Dublin implements Point Merge

The Irish Aviation Authority has become the latest air navigation service provider to introduce Point Merge – an innovative method that helps airlines fly continuous descents that save an average 85kg per flight.

Air navigation safety agency Eurocontrol has been at the forefront of Point Merge System research and development since 2006  providing continuous support, including simulations, human factors studies, capacity analyses and airspace design, throughout the implementation process.

Rather than using traditional holding stacks the system involves placing arriving aircraft onto defined equidistant arcs or tracks, from which they can make a continuous descent to the runway. Thereby, both the overall track miles flown by the aircraft and associated CO2 emissions are reduced.

Eurocontrol reports that initial feedback from airlines and controllers has been extremely encouraging. As an example, the enhanced systemisation provided by Point Merge has enabled controllers to offer more aircraft direct routes and continuous descent approaches, even during the peak arrival flows.

Indeed since the launch of Point Merge operations on 13 December on Runway 28, thanks to the improved situational awareness, 87% of arrivals have been afforded the most efficient descent trajectories possible.

“From the controller viewpoint, the more intuitive way in which they operate Point Merge has been observed. They have also benefited from enhanced situational awareness and reduced radio frequency transmissions, both of which increasing availability for  tactical instructions,” said Eurocontrol.

A further period of performance measurement, review and, where necessary, refinement of the Point Merge procedures is now underway, before the Irish Aviation Authority decides on plans to extend Point Merge to the other runways at Dublin.

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Posted in Airports, Airspace, CAAs/ANSPs, News

One Response to Dublin implements Point Merge

  1. Gavin says:

    I’d have thought that, with the economy slumped and traffic down, holding or stacking wouldn’t be a big issue at Dublin now anyway! But I haven’t a clue what I’m on about!