Dubai adopts procedure to boost airport capacity

23 October 2016

Procedure to significantly reduce CO2 emissions

Dubai Airports has implemented a new procedure that helps improve average air traffic movements for flight arrivals during peak hours at the Dubai International airport (DIA) by a third and reduce arrival delays during peak hours by 40 per cent.

Called Approach Peak Offload (APO), the procedure was developed by Dubai Air Navigation Service (Dans). Dubai Airports begun testing the solution in March by using fast time and real-time simulation exercises. The solution is now on live operations.

The procedure works based on the possible re-allocation of lighter wake producing category aircraft to Runway 30R during arrivals peak periods, thus accommodating the arrival flow more efficiently with the concurrent use of both A380-compatible runways at Dubai International airport.

“This unique procedure permits lighter category aircraft to maintain a horizontal separation of 4.5NM (newton metres) behind the A380 super aircraft while landing,” Dubai Airports said in a statement. It is understood that experts at Dans reached the new wake separation minimum levels between aircrafts based on the results of the safety case which included an in-depth quantitative and qualitative wake data analysis.

Apart from minimising inconvenience to passengers, improving the airport’s capacity and traffic movements during peak hours is seen to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 447 tonnes on a monthly basis.

Dubai International is the world’s largest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. It processed 78 million passengers in 2015 and Dubai Airports forecasts this volume to reach 85 million passengers a year in 2016, and to 118.5 million a year in 2023.

The airport’s current capacity stands at 90 million passengers following the opening of Concourse D at Terminal 1 in 2016, with no room left for additional infrastructure to be built to accommodate rapid growth.

Dubai Airports, which operates both Dubai International and Al-Maktoum International, has said it  will turn to product innovation and operational improvements to accommodate rising passenger traffic.

It recently awarded $190m contract to upgrade Concourse C at the airport. The contract involves the overhaul of the systems serving the concourse, such as the baggage-handling areas.

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