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Fri, 21 August 2015

CAAS and EASA to Study Aircraft Wake Turbulence at Changi

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have signed a Working Arrangement to conduct a study of aircraft wake turbulence at Changi Airport, with the aim of reducing aircraft separation standards safely.

Wake turbulence is turbulence which is generated by the passage of an aircraft in flight. It will be generated from the point when the nose landing gear of an aircraft leaves the ground on take-off and will cease to be generated when the nose landing gear touches the ground during landing.

The outcome of the study could increase runway capacity at Changi Airport and other airports globally.

Due to the safety hazard posed by wake turbulence, an aircraft following behind another aircraft, for example, in departure or landing, must maintain an adequate safe distance. The minimum safety separation between two aircraft, in turn, determines runway capacity. Recognising this, CAAS and EASA will work together to conduct wake vortex measurements of aircraft operating at Changi Airport.

The study will involve real-time data collection via the use of laser imaging detection and ranging technology (LIDAR), as well as a review of air traffic control working procedures and methods to ensure safe aircraft separation. Outcomes and recommendations from this study would potentially provide the scientific basis for further enhancement of aircraft separation standards, without compromising on safety.

Executive Director of EASA, Mr. Patrick Ky, said, CAAS and EASA have established a long-standing cooperation for the development of the highest aviation safety standards. This new Working Arrangement will bring valuable data and information on wake turbulences in an operational environment and will further improve our understanding of this complex topic in order to guarantee the highest level of safety to passengers.

Director-General of CAAS, Mr. Kevin Shum, added, This study is timely, as Singapore and others in the international aviation community are finding various ways to optimise runway capacity to handle more flights in a safe manner. 

CAAS, EASA, Singapore, Changi

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