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Alternates Group

Graphical user interface, application

Description automatically generated

The Alternates group on the Plan screen allows you to optionally specify up to four alternate airports for the flight in question.

The Alternates group is extendable to reveal a route drop-down and maximum flight level field for each alternate.

 Graphical user interface, table, Excel

Description automatically generated

General Functionality

The alternate drop-down for each alternate contains all alternates available for the destination.

You can enter an alternate into the box that is not offered by the drop-down list, but the inputted alternate station will not be populated in the drop-down list. This is also true for a blank alternate field (no alternate).

When you enter an additional alternate in the alternate drop-down that is not originally from the list and then leave the focus, the entry is validated for a valid ICAO. If it is valid, the route choices from destination to this alternate (if they exist), are populated in the route drop-down list. The maximum flight level box remains empty.

If you blank out an alternate from the alternate drop-down, the route drop-down and maximum flight level field are reset to empty.

Among the four alternates, if there are any blank alternates, the non-blank alternates are, upon compute, moved up so that any blank alternates are at the end of the list.

The order of the alternates is the same as they are listed in FOMS Menu 110 (Airport Alternates program).

When you manually change the order of the alternate by setting the station name in the alternate drop-down, the route choice drop-down and maximum flight level field will move along.

Example

Suppose that initially you made route choices and maximum flight levels for KSJC and KSMF.

Alternate

Routes

MFL

1st: KSJC

Rte 17

290

2nd: KSMF

Rte 11

320

Now you want to trade the position of the two alternates that you set before.

Change the 1st alternate from KSJC to KSMF by picking from the alternate drop-down

Alternate

Routes

MFL

1st: KSMF

Rte 11

320

2nd: KSJC

Rte 11

320

Change the 2nd alternate from KSMF to KSJC by picking from the alternate drop-down.

Alternate

Routes

MFL

1st: KSMF

Rte 11

320

2nd: KSJC

Rte 17

290

As can be seen, when changing alternate station name, the value choices of route choice and MFL will go along with it if they have been input under this alternate station.

This behavior will be the same for user added alternate.

The fields in the Alternates group are described below.

Island Hold: This drop-down menu allows you to enable the Island Hold function. If Island Hold is enabled, the flight planning engine will add enough fuel for the aircraft to hold for two hours since no alternate airports are available. This is used when the destination airport is on an island. When ISLD or None is selected, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th alternate fields; and primary hold fuel; hold time and flight level fields become disabled. For each alternate, this includes the alternate drop-down, the route drop-down, and the MFL field. When blank, the aforementioned become enabled again.

T/O: This field allows you to enter the ICAO/IATA code for a takeoff alternate. This alternate cannot be located more than 1000 nautical miles (or the distance set in the Aircraft Characteristics FOMS database) from the origin.

1st: This drop-down list allows you to select the ICAO/IATA code for the primary alternate. By default, the first alternate on file for the destination is displayed, but can be changed.

When the Alternates group is expanded, the route drop-down field appears to the right of the first alternate drop-down. This allows you to select a city-pair route from existing routes in the list.

Also displayed when the Alternates group is expanded is the maximum flight level field to the right of the routes drop-down field. This allows you enter the maximum flight level for route of the flight to the first alternate (in hundreds of feet). Clicking on the informational context arrow to the right of the first alternate field (or right clicking on the field) after an alternate is entered opens a box displaying View weather and NOTAMs. Click on this box to view the weather and NOTAMs for the first alternate. This is only available when the alternates group is not expanded.

2nd: This drop-down list allows you to select the ICAO/IATA code for the second alternate.

When the Alternates group is expanded, the route drop-down field appears to the right of the second alternate drop-down. This allows you to select a city-pair route from existing routes in the list.

Also displayed when the Alternates group is expanded is the maximum flight level field to the right of the routes drop-down field. This allows you enter the maximum flight level for route of the flight to the second alternate (in hundreds of feet).

Clicking on the informational context arrow to the right of the second alternate field (or right clicking on the field) after an alternate is entered opens a box displaying View weather and NOTAMs. Click on this box to view the weather and NOTAMs for the second alternate. This is only available when the Alternates group is not expanded.

3rd: This drop-down list allows you to select the ICAO/IATA code for the third alternate.

When the Alternates group is expanded, the route drop-down field appears to the right of the third alternate drop-down. This allows you to select a city-pair route from existing routes in the list.

Also displayed when the Alternates group is expanded is the maximum flight level field to the right of the routes drop-down field. This allows you enter the maximum flight level for route of the flight to the third alternate (in hundreds of feet).

Clicking on the informational context arrow to the right of the third alternate field (or right clicking on the field) after an alternate is entered opens a box displaying View weather and NOTAMs. Click on this box to view the weather and NOTAMs for the third alternate. This is only available when the Alternates group is not expanded.

