reduction.

3.      Recommendation
3.1.    The meeting is invited to note the information in this paper.


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