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VIENNESE VORTICES PROJECT: TOM ALLETT EXPLORES AWAKE TURBULENCE PROJECT UNDER WAY AT VIENNA AIRPORT.

Austrian air traffic control provider, Austro Control, and the German Aerospace Center Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), are cooperating on a unique project to reduce the impact of wake vortices during an aircraft's final approach to land. The potential dangers of wake vortices are well known, but there is still much to learn about their precise effect on following aircraft.

The two organisations explained that small- and medium-sized aircraft currently have to maintain a safety separation of approximately 6 miles (10km) from larger aircraft flying ahead of them because wake vortices are at their most dangerous just before a following aircraft touches down. Austro Control and DLR are working together with other partners at Vienna International Airport to reduce the lifetime of wake vortices in the approach area and thus further increase flight safety.

Developed within the framework of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR), the 'Wake turbulence separation optimisation' project involved installing so-called plate lines--which look like a series of walls lined up in the same direction of the runway-in the landing area, which are designed to accelerate wake turbulence decay. The aircraft's type and weight will determine how long it takes for wake turbulence to diminish after it has passed by. Flow simulations and flight tests have provided evidence that the plate lines will considerably shorten this period, thereby increasing safety levels. Secondary vortices form on the 29ft (9m) long and 14.5ft-high (4.5m) plates used in this test installation. The trials have shown that the secondary vortices play a part in disrupting the behaviour of the original vortices, making the original's strength decay much more quickly. In time, this could allow smaller aircraft to make approaches at shorter intervals behind their larger counterparts without loss of airport capacity. DLR developed the plate lines with the support of Austro Control and Vienna Airport. The Austrian air traffic control provider also carried out a safety assessment before the trials began and assisted with data analysis while providing radar and flight plan information.

Frank Holzapfel, of the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics, explained: "The very first evaluations of the new measurements in Vienna show that the wake vortices near the plates decay noticeably faster there."

Christian Kern, director of air traffic management at Austro Control added: "This project represents a major achievement in providing test results during live traffic at a highly frequented airport. Early results are very encouraging and if these measures prove to be broadly effective, which we expect, this could result in improved safety and increased capacity at all airports."

Some meteorological instrumentation is provided by the Leonardo Germany and Radiometer Physics companies, and the partners have said they plan to work on the specification and installation of a permanent facility incorporating the plate lines during the next two years.

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Title Annotation:OPERATIONS VIENNA
Author:Allett, Tom
Publication:Airports International
Date:Jul 1, 2019
Words:467
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