Intelligent Approach now fully incorporated in Indra ATM Systems to increase capacity at high traffic volume airports

19 March 2024

Indra’s ManagAir air traffic management system, one of the most widely used in control centres and airports around the world, now incorporates the NATS and Leidos developed Intelligent Approach system. 

Intelligent Approach has been deployed at some of the world’s busiest airports to deliver additional tactical capacity, increase on time performance and reduce emissions per-flight.

In continuous operation at Heathrow since 2015, Intelligent Approach was deployed at Toronto Pearson in 2022 and then Amsterdam Schiphol in early 2023. Once it went live at Amsterdam, it increased the airport’s capacity by up to six additional landings per hour, per runway.  

The partnership agreement signed between the three companies means users of Indra Air Traffic Management systems in over 50 countries now have the option to seamlessly integrate Intelligent Approach – including time-based separation and wake vortex re-categorisation – into their operations. 

Intelligent Approach allows air traffic controllers to optimise the spacing between arriving aircraft based on time rather than distance and thereby maximise runway capacity, reducing delays, and cutting fuel burn and emissions per-flight. It dynamically calculates the optimum time between arrivals based on aircraft size and type together with their runway occupancy time. 

Intelligent Approach uses the latest wake vortex categorisation and dynamically calculates the spacing between arrivals based on real time wind conditions, rather than relying on wind forecasts and set distances. It has been shown to help airports increase the capacity of their existing runways without the need for any new airfield equipment or infrastructure.

Indra’s Chief Executive Director, José Vicente de los Mozos, said: “This collaboration allows us to accelerate the introduction of the most innovative technologies to move towards a greener and more sustainable aviation. It provides our clients with quick and easy access to the most cutting-edge technologies that have demonstrated a real ability to increase the efficiency of their operations.” 

Managing Director of ATM at Indra, Javier Ruano, said: “The long-term collaboration that Indra establishes with the air navigation service providers it works with and with the entire ecosystem of companies related to air traffic in general is allowing us to advance rapidly in the development and implementation of leading-edge solutions that the sector is demanding.” 

Martin Rolfe, NATS Chief Executive Officer, said: “Intelligent Approach has a proven track record of delivering addition runway capacity wherever it has been deployed. This new agreement means Indra customers all over the world can now more easily enjoy those benefits, increasing their operational efficiency, improving on-time performance, and reducing fuel burn per-flight.”

Graham Emmons, Vice President & Managing Director, Civil at Leidos UK & Europe said: “This is an exciting milestone for Intelligent Approach as more airports globally may be able to reap the benefits it delivers. As evidenced by our most recent deployments, Intelligent Approach not only supports operational enhancements to existing airport infrastructure, but also contributes to environmental improvements. These include a reduction in overall airport CO2 emissions and decreased usage of noise-sensitive runways. We look forward to supporting future deployments.”

L-R: Javier Ruano, Managing Director of ATM at Indra; Raúl Martín, ATM International Director at Indra; Andy Shand, Leidos Director; José Vicente de los Mozos, Indra CEO; Martin Rolfe, NATS CEO; Víctor Martínez, Director of ATM Northern Europe and Canada; Graham Emmons, Vice President & Managing Director, Civil at Leidos UK & Europe.

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