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Airways New Zealand delivers world-first flow and arrival management

written by australianaviation.com.au | September 9, 2013
Air New Zealand is reaping fuel savings as a result of the measures introduced at Auckland. (Rob Finlayson)

Airlines operating into and out of Auckland are set to save tens of millions of dollars in fuel following the implementation of an integrated flow management and arrival management system. In what is said to be a world-first deployment, airlines are already benefiting from significantly reduced airborne delays and optimised flight profiles.

Airways New Zealand partnered with global air traffic management software expert Barco Orthogon to develop and deliver a Collaborative Flow Manager (CFM) solution to eliminate airborne air traffic bottlenecks and holding patterns at New Zealand’s busiest international airport.

The integration and deployment of Barco’s OSYRIS Arrival Manager (AMAN) into Airways’ Collaborative Flow Manager has resulted in a world-leading combined flow and queue management solution, where airlines interact directly with the system to prioritise their flights according to their own business needs, taking into account available slots, runway capacity and trajectory predictions updated by the system in real-time.

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The CFM component of the system manages airline requirements prior to takeoff and then matches airlines’ scheduling needs with capacity at the destination, coordinating departure and arrival slots to minimise airborne delays. Prior to top of descent, the AMAN component calculates target landing times to ensure the most efficient speed and energy profiles for aircraft arriving into Auckland based on predicted trajectories and the available runway capacity.

A point of difference with the system deployed by Airways is that the integrated system allocates an optimum standard arrival and approach profile for each aircraft, matched to that aircraft’s performance.

As a result, airborne delays at Auckland have reduced from an average of 3.5 minutes per flight in 2007 before CFM was introduced, to an average of 23 seconds per flight in 2013 – an 89 per cent reduction. Airlines arriving into Auckland are experiencing an additional 2-4 per cent reduction in delays as a direct result of the AMAN deployment into the CFM system. Performance is expected to improve further as the system is fine-tuned over the coming months.

Airways chief operating officer Pauline Lamb said: “With our CFM/AMAN solution in place we now have airlines starting to focus on arriving on time rather than departing on time.”

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Attesting to the results of the system, Air New Zealand chief flight operations and safety officer Captain David Morgan, said the addition and integration of AMAN meant Airways New Zealand is now able to further optimise the arrival for airborne aircraft.

“With a high level of airline collaboration and compliance, CFM delivered a dramatic reduction in airborne delays. The new CFM/AMAN system, combined with the use of continuous descents and track shortening RNP AR arrivals, means Airways New Zealand is well on the journey to creating a truly optimum terminal arrival experience,” Morgan said.

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