DANS and Eurocontrol cooperate on wake vortex studies
Dubai Air Navigation Services (DANS), the air navigation service provider for Dubai's two international airports and the airspace of the northern Emirates and Europe's ATM organisation Eurocontrol, have signed a Cooperation Agreement – the first of its kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.
The agreement was signed by DANS chief executive, Mohammed Abdulla Ahli and the director general of Eurocontrol Frank Brenner during a seminar hosted by DANS in Dubai.
The event was attended by various national stakeholders from the aviation industry, and witnessed participation from International organizations such as Eurocontrol, and DSNA, the French air navigation service provider.
The agreement paves the way for collaboration on research and development, exchange of information and provision of support on specific activities between both organizations across various fronts. The deployment of this agreement will also provide DANS with a significant edge through access to unique market intelligence, as well as the opportunity to collaborate on cutting edge concepts.
One of the first areas for joint activity that will take place under this agreement, is to advance the research on the wake vortex concepts. Wake has a large role to play in determining how many aircraft can land at an airport in a given time period.
DANS has been experimenting how the wake spacing between successive arrivals - the gap between successive aircraft - can be safely reduced. One of the wake projects is called Recat, which is designed to recategorise the existing four wake turbulence categories into six new wake categories. DANS has been running a campaign to capture wake data for the last 18 months, and now has the database of approximately 160,000 tracks showing wake vortex behaviours in the Dubai environment . Recat is one of the potential solutions to be utilized by DANS to accommodate the escalating increase in capacity at Dubai International Airport, and Eurocontrol has been instrumental in the concept research and has developed a safety case which has subsequently been endorsed by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
The agreement will enable further research on RECAT and the sharing with DANS of the safety case developed by Eurocontrol .
Frank Brenner, said: “This ground-breaking agreement between Eurocontrol and Dubai Air Navigation Services will allow us to jointly make an important contribution to the activities that are underway in ICAO to define improved international wake-based separation minima bringing safety and economic benefits to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and airports such as Dubai. We believe it is an excellent example of how the different regions of the world can cooperate to drive forward a common project of benefit to all."
Mohammed Ahli said : “The deployment of the cooperation agreement between DANS and Eurocontrol marks an important milestone in the history of aviation , that will mutually benefit both organisations.
“As a step in the right direction, we will be collaborating on the wake vortex project which is of tremendous importance to Dubai considering the massive air traffic increases it is witnessing at both airports. DANS invited all the national stakeholders in the aviation sector to discuss the opportunities of benefiting from this project in the future, regarding the increase of capacity in all the UAE airports”.