NAV Canada has become the first air navigation service provider (ANSP) in North America to deploy Intelligent Approach, a time-based separation tool.

Deployed at Toronto Pearson International Airport, the new technology delivers additional tactical capacity across the airport’s five runways and will help reduce delays, fuel burn and CO2 emissions, particularly in high-wind conditions.

Working closely with its UK counterpart, NATS, and science and technology specialist Leidos, NAV Canada has successfully transitioned to the Intelligent Approach system.

Intelligent Approach helps deliver better on-time performance by optimising the spacing between arriving aircraft. Jointly developed by NATS and Leidos, the system dynamically calculates the optimum time interval between arrivals based on live weather data and the aircraft type rather than relying on set distances. It then translates that into a graphical marker on a controller’s radar screen, helping to improve spacing consistency and maintain the landing rate, even in strong headwinds.

Intelligent Approach was first introduced at London Heathrow Airport in 2015, where the use of time-based separation, as a way of maintaining the landing rate, has cut headwind related delays by 62%. NATS and Leidos are currently working with Dutch air traffic service provider LVNL to support the deployment of Intelligent Approach for Schiphol Airport.