By Darren Shannon in New York

The International Civil Aviation Organisation may by mid-July reduce its recommended Airbus A380 wake vortex separation distance, says Airbus North America president and chief executive Barry Ecclestone. Speaking last week at the Wings Club in New York, Ecclestone forecast that “some revision” of the aircraft’s interim special category separation requirement – more than for a Boeing 747 – could be expected “just before the Farnborough [air show]”, which starts on 17 July.

Ecclestone said: “We have a huge amount of data – more than we have ever had” on wake vortex behaviour. Although the vortices contain “slightly” more energy than those of a 747, “when you look at the scatter [dissipation and pattern variations] there is no difference”. ICAO’s interim separation recommendation of 10nm (18.5km), made in November, surprised Airbus. Airbus vice-president flight test Ferdinand Alonso said the judgement was “based on a type of computation not validated by flight-test measurements”.

Source: Flight International