In partnership with NATS, Heathrow is the world’s first airport to trial a Time-Based Separation (TBS) system to help reduce delays on arriving aircraft during strong winds.
Adverse weather can play havoc on our passengers’ travel plans, with our colleagues at NATs (Air Traffic Control) required to leave more time between flights taking-off and landing. This also reduces the number of flights that can be operated to/from Heathrow each day.
As Heathrow is at 98% capacity, with an aircraft taking-off or landing every 45 seconds, this new system will help cut previous delays due to wind by up to 50%.
TBS uses live wind data to calculate a safe time distance between aircraft on the final approach to land, helping to increase our aircraft flow rate. TBS is an excellent mechanism which we hope will reduce the impact of windy days on the operation.