The European wake vortex study, Thematic Network Wake Vortex (Wakenet), enters its second phase this month with the launch of Wakenet II by the European Commission.

The programme, to be co-ordinated by Dutch research agency NLR and involving aircraft manufacturers, air traffic management groups, airports and pilots, aims to develop a wake vortex decay model to more accurately predict vortex duration.

If successful, members hope to convince the International Civil Aviation Organisation that wake vortex separation standards can be set more scientifically than today's aircraft weight-based criteria. Aircraft engine position, wingspan and under-carriage design can all affect the vortex strength.

Source: Flight International