4th: This alternate drop-down list allows you to select the ICAO/IATA code for the fourth alternate.

When the Alternates group is expanded, the route drop-down field appears to the right of the fourth alternate drop-down. This allows you to select a city-pair route from existing routes in the list.

Also displayed when the Alternates group is expanded is the maximum flight level field to the right of the routes drop-down field. This allows you enter the maximum flight level for route of the flight to the fourth alternate (in hundreds of feet).

Clicking on the informational context arrow to the right of the fourth alternate field (or right clicking on the field) after an alternate is entered opens a box displaying View weather and NOTAMs. Click on this box to view the weather and NOTAMs for the fourth alternate. This is only available when the Alternates group is not expanded.

Route: A route can be added and assigned a number in the FOMS 305 menu. This route number is available for selection if there are several routes for the alternate.

 When selected, the informational context arrow opens a dialog to manually build an alternate path. Routes are constructed in the standard route string format as used in the NFP route tab.

MFL: A Maximum Flight Level can be assigned to an alternate in the FOMS 110 menu. This flight level is automatically populated in the MLF field.

MLW: This field allows you to enter the maximum landing weight for the alternative. This field is populated from the Max Land on the FOMS 220 Menu.

IFR Time/Fuel: Enter the IFR fuel in minutes for airport approach. This field is populated from the Alternates menu. Enter the IFR fuel amount for airport approach. This field is populated from the Alternates menu. If both are set to 0 (default) there is no impact on the flight plan calculation.

Behavior

If Time=X, Fuel=0 -> X added to descent time, no fuel (in KGS/LBS) added to the descent burn.

If Time=X, Fuel=<blank> -> X added to descent time, fuel (in KGS/LBS) determined by hold rate added to the descent burn.

If Time=X, Fuel=Y -> X added to the descent time, Y LBS/KGS of fuel added to the descent burn.

If Time=<blank>, Fuel=<blank> -> same behavior as having 0 in both fields – no impact on calculation.

Note:  The same behavior occurs when fuel is set to a specified value (in KGS/LBS) and the time field varies (0, <blank>, time in minutes).

MLF: This field allows you to enter the minimum landing fuel for the alternate.

Enrte: This field allows you to enter the ICAO/IATA code for an enroute alternate. The use of an enroute alternate allows for a reduction in the amount of contingency fuel required.

Burn: This drop-down allows the user to select the method by which the alternate fuel is calculated:

The maximum of all burns for the alternates

The burn of the first alternate

The larger of the burns for the 1st and 2nd alternates

1st via 2nd Alt - allows the route to go over 2nd alternate on way to 1st alternate

No alternate burn at all

By default it is populated by the Burn Alternate field in FOMS Menu 170 (Airline Parameter File).

PSR: This field gives you the ability to calculate a point of safe return (PSR). This calculates a PSR that allows the aircraft to return safely to the origin airport (or another airport based on your input  in this field or weather conditions).

The PSR airport must have the origin flag set to <Y> on the FOMS 122 menu.

PSR Policy: Enter a policy to use for PSR calculations. A policy can contain up to 6 scenarios and each scenario can create a PSR location. If blank, an ETP Policy is not used.

Reserve: options, Fuel, Time, Use MinLandingFuel or Use ScenHoldFuel.

The calculation does not use any fuel that was originally planned for other purposes. The flight must land with the same amount of min landing fuel (reserve, hold, alternate burn) as it would at its destination unless a custom reserve fuel is used in the Reserve field. When Use ScenHoldFuel is selected, the ETP scenario hold fuel will be used as reserve fuel for the PSR calculation. If there is no reserve fuel used in the policy, Use MinLandingFuel will be applied.

You can set PSR to default to the origin station using the Default Pt of Safe Rtn field in FOMS Menu 170 (Airline Parameter File).

Point of Safe Return replaces Point of No Return functionality.

Fuel will be applied.

You can set PSR to default to the origin station using the Default Pt of Safe Rtn field in FOMS Menu 170 (Airline Parameter File).

Point of Safe Return rep

TotAlt: Enter the number of alternates to show in the Flight Package (up to 9).  The additional alternates are selected based on the Alt List Source and Max Search Radius fields in the Alternate Defaults group in the Route Data tab on the Airline Code Parameters WebFOMS screen. Alt List Source is called Populate List From on the FOMS 170 menu. The alternates are not included in burn calculations. You can also set this number as a default in the Airline Code Parameters FOMS screens or as an input default on the Input Defaults screen. A format change is required for this functionality, contact support for more information.

Escape Route Stations: Use these fields if you want N-FP to restrict the escape route search to the Stations you provide. If any stations are defined here, N-FP does not automatically attempt to define your escape route airports. The system informs you if not all airports were used.

 

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