Flight trials have been taking place at Zurich airport since 15 June 2015, involving all incoming flights in the first early morning arrival wave. The aim is to optimize the timing of incoming flights by allocating time slots. Fuel savings and reduced emissions are the long-term goals of the project.
The trials are performed as part of the iStream (integrated SESAR TRials for Enhanced Arrival Management) demonstration project. iStream is one of several large-scale demonstration activities co-funded by the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU), the public-private partnership that pools the knowledge and resources of the entire European Air Traffic Management community to deliver innovative solutions for a modernised ATM.
It specifically addresses Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) and Extended – Arrival MANager (E-AMAN) functionalities. In this context, the iStream project aims to enhance the arrival management with the introduction of target times. By moving from a purely Calculated Take-Off Time (CTOT) environment to target times and distributed to the flight crew, the fluidity of air traffic in the arrival control sectors will be increased.
iStream implementation at Zurich airport is a follow-on from previous arrival management enhancement projects (“Green Wave”, Tactical Steering approach, FAIRSTREAM) and will be managed by allocating time slots to all aircraft arriving at the entry points for the approach sectors into Zurich.
Two flight trial phases in Zurich
Skyguide, Zurich Airport and SWISS are representing Switzerland in the project consortium1, which is led by DSNA. In Zurich, airlines outside the consortium, such as Edelweiss Air, Belair Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Germania Flug, are also participating in these trials. The first trial phase started on 15 June 2015 for all incoming longhaul flights, with a scheduled arrival time between 06:00h and 07:00h (Zurich local time). As a first phase, the trial flights took place from Monday through Friday. On 25 of July 2015, the flight trials were extended to weekends and also included short and medium haul flights.
Fuel savings and emissions reduction
The project consortium expects to see benefits in terms of predictability, airspace capacity, flight efficiency and flexibility while maintaining a high level of safety. Furthermore, fuel savings and reduced emissions are expected.
1 The iStream consortium is led by DSNA, and involves several stakeholders: air navigation service providers (DSNA, Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), skyguide), airlines (Air France-KLM & Hop!, Lufthansa, SWISS), airport operators (Aéroports de Paris, Zurich airport) and Eurocontrol (the Network Manager).