ATM Modernization, Commercial, Embedded Avionics

Paris Deploys Point Merge Approach

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | January 13, 2014
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Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport has deployed a new high altitude arrival procedure, Point Merge, to integrate inbound flights and increase the number of flights that air traffic controllers can manage simultaneously. 
Point Merge is implemented by setting a merge point in the airspace near the airport and then drawing arcs further out that are centered on the defined point. The procedure was implemented based on validations from the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) program, and involves an inbound aircraft placed in one of the arcs and then directed towards the merge point, on a straight course. The next aircraft follows the same procedures, allowing arriving traffic to merge on the same point.
According to SESAR, the airspace at Paris-Charles de Gaulle required a complex re-design to deploy the new procedure because the merge points and arcs flown by arriving aircraft are much bigger than previous standard arrivals. 
SESAR calls Point Merge an important tool for allowing "the aviation sector to reach its safety, capacity and environmental targets." The procedure results in reduction of radio frequency usage, since more flights can be handled simultaneously, and also allows for noise reduction by allowing approaching aircraft to remain at a higher altitude for longer and descend on a continual path at a later stage to the approach fix. 
The Paris deployment should follow with more implementation of Point Merge at airports across Europe as the SESAR programs looks to continue improving air traffic management throughout the region.

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