Reduced longitudinal separation minimum [RLongSM], an ATC pilot program in the North Atlantic, produced no safety events during a nine-month evaluation period last year. “Normal longitudinal separation is ten minutes,” explained Dave Stohr, president of Air Training International. “The trial was running with five minutes between appropriately equipped and approved aircraft.”
According to Paul Stinebring, the International Business Aviation Council’s (IBAC) representative to the North Atlantic Implementation Management Group, “The Shanwick Oceanic Control Area [OCA] evaluated 1,411 pairs of aircraft using RLongSM.” A similar trial conducted with the Gander OCA also produced no safety events.
RLongSM continues to be applied in both the Shanwick and Gander OCAs on a tactical basis for CPDLC and ADS-C equipped aircraft. Meanwhile, tests of reduced lateral separation [RLatSM] are expected to begin in 2014. See the full IBAC Technical Report.