A snapshot of some recent, current and forthcoming activities - February, 2006

Study suggests large gains in airport throughput by reducing wake vortex separations

Recent research has shown the strong influence of meteorological conditions on the transport and decay of wake vortices. This opens the possibility that under certain conditions, wake vortex separations could be reduced. New operational procedures are now being conceived to exploit this possibility. In ideal circumstances the increases could be as much as 40% at the busiest airports.
  HTML More ...

How can wake vortex separation standards be revised?

Wake vortex researchers met with operational experts, regulators, air traffic controllers, airlines, pilots and industry during a two day workshop organised by the European Commission's WakeNet2-Europe Thematic Network and the Experimental Centre.
  HTML More …

Level bust study recommends downlinking of the selected level

Once every half-hour, somewhere in the world, an aircraft busts its cleared level. Once a day, a level bust results in aircraft passing within a mile of each other. A study recommends downlinking the flight level selected by the pilot to create an additional barrier to level bust incidents.
  HTML More ...

Divided opinions on the sustainability of air transport

A first Socio-Economic Research workshop gathered researchers and air transport partners to share views on several facets of air transport sustainability. A debate was organised to close the day, with a surprising result.
  HTML More ...

Sustainability framework website

The notion of a Sustainability Framework for Air Transport, introduced in the March 2005 newsletter, generated quite a lot of interest. A prototype website has now been created to better illustrate the concept. We invite you to explore this website and pass on your comments about the concept and the individual indicators chosen in the matrix. A reminder - those shown for now are simply draft proposals. All feedback is very welcome - or indeed if you are aware of other initiatives in this area - we would appreciate your input.
  HTML Prototype website
  HTML A Sustainability Framework for Air Transport, EEC News, March 2005
  E-mail Feedback

Citizens want to travel more despite environmental impact

A recent study using the technique of focus groups in four countries in Europe shows that people are generally not aware of the growth in air traffic and its impact on the environment, and that even when they do know, they nonetheless want more opportunities to travel.
  HTML More ...

Finally available - a method for estimating particulate matter emissions

Soot, or particulate matter, is the primary non-volatile component of jet engine exhaust. Until now, aircraft emissions models have been unable to reliably estimate particulate matter. This was mainly due to the fact that the ICAO Engine Exhaust Emission Data Bank does not provide complete smoke number information for a large number of listed aircraft engines. For the first time, a complete and consistent approach to the missing smoke numbers combined with a method of deriving particulate matter from smoke numbers and correcting for flight altitude has been developed.
  HTML More ...

Airborne spacing: managed or selected speed mode?

A pilot-in-the-loop experiment took place at the EEC, between November 21 and December 9, 2005, to investigate the use of a speed managed mode for airborne spacing. All pilots agreed that the speed managed mode was the most appropriate during the initial descent but half of them preferred the speed selected mode during final approach.
  HTML More ...

Prototype airborne spacing director to minimise pilot speed actions

A cockpit tool has been prototyped for reducing the frequency of speed changes suggested to a pilot tasked with maintaining a required time spacing behind a lead aircraft.
  HTML More ...

Record Attendance at 4th Innovative Research Workshop

The 4th EUROCONTROL Innovative ATM research workshop and exhibition took place last December. Advanced air transport system concepts including automation, emerging technologies for 3D, augmented and virtual reality applied to ATM, fundamental research, and the Eurocontrol Innovative Research work plan were presented and discussed.
  HTML More ...

Innovative Air Traffic Freeway System for Europe

The European core area contains seven of the world’s 30 busiest airports and is the crossing point of major intercontinental traffic flows. A doubling or tripling of traffic would exceed the capacity of the current ATM system and its human operators. New concepts are required. The “Air Traffic Freeway System for Europe” presents intuitive ideas for the high altitude airspace which it terms the freeway airspace.
  HTML More ...

How does the press report on ATM when air transport safety is breached?

From an extensive analysis of the European press between 2000-2004 covering Uberlingen 2002, Linate 2001, New En-Route Centre (NERC) technical incidents 2001, and Roissy 2000, three main lessons can be learned: the image of air traffic management is quite poor in the press; the press usually follows legal proceedings involving service providers and may sometimes anticipate judgements; and finally a European vision of ATM changes is often lacking, as ATM is still mainly viewed as a national activity.
  HTML More ...

Communicating with our Stakeholders

The activities of the Experimental Centre are embedded in a process of communication with our stakeholders which gives them the opportunity to guide us by means of their feedback. This article describes this process and then highlights major outcomes of our consultation group meeting in December, 2005.
  HTML More ...