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Increased Runway and Airport Throughput
Deadline: Mar 16, 2016  

 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

At capacity constrained airports traffic demand for runway operations exceeds the runway capacity. With the growth in air traffic there is an increasing number of airports that are becoming capacity constrained for significant periods of each day. This situation becomes more critical when the weather conditions are adverse. Airports are additionally constrained by different operational constraints (European, National and local) aiming at minimizing the noise impact on citizens living around airports. Therefore, there is a key need to improve the efficiency of runway operations. Resilience of operations in visually challenging conditions requires improvement by ensuring consistent runway occupancy profiles across visually challenging conditions. Current static ICAO Wake Vortex separation minima are generic (i.e. the same for all airports), to be more efficient Wake vortex separation minima should be tailored for each airport taking into account their fleet-mix. In order to realise full benefits of reduced wake-vortex and time-based separation (TBS) minima it is necessary to reduce Minimum Radar Separation. Runway Occupancy Time (ROT) is a constraining factor for runway throughput in mixed mode operations. The full integration with ROT, wake, TBS, integrated arrival and departure management (AMAN/DMAN) and system support needs to be achieved. The optimisation of runway in reduced visibility conditions and, more specifically, the planning of operations as well as the way MET information is used in planning need to be addressed.


The project “Increased Runway and Airport throughput” aims at delivering the following SESAR Solutions:

  • Wake Turbulence Separation Optimisation: The application of reduced separations will require the use of an Optimised Runway Delivery tool so Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs) can deal with various runway throughput enhancement concepts.

  • Enhanced arrival procedures: Mitigation of noise and adaptation of wake avoidance procedures through concepts such as multiple runway aiming points and glide slope increase.

  • Minimum Pair Separations based on Required Surveillance Performance (RSP): Reduction of separation minima is strictly dependent on the availability of accurate aircraft position data i.e. RSP concept.

  • Independent Rotorcraft (RC) operations at the airport: development of RC specific approach procedures and Satellite Based Augmentation Systems (SBAS)-based Point-in Space (PinS). RC Approach Procedures with Vertical Guidance (APV) and PinS approach procedures to improve access into secondary airports in Low Visibility Conditions (LVC).

  • Improved access into secondary airports in low visibility conditions: improve access into secondary airports in low visibility conditions through the development of an affordable surveillance solution.

  • Traffic optimisation on single and multiple runway airports: by increasing predictability of runway capacity, optimizing runway configuration and optimizing arrival and/or departure spacing.

  • Enhanced Runway Conditions Awareness: Improvement of safety and situational awareness through the prediction of degradation of runway conditions taking into account different data in order to improve the quality of ROT prediction. ROT prediction will be fed to AMAN/DMAN and Surface Management tools.

Enhanced Terminal Area for efficient curved operations: Using geometric vertical navigation guidance in the TMA will remove the workload associated to barometric to geometric vertical navigation transition.

Expected Impact:

This project will develop solutions that are expected to have a positive impact on the Network improving:

  • Maintain or increase runway safety levels, increase situational awareness. ATC Workload maintained or reduced;

    Airport and Airspace Capacity - Increase runway and airspace throughput (e.g. reducing runway occupancy time, or landing and departure wake turbulence separation) and mitigate the impact of head and cross winds plus reduced visibility;

  • Improve access to secondary airports. The opportunity to realize higher system robustness, with improved continuity of service under low visibility conditions at the airport (CATII/III) and with expected benefits for resilience, cost-efficiency and providing increased flexibility under non-nominal conditions at the airport.

  • Predictability - Increasing predictability and airport efficiency (e.g. of the landing rate, of Runway Occupancy Time, runway exit and departure rotation);

  • Environmental Sustainability - Reducing fuel consumption and noise in the vicinity of an airport.

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