New Eurocontrol concepts could increase airport capacity and reduce noise

The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) has released two new concepts which it says could improve runway capacity and manage noise at airports.

The air traffic management organisation, together with partners at Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR), claim staggered threshold approach procedures combined with new tools could boost airport capacity by up to 10 per cent, while reducing noise at the same time.

The first concept is static pairwise separation for departures, which would tackle increasing departure traffic with optimised wake turbulence separation minima and improved separation delivery.

The second concept is dual threshold, which would involve landing aircraft on closely-spaced dependent parallel runways, using staggered thresholds to help reduce wake separation minima and increase throughput.

Both concepts are based on Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport scenarios, but Eurocontrol said they can work for any major European airport, benefitting departure and arrival peak periods, whilst also adding the benefit of improved predictability.

“If the maturity and relevance of the concepts and their associated tools are confirmed, Eurocontrol will incorporate them into its runway throughput package to drive runway performance improvements at European airports,” said the organisation in a statement.