Effective Fuel Conservation Programs Could Save Millions of Gallons of Aviation Fuel

CED-77-98: Published: Aug 15, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1977.

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An increase in the ratio of occupied seats to available seats on commercial airlines, the load factor, above the 53-percent to 55-percent range of recent years could improve the fuel efficiency of U.S. airlines substantially.

Neither the federal government nor the airlines have made major efforts to increase the load factors since the fuel crisis of 1973. The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) cannot require airlines' compliance with minimum load factors as a means of improving fuel efficiency. Board efforts to reduce domestic flight frequencies, which could increase load factors, have been cancelled as a result of court actions.

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