in Aerospace

New simulations highlight potential for more efficient runway ops

Posted 6 October 2017 · Add Comment

Simulations hosted by NATS as part of the European SESAR (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) 2020 programme, suggest that airport operations at some of Europe's busiest airports have the potential to be made even more efficient.



With demand for air travel forecast to grow in the coming years, going beyond even the peak levels reached in 2008, new and innovative ways are required to help airports accommodate growing demand and build even greater resilience into their operations.

Currently, aircraft on departure are grouped in to broad ‘categories’, for example ‘Heavy’ or ‘Medium’, dependent on the wake vortices – or invisible spirals of air turbulence – they generate.

However, this current categorisation means that separations between individual aircraft could be larger than is necessary to ensure safe separation, for example when the smallest aircraft in the ‘Heavy’ category is followed by the largest aircraft in the ‘Medium’ category.

The simulations have studied the potential for refining the separations between departing aircraft by switching from these broad categories of aircraft to individual ‘pairwise’ separations, where the safe separation between departing aircraft is calculated based on the wake vortices created by each aircraft type.

This builds on work previously undertaken through SESAR 1 focusing on wake vortex optimisation, including research in to pairwise separation for arrivals and the successful deployment of Time-Based Separation (TBS) for aircraft arriving at Heathrow Airport. TBS at Heathrow has already significantly reduced delays caused by strong headwinds.

The simulations have also explored how different weather conditions might alter the dissipation of wake vortices, for example when there are strong cross-winds which might help clear the invisible turbulence more quickly, potentially enabling a reduction in safe separations in certain conditions.

The simulations focused on how this might be applied at London Heathrow Airport but also have the potential to be replicated at other busy airports across Europe, such as Paris CDG and Barcelona el Prat.

Claire Pugh, Wake Optimisation concepts and Analysis Lead at NATS, said: “Whilst these are early stage prototype simulations, the findings have been promising and demonstrate the potential to help airports such as Heathrow, as well as others across Europe, to further enhance runway throughput. We will now use this information and work with our partners within the SESAR 2020 programme to prepare for more advanced simulations in 2018.”

The simulations form part of the ‘Increased Runway and Airport Throughput’ element of the SESAR 2020 programme, which is the second phase of the major public-private European Research and Development initiative designed to modernise Europe’s airspace management in order to safely manage forecast growth.

The ‘Increased Runway and Airport Throughput’ project brings together a number of organisations, including Eurocontrol; the Spanish and French Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) ENAIRE and DSNA; COOPANS – an international partnership of the ANSPs of Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden; airport consortium SEAC; aircraft manufacturer Airbus; system suppliers Indra, Thales, Selex and research organisation AT-One.

Further simulations are planned by other members of the project throughout 2017 and 2018.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Azores Airlines takes delivery of its first A321neo

Azores Airlines has taken delivery of its first Airbus A321neo aircraft, to become first Portuguese A320neo Family operator.

Serco signs Copernicus data access contract with ESA

Serco's business in Italy has been awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) to deliver a ground-breaking project to facilitate open and unlimited access to earth observation data and geospatial information collected as

All change at the top of Airbus

The Airbus Board of Directors has today announced executive changes as Tom Enders (59) has advised them he won't seek another term as CEO beyond his current mandate (which runs until the 2019 Annual Shareholders Meeting April 2019)and

ADS highlights industry need for transition agreement in early 2018

ADS said today that although confirmation that talks can start on transition and our future relationship with the EU is welcome progress, industry now needs to see urgent agreement reached on transition arrangements.

Astronaut Tim Peake opens UTC Portsmouth

Two years after blasting off to join the International Space Station, British astronaut Tim Peake formally opened the Roya Navy backed college which will produce the scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

CAA launching new airspace change process

In 2015 the CAA started reviewing its airspace change process and after nearly three years of detailed work and two public consultations, it is now launching its new process which will take effect from 2nd January 2018.

SMI NCWSK2011171217
See us at
SMI FAVSABT2411120418FIL18 BT111017220718S&P BT281117080318Aviation Africa BT18418SMI NCWBT3110020218