PDF Icon SDG Delivery Report 1 – July 2014

The Airports Commission Senior Delivery Group (SDG) have published their ‘Delivery Report #1’. This report sets out a series of short and medium term measures that have potential to improve the operational efficiency of the UK’s airspace system.

The SDG has grouped a prioritised set of measures into three packages:

Operating to schedule

a. Airport Collaborative Decision Making (ACDM) – systems to link up information about aircraft turnaround phase and optimise runway capacity.

b. Real-time Departure Planning Information (DPI) – to optimise airspace capacity.

c. Queue Management (QMAN) – systems to sequence inbound and outbound traffic flows.

d. Time-Based Separation (TBS) – to maintain aircraft arrival rates in strong headwinds.

Tactical responses to traffic overloads

SDG will consider the Airports Commission’s recommendations to increase the flexibility of triggers for use of Tactically Enhanced Arrival Measures (TEAM) at Heathrow Airport, i.e. operating arrivals on the runway allocated to departures in order to manage surges in demand and the build-up of delays. Any decision on TEAM will be taken alongside the Commission’s Final Report in 2015.

Investments in the route infrastructure

Managing the interaction between aircraft traffic flows increases the workload of pilots and controllers, interrupts continuous climbs and reduces airspace capacity. This package of work will monitor the implementation of new arrival and departure routes at Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, designed to the standards of Performance-Based Navigation (PBN). PBN involves the use of equipment that enables aircraft to be flown along more precisely defined tracks, thus increasing the concentration of flights along those narrower flight paths, whilst potentially enabling certainty about the areas that will be overflown where a range of dispersed flight paths are employed.

Membership of the SDG is likely to evolve but is currently:

  • Andrew Haines (Chair) – Chief Executive, Civil Aviation Authority
  • Mark Swan – Director of Safety and Airspace Regulation, Civil Aviation Authority
  • Patricia Hayes – Director General Civil Aviation, Department for Transport
  • Martin Rolfe – Managing Director Operations, NATS En-route Limited
  • Normand Boivin – Chief Operating Officer, Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL)
  • Stewart Wingate – Chief Executive, Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL)
  • Gary Copeland – Managing Director Operations, British Airways (IAG – International Airlines Group)
  • Warwick Brady – Chief Operations Officer, easyJet
  • Air Vice Marshall Edward Stringer –Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Ministry of Defence