• SJU reference # PJ.02-01 /Release 2019
  • Stakeholders
  • Benefits Capacity
  • Status In the pipeline

Runway capacity is a limiting factor at many of the top 30 Europe’s largest airports, especially during peak hours when demand cannot always be accommodated without inducing delay or increasing flying time. Aircraft are classified by ICAO by their wake generation characteristics - but these classifications can be further optimised when combined with additional separation classes introduced under Europe’s Wake Vortex Re-Categorisation (RECAT-EU) scheme.  First deployed at Paris-CDG in late 2015, RECAT-EU has increased runway throughput safely at the airport by more than 8% per hour during peak periods. Leipzig-Halle is also using this re-categorisation to optimise its freight movements and London Heathrow, Vienna and Toulouse have also begun using the new separation standards.

SESAR is developing more efficient wake turbulence separations consisting of time-based minima between aircraft types which take account of dynamic factors, such as current weather and static aircraft characteristics including wake generation and wake resistance. Those separations, when combined with the latest air traffic control separation delivery support tools, allow approach and tower controllers to deliver consistent and safe spacing between aircraft. The software features target distance indicators for aircraft approaching the runway landing threshold and time indicators for aircraft taking off. Software can be used in all mode of operations including mixed mode where the calculation of optimum separation on approach is a relevant factor for supporting predictable departures take-off times.
Furthermore, enhanced wake delay devices are developed in this candidate solution, which incorporate features designed specifically to reduce the risk of encountering wake vortices at low flight altitude, where there is limited opportunity for the pilot to recover from a vortex encounter.


  • Increased airport capacity
  • Enhanced safety
  • Reduced fuel consumption and emissions
  • Improved predictability
  • Increased resilience