Enhanced Time Based Separation


Enhanced Time Based Separation (TBS) builds on the TBS implemented at Heathrow in Spring 2015 but uses Pairwise separations instead of Categories to safely separate aircraft on final approach. This means that every pair of aircraft types has its own wake separation, which is more accurate than the existing 6 UK Categories used (e.g. Heavy, Medium etc) and reduces unnecessary excess separation for the majority of aircraft pairs. The project is developing tools required to support enhanced TBS.


Refining separation standards can provide significant benefits at busy airports such as Heathrow. By optimising the safe separation of aircraft, we can help to reduce delays and cancellations caused by certain weather conditions and reduce the need for stack holding in regular conditions, saving fuel and reducing environmental impacts.


A Real-Time simulation is proposed for early 2016, which if the concept proves successful, could allow a potential implementation in 2018.


This is a SESAR project with Eurocontrol, Airbus, Thales, Enaire, DSNA and ENAV as partners.

Project Benefits:

  • Capacity

  • Cost-savings

  • Environment

  • Fuel-savings

  • Punctuality

  • Safety

Project Maturity: Validation and simulation

Project Tags: Controller tools, Intelligent approach, SESAR, Using real-time data