Heathrow Airport’s Time Based Separation procedure wins Single European Sky Award Published on 05/03/2016

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Heathrow Airport's Time Based Separation procedure has won an award

An innovative new procedure called Time Based Separation (TBS) which was pioneered at Heathrow Airport has won a Single European Sky (SES) Awards, along with four other projects.

The operating procedure allows an increased number of aircraft to land per hour during heavy head winds. The development of TBS came about through a partnership between NATS, EUROCONTROL and Lockheed Martin and it is a world-first at Heathrow.

TBS has led to a 60% reduction in aircraft delays during windy weather conditions due to air traffic control management. It allows aircraft operators to counteract the effect of wind by using live data from aircraft to adjust the separation between arrivals based on time rather than distance. As a result of this new operating procedure, 25,000 minutes worth of delay time was saved in November alone.

The Single European Sky awards celebrate the best examples of collaboration within the European air traffic management community in Europe, helping to increase interoperability and encourage innovation. TBS is now mandated to be in operation at Europe’s busiest airports by 2024 and many of the lessons learned from the work to take it from concept to implementation will be valuable across Europe in the coming years.

Mark Burgess, Head of Air Traffic Management & Air Traffic Control at Heathrow says:

“Through Time Based Separation, we have delivered a better passenger experience, better service to our airline customers and also reduced our environmental impacts by reducing emissions and noise. The success of this industry-leading technique could have only come about through collaboration with our partners and a joint ambition to improve and drive forward innovation in air traffic management across Europe.”

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