RECAT-EU

  • The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL), in consultation with its Stakeholders, has developed a re-categorisation of ICAO wake turbulence longitudinal separation minima on approach and departure, called “RECAT-EU”.
     
  • Existing ICAO Wake Vortex separation rules (based upon the Heavy, Medium and Light categorisation) were implemented over 40 years ago and have in some respect become outdated and lead to over separations in many instances. RECAT-EU is a new much more precise categorisation of aircraft for the traditional ICAO, whose aim is to safely increase capacity at airports by redefining wake turbulence categories and their associated separation minimum. It divides the current Heavy and Medium categories into two sub-categories and creates a new Super Heavy one for the Airbus A380.
     
  • RECAT-EU deployment will bring immediate capacity benefits, with additional movements in peak traffic periods, and / or reduce time to land or depart a traffic sequence. These benefits are expected to further increase over time as the overall fleet mix is forecasted to evolve towards larger aircraft. RECAT-EU will also provide a more rapid recovery from adverse conditions, helping to reduce the overall delay and will also enable improvements in ATFM slot compliance through the flexibility afforded by reduced departure separations.
     
  • RECAT-EU is supported by a comprehensive safety case, based on a quantified pair-wise wake turbulence risk assessment, and reviewed during Stakeholders consultation over a 9-month period. In October 2014, following a technical review, EASA confirmed in a letter that the safety case report provides the assurance that the RECAT-EU wake turbulence separation scheme can be used by Member States as a basis to update current schemes.
For ANSP, Airlines and CAA the following documentation about RECAT-EU is available:

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