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Wakenet Europe workshop 2007 press release

Eurocontrol Press Release

EUROCONTROL-hosted workshop proposes

concepts for reducing impact of wake vortex

Brussels, Belgium – Substantial progress has been made recently in

understanding the behaviour of wake vortex – the turbulent air left behind

an aircraft in flight. As a result, a number of short to medium-term projects

can now be developed to reduce the impact of wake vortices on airport

capacity, and thus increase performance, without jeopardising or reducing


One of the projects that has the potential to reduce the impact of wake

vortices on airport capacity is time-based spacing for arrivals which can

partly prevent loss of capacity in strong headwinds. Other proposals

include implementing procedures for how to use closely spaced parallel

runways and for operations in crosswind conditions. There are also a

number of other longer-term options that could further enhance flight

safety and operational performance should the research programmes

prove to be successful. These include on-board detection equipment, new

design of wings and aircraft configuration that reduces the amount of wake

vortex that is generated.

These projects were discussed at a workshop hosted recently by

EUROCONTROL in Brussels. A substantial set of new concepts of

operations for wake vortex mitigation were presented at the three-day

workshop to representatives of European research institutes, industry, air

traffic management organizations, regulators, airlines and airport

authorities, and other bodies such as the FAA, NASA and the Russian

research and industry. The 85 participants were asked to give as much

input as possible on the strengths, opportunities and concerns for each of

the proposed concepts.

“An early conclusion from this workshop is that there is now the necessary

depth of understanding and the availability of new technology to allow a

number of operational enhancements to be developed,” said Paul Wilson,

Head of Airport Operations & Environment at EUROCONTROL.

Participants also heard about the successfully completed Airbus 380 wake

vortex safety assessment, carried out by Airbus, EUROCONTROL, the

FAA, NASA and industry.

by anna wennerberg last modified 2007-05-08 15:04