Multiple benefits including savings in fuel and CO2 emissions, as well as reduced holding times, are being hailed at Gatwick after the airport introduced a cross-border arrival management system, known as XMAN.
It follows a successful SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) trial run by air traffic management group NATS and partners and works by sharing information between NATS, the airport and surrounding Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs).
These partners work together to slow down approaching aircraft at up to 350nmi from London, resulting ultimately in a reduction in the holding times for aircraft arriving into the airport.
NATS’ Swanwick and Prestwick control centres, Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), France’s DSNA and the Irish Aviation Authority’s Shannon Control Centre have all been involved in the trial with Gatwick.
It is the first time the concepts have been demonstrated for a single-runway airport and follows the success of XMAN’s introduction at Heathrow four years ago.
Officials say absorbing delay before aircraft reach the airport is expected to cut more than 26,000 minutes a year in airborne low-level holding, saving airlines some 1,200 tonnes of fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by 3,800 tonnes, and helping to reduce noise.