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Toronto takes on TBS

07 May 2019
Aircraft on approach to Toronto Pearson International. Nav Canada is working with NATS and Leidos to implement a time-based separation system at the airport. Source: Getty Images

The Intelligent Approach time-based separation (TBS) procedure for arriving flights, which was pioneered by NATS and Lockheed Martin (now Leidos) at London Heathrow Airport, is being rolled out by Nav Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

The tool uses time, instead of distance, to separate aircraft arrivals on approach and helps to maintain arrival rates and reduce delays when there are strong headwinds. The tool uses real-time data downlinked from the aircraft.

Mode S data includes weather information, airspeed, ground speed, heading, and altitude. The tool displays time-based separation and arrival sequence information to the approach controller, and is designed to operate with different human-machine interfaces. The tool also uses a set of rules to dynamically adjust the distance between aircraft based on the wake vortex decay.

Intelligent Approach TBS was launched at Heathrow in 2015. Today it allows for more than two additional landings per hour in normal conditions and up to four in strong headwinds. “Intelligent Approach has been … helping to cut headwinds delays by more than 60% and improve airport punctuality,” said NATS commercial director Guy Adams. “I’m certain it will deliver similar benefits for the Toronto operation.”

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To contact the author of this article, email Ben.Vogel@ihsmarkit.com


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