Increasing resilience at one of Europe’s busiest hubs

Mar. 3, 2017

At Heathrow, strong winds are the single biggest cause of arrival delay since aircraft fly more slowly over the ground. This has previously resulted in extra spacing between arrivals when it’s windy, increasing delays. SESAR’s time-based separation (TBS) replaces current distance separations with time intervals in order to adapt to weather conditions. It provides consistent time-based spacing between arriving aircraft in order to maintain runway approach capacity. TBS entered into full-time service at London-Heathrow in March 2015 and recorded 25,000 minutes of delay saved in November of that year alone. The solution is due for synchronised deployment across Europe in accordance with the Pilot Common Project.