Eurocontrol To Study Effects of VLJs on ATC System
To ensure that the increasing numbers of very light jets operating in European skies within the next five to 10 years are handled safely and efficiently, Eurocontrol’s European VLJs Integration Platform (VIP) is assessing solutions for integrating VLJs into the European air traffic system. Aside from the European Business Aviation Association, some VLJ manufacturers and operators participate in the VIP. Eurocontrol is also preparing a real-time simulation, to be conducted in October, that will assess the impact of VLJ operations on the European ATC system. An initial comparison of published VLJ performance numbers shows that for some phases of flight, VLJs will fly at speeds and cruise altitudes markedly different from those of other jets. For this reason, VLJs will likely have a considerable effect on the air traffic system, especially during the takeoff and cruise phases. Analysis will also be carried out on the technical requirements for onboard avionics, since there might be difficulties in adapting some of the fully integrated avionics systems currently installed in certain VLJs to particular navigation requirements. Eurocontrol is seeking an effective alternative to mandating TCAS II for VLJs because of the cost effects of such a rule.