Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Changi vortex study to examine separation intervals

Aviation authorities in Asia and Europe are to conduct a joint study into wake turbulence to determine whether the distances between aircraft can be reduced while maintaining safety standards.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will cooperate in a study of aircraft wake turbulence at Singapore’s Changi Airport. If the study finds that current separation minima can be safely reduced, runway capacity at Changi—and other airports around the world—could be increased.

The vortices created by an aircraft’s passage through the air vary in strength from a variety of factors, including the aircraft’s size.

Due to the safety hazard posed by wake turbulence, an aircraft following behind another aircraft must maintain adequate safe distance. The minimum safety separation between two aircraft, in turn, determines runway capacity.

CAAS and EASA will work together to conduct wake vortex measurements of aircraft at Changi.

This will involve real-time data collection via the use of laser-imaging detection and ranging technology (LIDAR), as well as a review of air traffic control working procedures to ensure safe aircraft separation.

Outcomes from this study will potentially provide the scientific basis for further enhancement of aircraft separation standards.

“This…will bring valuable data and information on wake turbulences in an operational environment and will further improve our understanding of this complex topic in order to guarantee the highest level of safety to passengers,” EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky said.

“This working arrangement with EASA adds a new dimension to our long-standing cooperation in data sharing and analysis of aircraft operations,” CAAS DG Kevin Shum said. 

“This study is timely, as Singapore and others in the international aviation community are finding various ways to optimize runway capacity to handle more flights in a safe manner.” 

(Alan Dron - ATWOnline News)

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