Pressrelease issued by EUROCONTROL 10 May 2007
− As part of a joint study of the wake turbulence dependence of closely spaced parallel runway operations, EUROCONTROL, Aéroport de Paris (ADP) and the French Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne (DSNA) have installed a pulsed lidar on the roof of the KBIS tower between Terminals 2A and 2C at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. The lidar – a WindTracer® from Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies - measures wake vortex, the turbulent air left behind aircraft as they take off and land. It uses an ‘eye-safe’ infrared laser which is reflected by particles in the air, allowing a sensor to capture and analyse information about their movement. As identified during SESAR definition phase, monitoring of wake vortices is a crucial element to improve safety and increase runway capacity. Knowledge of the behaviour of wake vortices under specific meteorological conditions could be used to reduce the separation minima recommended by ICAO for wake turbulence avoidance. In particular, the safety of individual flights will be enhanced by reduction of wake vortex encounters via improved prediction and detection. “The use of the WindTracer® will considerably reduce the time needed to determine the behaviour of wake vortices between the two southern runways at Paris Charles De Gaulle,” said Peter Eriksen, Head of EUROCONTROL Airport Research. “This will then allow us to make practical recommendations that could improve the use of closely spaced parallel runways in Europe.” Once the results of the study are available, if appropriate, a safety case will be developed to relax certain wake turbulence constraints concerning the operation of the runways in segregated mode. The data collected will also provide useful information for the restructuring of some operational features at Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. The project called WIDAO (Wake-vortex Independent Departure and Arrival Operations) is financed jointly by DSNA and EUROCONTROL with the courtesy support of ADP for practical implementation.