The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) has a program in place, in cooperation with the FAA to reduce emissions: AIRE: Atlantic Interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emissions. As part of this program ATC the Netherlands (LVNL) will perform a trial at Schiphol Airport to improve the night time operations.
The trial is developed in a consortium of KLM, the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) and Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL). The Directorate-General for Civil Aviation and Maritime Affairs has decided to support this development through the KDC by contracting the NLR to perform system development and flight data analysis.
At Amsterdam Schiphol Airport low altitude CDA’s are flown in the final stage of the flight, typically from 4000 – 5000 ft. These so-called transitions have been implemented since the mid 90’s for noise reduction purposes. Sequencing traffic on the low-capacity transitions creates inefficiencies in the arrival management process, in particular when traffic comes in bunches. The challenge for the trial is to influence aircraft before they enter the Dutch airspace to prevent traffic bunches and to allow for more efficient descent profiles to be flown by all arriving aircraft.
The trial at Schiphol airport revolves around an experimental pre-planning system to optimise the handling of arriving traffic. The period of application of the pre-planning function is the early morning period typically 04:00 – 05:30 hour landing time. This period is characterized by a “wave” of long haul traffic, primarily from the east. The pre-planning system supports the air traffic controller in his/her task to plan inbound traffic streams such that bunching of traffic is avoided.
The planning system will be fed with down-linked trajectory data from the aircraft that includes Estimated Times of Arrival (ETA) for one or more points on the route. This data is used to solve planning conflicts between two or more aircraft. The planning will be presented to the ATCOs of ATC the Netherlands.
ATC the Netherlands will endeavour to provide CDA clearances prior to top-of descent, in coordination with adjacent centres with the aim to reduce emissions. Maastricht Upper Area Control (MUAC) will provide assistance to the trial which is especially important in case of handling aircraft with no data link connection to the pre-planning system. MUAC will coordinate the planning information between aircraft and ATC the Netherlands.
The trial is scheduled in the October – November 2011 timeframe and aims to conduct 500 flights.