Which changes are needed?
RECAT EU is now ready for deployment. Paris Charles de Gaulle is the first airport that started operations on 22nd March 2016 with the new scheme. (Read more here about RECAT-EU at CDG.)
The implementation of RECAT-EU is a change for ATCOs, Pilots and staff supporting the operations. The implementation of a 6 Categories Scheme apart from the separations to be applied on arrivals and depatures also requests:
- minor changes to the systems (e.g. radar screens, AMAN/DMAN, strip, .. ) to display the new categories* information;
- the development of a local safety case;
- training sessions for ATCOs before going live.
*The categories name A-B-C-D-E-F are not binding, for example DSNA asked the ATCOs which option would have been the most appropriate for displaying on their tools and they opted for S-G-H-K-M-L.
Real Time Simulations
RTS with the new scheme have been put in place to demonstrate ATCOs the feasibility of dealing with 6 Categories separation and to assess the impact on human factors. All the simulations presented higher traffic pressure compared to what ATCOs are normally used to handle, the ATCOs found the proposed RECAT-EU 6 Categories scheme to be acceptable. In the case of CDG, DSNA also conducted studies on ATCOs stress level when dealing with the current ICAO separations.
With the RECAT-EU scheme implemented, for the risk monitoring it is appropriate to have:
- LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) Monitoring, to measure the strength and duration of the vortex at defined altitude in different wind conditions.
- WVE ( Wake Vortex Encounter) Reports Collection, to get information from the pilots on the severity of the encounter;
- FDR (Flight Data Recorder) Data, to extract additional information on the wake and its impact on the aircraft behaviour.
All these inputs help to assess and quantify the severity encounter both qualitative and quantitative. It is strongly recommended to have a baseline of the WVE situation at the airport before moving to the new scheme to compare the situation before and after the changes.