Inter-FAB cooperation: Extended Arrival Management optimises arrivals from FABEC into London Heathrow

- Karlsruhe, Germany.

Extended Arrival Management services for London Heathrow today became fully operational at EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC).This is a major step in a common project designed to improve arrivals from FABEC and the UK-Ireland FAB into London Heathrow. The objective is to optimise arrival flows by managing the speed of aircraft up to 350 miles away from the airport. Since April 2014, a trial has been running, which also involves the UAC/ACCs of Reims, Brest, Prestwick, Shannon and Swanwick. Within FABEC, the next operational implementation will be by the French DSNA in the course of 2016. 

Absorbing delay in the en-route phase of flight, when aircraft are cruising at higher altitudes, is more efficient and saves fuel and CO2 compared to stack holding in the TMA. This procedure also minimises noise for the communities living beneath the holding stacks. Based on the experience gained during the London Heathrow Extended Arrival Management trial, it is expected that holding times can be cut by up to one minute for those flights which benefit from Extended Arrival Management, saving airlines around €2.3 million in fuel and 8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The London Heathrow Extended Arrival Management project, led by NATS, involves ANSPs from both FABEC (DSNA and MUAC) and the UK-Ireland FAB (NATS and IAA). This project is part of a broader FABEC strategy aimed at implementing Extended Arrival Management (XMAN) for the airports of Frankfurt, Munich, Nice, Lyon, Zurich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Düsseldorf. For the en-route phase of flight, all FABEC control centres will be involved. The FABEC project also builds on the experience gained with existing arrival management systems for arrivals into Munich (from Vienna ACC), Amsterdam (from MUAC) and Paris. XMAN is a key SESAR concept supported by the European Pilot Common Projects Regulation, which FABEC aims to meet.  

“This project shows that cooperation between FABs is absolutely vital to bring tangible improvements to the network and efficiency gains for the environment, the travelling public and the airlines. MUAC is a crucial contributor to the overall results of the London Heathrow Extended Arrival Management project as it delivers the largest amount of flights into Europe’s busiest airport”, said Theo Hendriks, MUAC Capacity Programmes Manager.

Paul Nicholls, NATS Queue Management Delivery Manager, said: “This is the first cross border arrivals management – or XMAN – operation of its kind anywhere in the world using System Wide Information Management (SWIM) based technology and we’re delighted with the results we’re seeing so far. It’s a fantastic example of partnership working across FABs and its great to now have Maastricht on-board as a permanent partner.”



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