Eurocontrol Wants TCAS in VLJs

 - March 7, 2008, 4:44 AM

Warning that the number of very light jets (VLJ) in European airspace is about to soar, Eurocontrol is considering a requirement for turbine-powered airplanes weighing less than 12,500 pounds to carry traffic alert and collision avoidance systems (TCAS). Officials say that adding VLJs into Europe’s increasingly crowded mix of airliners and large business jets could be a prescription for disaster. “The growth in VLJs adds a significant extra dimension to the complexity of air traffic in Europe,” said Alex Hendriks, Eurocontrol deputy director of ATM strategies. “VLJs have very different speeds and cruising levels from commercial jet aircraft, so we need to conduct an impact assessment to see how they will affect the network as a whole.” A Eurocontrol study showed there are 450 VLJs on order with European operators. Of these, at least 230 are expected to arrive in the next two years.