In what will be a world first, the new method for organizing arriving aircraft is set to become operational at London’s biggest airport in spring 2015.
Traditionally, flights are separated by set distances dependent on the type of aircraft and the size of the spiralling turbulence – or wake vortex – they create as they fly. During strong headwind conditions, aircraft fly more slowly over the ground resulting in extra time between each arrival.
The introduction of a time-based separation method at Heathrow will help to maintain the landing rate and save 80,000 minutes of delay every year, halving the current delay figure while significantly reducing the need for airlines to cancel flights due to the affects of strong headwinds.
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