Point Merge

Improving and harmonising arrival operations.

Point Merge is a systemised method for sequencing arrival flows developed by the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre (EEC) in 2006.

Started with Oslo (2011) and Dublin (2012), Point Merge is now operational for 38 airports through 19 countries and 4 continents, such as Istanbul, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mexico or Sao Paulo.

Point Merge is one of the ICAO aviation system block upgrades (ASBU) and is referenced as a technique to support continuous descent operations (CDO - ICAO doc 9931).

Point Merge implementation


Today’s situation with radar vectoring makes for a heavy controller workload, a great deal of radio communication, diminution of pilot situational awareness, difficulty in predicting and improving vertical profiles and large dispersion at low altitudes.

Point Merge is expected to provide benefits in terms of safety, environment (in approach sectors) and capacity (in terminal sectors), even with high traffic loads.

Depending on the operational and environmental constraints, and on the design choice made, these are the expected benefits:

  • simplification of controller tasks, reduction of communications and workload;
  • better pilot situational awareness;
  • more orderly flows of traffic with a better view of arrival sequences;
  • improved containment of flown trajectories after the merge point;
  • better trajectory prediction, allowing for improved flight efficiency;
  • standardisation of operations and better airspace management.
How point merge works - graphical representation

How it works

Point Merge is designed to work in high traffic loads without radar vectoring. iT is based on a specific P-RNAV route structure, consisting of a point (the merge point) and pre-defined legs (the sequencing legs) equidistant from this point. The sequencing is achieved with a “direct-to” instruction to the merge point at the appropriate time. The legs are only used to delay aircraft when necessary (“path stretching”); the length of the legs reflects the required delay absorption capacity.

Watch our videos to learn more

EUROCONTROL Stakeholder Forum on Point Merge

New technique for sequencing arrival traffic (2016)

Hybrid Point merge trials at Paris Orly airport (2015)

Point Merge in Paris ACC (2011)

Point Merge System - new regulations for air traffic at Oslo Airport Gardermoen - Video thumbnail

Point Merge in Oslo (2011)

Latest updates

Point Merge news October 2021

Significant implementation progress as top airports increasingly turn to Point Merge, EUROCONTROL’s innovative arrival sequencing technique


Point Merge – going global

Japan airlines plane crossing the runway of Tokyo International Airport

Tokyo-Haneda set to implement EUROCONTROL’s innovative Point Merge method