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2022-12-08 - Application of Wake Turbulence Separation Minima


VATSIM UK Operations
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VATSIM UK Operations

Effective 08 December 2022

Ref: CAP 493 SI 2022/05

 

We have identified that many of our vMATS Part 2s incorrectly state that the requirement to ensure wake turbulence separation ends at 4 DME from touchdown. This is not the case.

As per the Supplementary Instruction (SI) linked above:

Quote

The MATS Part 1 requirement is that wake turbulence separation minima are to be applied between successive aircraft on final approach, throughout the ‘final approach’ phase of flight…

On VATSIM, the final approach phase at all airports shall be defined as from the final approach fix (FAF) until touchdown.

 

Since APC remains responsible for radar separation and wake turbulence separation of aircraft until touchdown, Tower (AIR) controllers must not amend the speed of inbound aircraft without the explicit agreement of APC.

 

Revised wording will be inserted to vMATS Part 2s as follows:

X.X.X Final Approach Separation

[FIN/RAD] is responsible for applying both radar and wake turbulence separation on final approach until touchdown.

The radar separation minima are described in [vMATS Part 2 reference] and wake turbulence separation between aircraft on final approach shall be applied in accordance with MATS Part 1 (CAP 493)*.

The 'catch-up' (sometimes referred to as compression) that occurs after the leading aircraft passes 4 NM from touchdown must be factored into the spacing provided, to ensure that radar and wake turbulence separation are ensured until touchdown. In most cases, adding 1 NM to the required separation between aircraft and maintaining this until 4 NM from touchdown will act as a sufficient buffer.

Note 1: [FIN/RAD] shall not assume Reduced Separation in the Vicinity of an Aerodrome is being applied without coordination.
Note 2: Aircraft performing a visual approach are responsible for their own wake turbulence separation.

If either radar or wake turbulence separation are eroded below the required minima, the approach must be discontinued and the aircraft taken off the approach.

* except at Heathrow (EGLL)

 

The vMATS Part 2 for a particular unit will give further guidance on the recommended/standard spacing (taking account of departures, rapid exits, and other factors) to be applied at that aerodrome.

 

Any questions relating to this post should be directed to #operations_help on Discord, or via the Helpdesk.

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VATSIM UK Operations

An updated version of the Guide to Final Approach that incorporates these requirements has now been published.

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