Getting the most out of existing runway infrastructure
In 2023, Amsterdam Schiphol became the third airport in the world to adopt Time Based Separation (TBS). This was accomplished using the “Intelligent Approach” tools jointly developed by Leidos and NATS.
Intelligent Approach is now operating at three of the world’s busiest airports. London Heathrow was the first to go live followed by Toronto Pearson in 2022, now Amsterdam Schiphol in January 2023 and with more airports set to follow soon.
So why are Air Navigation Service Providers at busy airports choosing Intelligent Approach?
Experience to date shows a 60% reduction in delays due to headwinds, over 45,000 tonnes of CO2 savings per annum at Heathrow and significant tactical runway capacity gains at all three airports. Tactical runway capacity can be increased by 2-5 movements per hour, per landing runway without the need for any changes to runways, taxiways and ground infrastructure and no changes to equipment on the aircraft. In the following video LVNL explains the reasons they use Intelligent Approach and the benefits they have achieved.
Intelligent Approach is a suite of air traffic management tools that enables Air Traffic Controllers to safely optimise the spacing between arriving aircraft to maximise tactical runway capacity. This results in reduced fuel burn and CO2 emissions and delivers better overall on-time performance which is great not only from a professional capacity but also as a passenger as we all like to arrive on time.
The tools are easy to use, designed by controllers for controllers. The tools can be integrated into existing Air Traffic Management systems. Intelligent Approach tools present Air Traffic Controllers with dynamic indicators on their screens which show the minimum safe separation that should be used. That separation can be time based as well as other factors which affect the minimum gap that can be employed including the time for the preceding aircraft to get clear of the runway or low visibility.
Intelligent Approach tools continue to be enhanced including a move to Pairwise separation where the gaps between each aircraft will be tailored to the wake vortex characteristics of that aircraft type. This enables an increase in capacity of up to two additional landings per hour above that already achieved. In parallel, the tools for optimising single runway (landings and take-offs) are also in development and will provide similar benefits for these airports. We expect the first of these to start Intelligent Approach operations next year.
The typical payback period for the cost of Intelligent Approach is measured in months, not years.
If you are interested in learning more about this technology, go to www.intelligentapproach.aero