Airbus expects that the International Civil Aviation Organisation will be able to recommend more specific guidance on A380 separation distances by mid-November, following the completion of its A380 steering group’s study. ICAO’s interim recommendation published a year ago required a 10nm (18km) separation behind the A380 and any other aircraft, which threatened to significantly affect airport movements if enforced once the A380 entered service.

However, the completed study has confirmed the revised distances that Airbus forecast earlier this year. The study recommends that the spacing of an aircraft following the A380 on approach to be increased over existing requirements by 2nm for a “heavy” category aircraft (to 6nm), by 3nm for a “medium” category (to 7nm) and by 3nm for a “light” category (to 9nm).

For departure, a “heavy” will have to wait 2min when following the A380, while a “medium” and “light” aircraft will have to wait 3min.

Source: Flight International