NAVBLUE assists Zurich low visibility ops

NAVBLUE and Zurich International Airport have improved the capacity of the airport and optimised efficiency in CAT III conditions

Low visibility conditions constitute a major challenge to airports, as raised separation requirements reduce capacity and cause delays. Thanks to the implementation of advanced technology and the support of NAVBLUE , Zurich International Airport has been able to increase the number of movements in low visibility conditions by approximately 20 per cent, starting in October 2016.

In order to ensure that aircraft landings in CAT III conditions continue to be effected at the highest safety levels, Zurich Airport and the Swiss air navigation services provider Skyguide have invested in optimised landing technologies by installing a new Instrument Landing System (ILS) 32 elements localizer antenna, supported by NAVBLUE’s Exact Landing Interference Simulation Environment (ELISE by NAVBLUE) solution.

ELISE by NAVBLUE helps airport services to increase capacity, reduce holdings and increase safety in low visibility conditions. It also enables optimisation of airside land usage, allowing buildings to be built on land previously deemed non-constructible without disrupting the facility’s ILS signal.

ELISE by NAVBLUE has modelled the Zurich airport’s environment with a high level of accuracy including ILS settings and ground relief and the geometry of disturbances on the ILS Signal in 3D. The state-of-the-art simulations have been built to ICAO standard tolerances.

With this new technology and modeling in place, Zurich International Airport has been approved by the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation to reduce the separation of arriving aircraft in low visibility conditions to five nm in final instead of the traditional six nautical miles.

“Thanks to ELISE by NAVBLUE and to a close collaboration with Skyguide and the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, we are very proud to announce that Zurich International Airport is a pioneer in applying state of the art technology to reduce holdings and airborne delays in low visibility conditions”, said Jann Döbelin, head of flight operations, engineering, Zurich Airport. “Zurich International Airport is just the beginning; soon more airports will also be able to embrace the environmental and financial benefits of this technology”.

“This additional capacity permits Zurich International Airport to aid their airline partners in their efforts to offer their passengers a heightened customer experience by reducing airborne holding times. These shortened hold-times provide several benefits including allowing in-transit passengers to reliably make their connections on time. NAVBLUE’S focus is always about being customer centric and aiding them in their day to day operations; we feel we have hit the mark here.” remarked Paul-Franck Bijou, chief commercial & communication officer, NAVBLUE.

“Zurich airport is prone to low visibility conditions during the winter season, imposing unfavorable restrictions to traffic throughput. We are very pleased that by combining cutting-edge technology with advanced operational concepts, we were able to mitigate the meteorological impact on flight punctuality,” says Siegfrid Ladenbauer, head of tower/approach at skyguide.

Posted in Airports, News, Safety, Training and Simulation

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