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June 7, 2022

NAV CANADA deploys new air traffic control technology at Toronto Pearson

The deployment of the Intelligent Approach solution will help increase the tactical capacity of the airport’s five runways.

NAV Canada has deployed a new air traffic control technology at Toronto Pearson International Airport in Ontario, Canada.

The technology, called Intelligent Approach, seeks to optimise the time spacing between arriving aircraft.

The deployment of the new system is expected to help increase the tactical capacity of the airport’s five runways.

Intelligent Approach was jointly developed by science and technology company Leidos and NAV CANADA’s UK counterpart, NATS.

Instead of depending on set distances, it leverages live weather data and information on aircraft type to dynamically calculate the optimum time interval between arrivals.

The system then translates its findings into a graphical marker on a controller’s radar screen.

Besides boosting tactical capacity, the deployment of Intelligent Approach is expected to maintain landing rates in high wind conditions.

The use of time-based separation is said to have reduced headwind related delays by 62% at Heathrow Airport, where the solution was first introduced in 2015.

NAV CANADA chief technology and information officer and vice-president Mark Cooper said: “NAV CANADA continues to collaborate with key partners, such as NATS and Leidos, to bring about the innovations to our processes and systems, such as the Intelligent Approach at Toronto Pearson, that we need to increase our operational efficiency and effectiveness.”

NATS strategy and commercial director Guy Adams said: “Delivering Intelligent Approach for Toronto during a global pandemic has been an enormous team effort across NAV CANADA, NATS and Leidos.

“As the industry now begins to recover from the impact of Covid, it has never been more important for airports [to] make the very best of their existing infrastructure. I look forward to Intelligent Approach delivering even better on-time performance and operational resilience at Canada’s busiest airport.”

Currently, NATS and Leidos are working with LVNL, the Dutch air traffic service provider, to deploy Intelligent Approach at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.

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