Emirates Plans Time-based Operations at Dubai International

 - May 21, 2012, 1:15 PM
Avtech Sweden and Emirates Airline are working to develop time-based operations into Dubai International Airport. (Photo: Dubai Airports)

Avtech Sweden, a provider of air-traffic management services, is helping Emirates Airline develop time-based operations into its base at Dubai International Airport. The “Emirates-Flow” project could improve overall throughput and capacity at the airport, which lays claim to being the world’s fourth busiest hub for international passengers and freight.

Starting two hours out from Dubai, Emirates will sequence its arriving aircraft based on business and operational requirements. ATC will assign aircraft entering UAE airspace required time-of-arrival (RTA) fixes—specified waypoints crossed at specified times—monitored and maintained by their onboard flight management system (FMS) computers.

“While the RTA compliance is optional for crews, it is foreseen that high utilization will lead to an increase in throughput at Dubai International Airport, reduced overall holding times, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions as well as a reduction in workload for ATC in the FIRs [flight information regions] surrounding Dubai,” Avtech said. “The expected result of the project will be that Emirates aircraft, which account for a large percentage of the traffic to Dubai International, are sequenced correctly from an airline business standpoint as well as for ATC before entering UAE airspace.”

Last month, Dubai Airports said passenger traffic in March exceeded 4.5 million at Dubai International for the third consecutive month. Overall passenger traffic for the first quarter totaled 14.3 million, an increase of 16 percent over the same period last year.

Avtech proved instrumental in developing FMS-managed, four-dimensional trajectories (three spatial dimensions and time) flown by Scandinavian Airlines at Stockholm Arlanda Airport and now participates in three projects of the Single European Sky ATM Research program. The company took part in the definition of the Emirates-Flow project, and is helping the airline with avionics considerations and training of pilots and dispatchers. The value of its agreement with the airline amounts to $150,000.

Earlier this year, Avtech Sweden started trading on the Nasdaq OMX First North exchange for small, growth companies in the Nordic countries.

[Added May 31, 2012: GE Aviation said it will provide Emirates an airline-based flow management system for a 16-month validation at Dubai International Airport as part of the Emirates-Flow Project. The installation is taking place at the Emirates Operations Control Center and the system will become operational in July. The GE system uses Attila flow management software from ATH Group of Lanham, Md.]