The FAA will implement new wake turbulence standards on at 1100Z on November 1 starting at Memphis International Airport. Other U.S. airports are expected to see the new standards applied during 2013-2014 under the joint FAA/Eurocontrol RECAT program (revising wake turbulence categories to gain capacity).
RECAT applies across the breadth of the current six wake-turbulence aircraft separation categories: super (A380), heavy (B757), large, small+ and small. RECAT will place aircraft into six categories labeled A through F for both departure and arrival separation. In addition to aircraft weight, the new categories will consider certified approach speeds and wing characteristics, along with special consideration given to aircraft with limited ability to counteract adverse rolls. The Airbus A380, for example, becomes a category “A” aircraft, while a Cessna Citation Mustang is listed as a category “F.” A Mustang following an A380 will be separated by 8 nm on approach under the new standards. The agency says the new requirements are “as safe as” or “safer than” current standards.