Dubai airport’s new process cuts arrival delays by 40%

The new procedure has also increased average air traffic movements at the airport



Dubai International Airport has implemented a new air traffic management system that has increased average air traffic movements for arrivals and reduced peak arrival delays, the Dubai Air Navigation Services (dans) has revealed.

The implementation of the Approach Peak Offload (APO) procedure in March helped average air traffic movements for arrivals during peak hours to rise from 33.2 to 34.8.

Meanwhile peak arrival delays were cut by 40 per cent, a statement said.

The drop in arrival delays also leads to the reduction of fuel consumption and cost savings for airlines, dans said.

Also read: Dubai airport traffic outpacing forecast – CEO

The implementation of the procedure has also enabled reduction of CO2 emissions by up to 447 tonnes on a monthly basis.

Mohammed A Ahli, director general of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and CEO of dans said: “Developing and implementing innovative procedures such as APO has enabled us to accommodate the rising demand of our clientele by up to 86 per cent during peak hours.

“We have significantly invested our resources in thoroughly assessing the procedure from March 1 and until its implementation in live operations through fast time and real time simulation exercises.

“This in turn has reinforced our efforts in building the safety case of the procedure which has been approved for implementation by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA)”.

Designed and developed by the operations team in dans, the APO procedure was created specifically for the Dubai operational environment.

It is based on the possible re-allocation of lighter wake producing category aircrafts to Runway 30R during arrivals peak periods, allowing for the concurrent use of both runways at Dubai International Airport.

One of the key components of the procedure also permits lighter category aircraft to maintain a horizontal separation of 4.5 nautical miles behind the A380 jumbo jet while landing.

With air traffic rising steadily in the Middle East, better management of airspace has become a major issue for the aviation industry.

A study conducted by Oxford Economics for air traffic management specialist NATS last year found that the Middle East carries 5 per cent of global air traffic, with that figure anticipated to reach 7 per cent by 2030.

The congestion represents a significant threat to the two million jobs that depend on aviation and to the overall $116bn regional aviation economy, the report warned.

It calculated that the average flight in the region was delayed by 36 minutes and that 82 per cent of those delays were attributable to air traffic control capacity and staffing issues.

By 2025, without further investment in air traffic control systems, a doubling of delays to 59 minutes would cost the region $16.3bn, it added.

Read more: Video discussion: Why better air traffic control can help the Middle East save billions