Canada Adopts an Intelligent Approach for Aircraft Arrivals

 - June 8, 2022, 1:45 PM

Nav Canada has deployed the digital time-based aircraft separation tool known as Intelligent Approach at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The country's ATC organization said it's the first air navigation service provider in North America to employ this feature.

The relatively new technology—first introduced at London Heathrow Airport in 2015—adds additional capacity across Pearson's five runways by optimizing the spacing between arriving aircraft to "help reduce delays, fuel burn, and CO2 emissions, particularly in high wind conditions," according to Nav Canada.

Jointly developed by the U.K.'s NATS and Reston, Virginia-based Leidos, the system dynamically calculates the optimum time interval between arrivals based on live weather data and the aircraft type rather than relying on regulatory set distances. It then translates that into a graphical marker on a controller’s radar screen, helping to improve spacing consistency and maintain the landing rate even in strong headwinds.

Mark Cooper, vice president and chief technology and information officer for Nav Canada, said: "Nav Canada continues to collaborate with key partners, such as NATS and Leidos, to bring about the innovations to our processes and systems, such as the Intelligent Approach at Toronto Pearson, that we need to increase our operational efficiency and effectiveness.”

NATS and Leidos are working with Dutch air traffic service provider LVNL to implement Intelligent Approach at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.