The Irish Aviation Authority has introduced a system of sequencing aircraft for landing at Dublin Airport that could see airlines burning less fuel while also reducing passenger delays.
The Point Merge system uses new air traffic management techniques to assist airlines to fly more environmentally friendly continuous descent approaches to the airport. Continuous descent approaches permit the aircraft to reduce their fuel burn by up to 250kg per flight, depending on the aircraft size.
At Dublin Airport, the new system will greatly reduce the need to put aircraft into traditional holding patterns, providing environmental benefits by cutting fuel burn and CO2 emissions, as well as reducing delays to passengers.
Rather than using traditional “race-track pattern” holding stacks, Point Merge places arriving aircraft onto defined arcs or tracks, every point on which is equidistant from the runway. From these arcs, aircraft make one single turn and fly a continuous descent to the runway. Overall track miles flown by the aircraft and inefficient manoeuvring at low levels are reduced.
Point Merge is part of the Dublin Terminal Area 2012 Project (TMA 2012), which involves several other measures that work together to enhance the efficiency of the airspace surrounding Dublin Airport.
Additionally, a new air route for traffic departing from Dublin will help reduce air traffic congestion particularly during the busy morning period.
A spokesperson for the IAA said: “The reorganisation of Dublin’s air traffic control [ATC] sectors will further enhance ATC efficiency, helping to maintain the IAA’s position as one of the lowest cost providers of Terminal Air Traffic Management services in Europe.”
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