New airport approach system increases punctuality and reduces carbon emissions

Previously, in utilising fixed distance based separation during final approach, airports would often experience a reduced landing rate as the headwind component increased and the ground speed dropped.


GlobalData


Ahead of the World ATM Congress in Madrid from 10-12 March, GlobalData examines one of the key issues currently affecting the industry: combatting the capacity crunch.

 

Developed in joint collaboration with technology firm Leidos, Intelligent Approach safely and dynamically separates airport arrivals by time instead of distance, calculating the optimum gap between arriving aircraft for the wind conditions.

 

By displaying the dynamic separation and spacing indicators to air traffic controllers, the airport’s tactical capacity can be instantly improved in all weather conditions, and is especially effective during strong headwinds.

 

Previously, in utilising fixed distance based separation during final approach, airports would often experience a reduced landing rate as the headwind component increased and the ground speed dropped. Inevitably, this leads to an increase in delays and flight cancellations. But the TBS system dynamically adjusts the separation between arrivals to maintain spacing equivalent to the distance separation, with a headwind of five to seven knots. The reduced approach separation recovers most of the lost capacity from headwinds and does not materially affect runway separation between arrivals.

 

Additionally, the airport no longer experiences the same level of peaks in airborne holding that it used to. In fact, Heathrow has seen a reduction in airborne holdings of 230,000 minutes, equating to approximately 47,000kT of saved CO2. Meanwhile, tactical cancellations due to headwinds have been almost eradicated.