Design Principles for a Separation Support Tool Allowing Optimized Runway Delivery

The research in the wake vortex domain made possible in the last years to tackle airport capacity issues by designing new concepts for wake separations between aircraft on approach and departure. Those new solutions allow for dynamic wake separation reduction depending on aircraft characteristics and weather conditions. Amongst those concepts are found Time-Based Separation (TBS), RECAT Pairwise (RECAT-PWS) and Weather Dependent Separation (WDS). However, the application of dynamic separations entails the use of a spacing delivery support tool. This tool shall compute the applicable time- or distance-based separation minima and provide distance indicators supporting their correct delivery by the controller. Distance indicators have hence to account for aircraft separation compression effects but also for the uncertainties related to aircraft speed and wind evolution. This paper presents the principles used for the design of a demonstrator of such a separation delivery support platform called LORD.

The LORD tool makes use of a methodology to mitigate separation infringement and to prevent aircraft under spacing by using an additional buffer on the spacing computation. The use of such buffers allows the separations to be correctly delivered up to a certain ‘failure rate’ equivalent to what is currently observed at airports while still providing capacity benefits with a better spacing management by the controller in different separation modes (e.g. distance based or time based). To prevent spacing infringement, different support warnings are also implemented in the tool. These warnings are to be used as safety nets to quickly identify potential issues in the approach/landing phase and allow the controller to take corrective actions. The LORD tool was successfully tested by Air Traffic Controllers during Real-Time Simulation campaigns. The use of the new separation concepts together with the LORD tool is seen to allow for an increase of throughput and reduction of separation infringement, while maintaining workload and situation awareness at an acceptable level.

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Design Principles for a Separation Support Tool Allowing Optimized Runway Delivery