New A380 Wake Turbulence Recommendations

 - November 10, 2006, 6:09 AM

The Airbus A380 Wake Vortex Steering Group recently issued new recommendations for A380 wake turbulence spacing. The group includes representatives from the FAA, JAA, Eurocontrol and Airbus. Vertical, horizontal and holding spacing remains the same as for other aircraft; for these regimes the A380 was found to have wake characteristics similar to those of the Boeing 747. The A380 can maintain the same spacing behind another A380 as existing aircraft during approach, landing and departure. But heavy, medium and light aircraft constraints are increased. For a heavy aircraft following an A380 on approach and landing, add two nautical miles to the existing standard, for a total of six. Medium aircraft, add three, for a total of eight. And light aircraft, add four, for 10 total. Departure numbers are the same distance as approach/landing or for timed separation; heavy aircraft should wait two minutes and medium and light aircraft, three minutes. Interim guidelines from the International Civil Aviation Organization recommend that the minimum distance be tripled to 15 nm for aircraft flying behind an A380 on the same route and at the same altitude.