On 20 April, ENAIRE, Spain's national air navigation service provider, implemented the so-called BRAIN II project at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport, which improves its operability by redesigning departure flows based on satellite navigation.

To this end, ENAIRE used the most advanced airspace design technologies, complying with European regulatory requirements, and established operational procedures with the following characteristics:

1. The safety, punctuality and efficiency of aircraft operations in the Barcelona airport and its TMA are improved through the implementation of a new set of departures for all the runways.

2. This brings with it improvements in the efficiency of operations by making it possible to better adjust departures to their scheduled times.

3. It entails improvements for air transport passengers through more on-time departures.

4. It creates new departures/arrivals based on satellite navigation at the Reus, Girona-Costa Brava and Lleida-Alguaire airports in order to promote connectivity between the different airports in the Barcelona TMA

Thanks to these improvements, which rely on implementing new airspace design techniques at the Barcelona Airport, aircraft separation and air traffic flows can be optimised.

Maintenance of arrival and departure trajectories

As part of this project, the current role of the runways has been maintained, meaning its implementation will not require changes in terms of their use or configurations, in the arrival or departure trajectories, or in the number of planned operations during peak airport traffic scenarios.

The new procedures will also result in improved environmental sustainability through lower aircraft emissions thanks to optimised trajectories and more efficient operations, in keeping with the goals to preserve the Red Natura 2000 sites flown over and the birds that inhabit them.

To fly these procedures based on the use of satellite navigation, aircraft need to be properly equipped and the crews trained on their use.

These new approach procedures based on satellite navigation will help continue to move forward in meeting the requirements of the Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation Plan, laid out in ENAIRE's 2025 Flight Plan. It also assists in complying with European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1048, the aim of which is to improve the efficiency of air traffic management at the European level by implementing performance-based navigation (PBN).

In order to allow for these new landing and take-off procedures, ENAIRE has conducted the necessary safety studies, which were duly processed with the National Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).

Through these efforts, ENAIRE is making available to users of the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Reus, Girona-Costa Brava and Lleida-Alguaire airports satellite-based approaches and departures that improve the safety and consistency of operations at these airports. And it does all this without having to set up additional land infrastructure, with the operational benefits this entails.