Capacity Enhancements

Increased Capacity at Dubai International Airport (DXB)

In 2013 dans launched a capacity programme with the objective of increasing capacity at DXB. Through a phased implementation of innovative capacity concepts and more effective air traffic management, the landing throughput at DXB during the peak arrival periods (1730 – 2200 UTC) has increased to an average of 35 an hour from the original 31 movements when the programme was first launched. The average holding time per aircraft movement has also been reduced by 8 minutes.

Due to the close proximity of the staggered runways at DXB, In July 2015, dans established a Wake Analysis Facility to research and study the behaviour of wake generated by landing and departing aircraft. The data being collated is being analysed by a team of wake experts and ATM specialists. This capability will not only enable dans to implement innovative solutions and concepts to enhance capacity, but it will also give the international aviation community an opportunity to better understand and improve their knowledge of wake behaviour.

Since dans is the first ANSP to establish a facility of this kind, it has attracted the attention of Euro Control, SESAR Joint Undertaking and other ANSPs worldwide.

The establishment of this Wake analysis capability within dans has also attracted the interest of the FAA, Boeing and NASA.

It is hoped that the analysis of the collated data will eventually enable dans to implement a number of operational concepts that will significantly increase landing and departure throughput at Dubai Airports and indirectly contribute to the growth of Dubai’s economy.


Dual Arrival Operations

Due to the close proximity of the two staggered runways at DXB, the implementation of parallel dual arrival operations are constrained by wake turbulence, especially that generated by larger aircraft such as the A380.
  • Approach Peak Offload (APO) Operations

    APO Operations commenced in March, 2016. The APO concept is based on the principle of reallocating arriving medium-wake category aircrafts to the right runway (normally used for departures) during peak arrival periods at DXB. Benefit measures from APO operations are on-going but initial measures indicate significant fuel savings to airline operators and reduced CO2 burn. 

  • Dependent Diagonals Concept

    The Dependent Diagonals Concept is similar to the APO concept, except that the right runway will not be restricted to just medium-wake aircraft but will also be used by heavy-wake and super-wake aircraft. Studies of this concept have already suggested a possible increase in capacity. If successful, the concept will not only ensure safety of ongoing operations at DXB (Emirates flies the world’s largest fleet of A380s), but increased landing movements will provide more slots to operators. This will create significant financial benefits for Dubai Airports, Emirates Airlines and FlyDubai.

RECAT Concept of Operations

The RECAT concept at DXB will reduce the in-trail separation of present categories of aircraft with a new category. To ensure feasibility of the concept at DXB a rigorous wake data analysis was completed in Q1, 2016. RECAT is considered to be a capacity solution when Dual Arrival Operations cannot be deployed due to climatic conditions or during peak departure times.

To ensure an early deployment of the RECAT concept a number of initiatives have been undertaken:
  • 3NM live trials between Emirates Airlines heavies (Q2, 2015 – Q1, 2016)

    Following an agreement between dans and Emirates Airlines, and the submission of a safety case, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) approved a trial for the purpose of reducing separation between Emirates Airlines heavies from the current 4NM to 3NM on final approach. Trial results, supported by wake data analysis, indicate that deployment of 3NM separation between heavies is feasible and likely to obtain final UAE regulatory approval.

    Operational analysis data indicate a throughput benefit of an additional 2 aircraft an hour.

  • Reduced Runway Separation Minima (RRSM) – Hours (H) 24 Concept

    In August 2015, dans commenced trials of RRSM-H24 (which is currently outside ICAO guidelines) to prove the safety of this operational concept during night time operations The RRSM procedure allows (under specified conditions of visibility) an aircraft to be cleared to land while a preceding aircraft (landing on or departing from the same runway) is still on the runway at more than a specified minimum distance from the threshold.
    Following successful completion of trial the UAE GCAA approved RRSM H24 operations. dans is the world’s first ANSP to introduce RRSM during daylight and night operations.
    Identified benefits include the enabling of increased runway throughput and reduced number of “Go Around” whilst at the same time maintaining the present level of operational safety.