SORT

Safely optimised runway throughput

Forecast growth in air traffic will increase pressure on Europe’s airports. Airports are looking for ways to improve runway and airport throughput while maintaining safety levels. The SORT (VLD3-W2) project will the test six solutions delivered under the SESAR Joint Undertaking, namely:

  1. optimised separation delivery on final approach (PJ.02-01-01);
  2. wake turbulence separations (for arrivals) based on static aircraft characteristics (PJ.02-01-04);
  3. reduction of wake turbulence risk considering acceleration of wake vortex decay in ground proximity (PJ.02-01-07);
  4. minimum pair separations based on required surveillance performance (PJ.02-03);
  5. trajectory-based integrated runway sequence (PJ.02-08-01);
  6. increased runway throughput based on local ROT characterisation (ROCAT) (PJ.02-08-03).

Demonstrations are planned at London Heathrow, Vienna and Stockholm Arlanda.

Objective

The expected recovery in air traffic will lead to an increasing number of airports facing capacity constraints. Therefore, airports must significantly improve the runway and airport throughput while maintaining or increasing runway safety levels.

Solutions

In SESAR 2020 WAVE 1, this was mainly addressed within PJ02 with the following solutions:

  • PJ.02-01: Wake turbulence separation optimisation
  • PJ.02-03: Minimum pair separations based on required surveillance performance
  • PJ.02-08: Traffic optimisation at single and multiple runway airports, including optimised local characterisation of runway occupancy time

This VLD covers the following four demonstrations in the context of the aforementioned solutions:

  1. The use of aircraft-type-specific pairwise wake turbulence separation will be evaluated in the Heathrow Airport environment, combined with reduced surveillance separation minimum and optimised runway occupancy time spacing, supported by analytics for delivering efficient runway use.
  2. At Vienna airport, the use of a wake decay enhancing device is intended to be demonstrated.
  3. The benefits of an integrated AMAN-DMAN runway sequencer will be demonstrated at Stockholm Arlanda airport in shadow mode.

In addition, a pre-implementation assessment will address the application at Zurich airport's environment of reduced separation from current surveillance minima, combined with locally optimised runway occupancy times concept, with controller time-based separation delivery support tool and related local data analytics.

Together, these demonstrations will collect evidence of the concept(s) within the overall time-based separation concept.

As such, the proposed large-scale demo VLD3-W2 SORT closes the gap between the actual concept development and the deployment (or pre-industrialisation) phases by demonstrating the operational and technical readiness. By doing so, the project helps to reduce the risk when it comes to later deployment phases of these four solutions, either in real-life trials and/or in shadow-mode trials at major European airports. This will ensure trust in the SESAR results.

EUROCONTROL’s role

At EUROCONTROL, we contribute to several activities in the project by leading the work package on the reduced separation minima and local characterisation of runway occupancy time application to Zurich’s environment and by leading the ‘V4‘ standardisation and regulatory aspects. This include the development of the RECAT-EU-PWS safety case, and their introduction to EASA for review and approval.

As PJ02, we lead the industrial research solution. Thus, we ensures appropriate knowledge transfer with the partners involved in the flight trial demonstrations.

Partners

STICHTING KONINKLIJK NEDERLANDS LUCHT - EN RUIMTEVAARTCENTRUM, DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUR LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT EV, AUSTRO CONTROL OSTERREICHISCHE GESELLSCHAFT FUR ZIVILLUFTFAHRT MBH, LUFTFARTSVERKET, SINTEF AS, NATS, HEATHROW AIRPORT LIMITED, SWEDAVIA AB, AIRBUS, FLUGHAFEN ZURICH AG, SKYGUIDE, CROATIA CONTROL, IRISH AVIATION AUTHORITY, NAVIAIR, AIRTEL ATN LIMITED, SAAB AKTIEBOLAG, AEROPORTS DE PARIS SA, AVINOR AS, FLUGHAFEN MUNCHEN GMBH, SCHIPHOL NEDERLAND BV