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Zurich International Airport Partners with Airbus ProSky to Improve Capacity in Low Visibility Conditions

13 October 2014

Like many airports, Zurich International Airport is facing the challenge of how to improve efficiency in adverse weather conditions such as low visibility conditions. A European hub with over more than 260,000 movements per year on its three runways, it is seeking to improve its CAT III Operations by reducing spacing behind medium-sized aircraft, which account for more than 75 percent of its traffic. By partnering with Airbus ProSky to analyse reduction of separation behind medium aircraft in Low Visibility Operations (LVO) using the most advanced 3D interference simulation software, ELISE (Exact Landing Interference Simulation Environment), Zurich Airport is a pioneer in reducing holdings and airborne delays.

“Airbus ProSky is the recognised leader on ILS interference study and their ELISE software allows them to make predictions that have been proven reliable and close to reality,” said Jann Döbelin, Head of Flight Operations Engineering, Zurich Airport.

In order to optimise the aircraft separation in CAT III operations, Zurich Airport together with the Swiss air navigation services provider skyguide have invested in the most advanced equipment including the brand new 32 elements ILS antenna and are developing optimised concepts of operations. Airbus ProSky will model the airport environment with a high level of accuracy (ILS settings, ground relief) and the geometry of disturbances on the ILS Signal in 3D. It will make state-of-the-art simulations and then will compare them to the ICAO standard tolerances. The objective of the Study is to improve capacity in low visibility conditions and match future GBAS CAT III standards, surpassing those required today.

Paul Franck Bijou, CEO of Airbus Prosky, remarked, “We are dedicated to providing the best and most accurate results on this capacity improvement study. We strongly believe that Zurich International Airport will benefit from Airbus innovations in air traffic management technology, making it a prime example for other airports in the region.”

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