Avinor Air Navigation Services first in the world to implement second Point Merge arrival route system

Environmental Infrastructure

This week, Avinor Air Navigation Services has implemented the Southern Norway Airspace Project (SNAP) with Point Merge arrival sequencing to improve capacity and flight safety in airspace in the south-western part of Norway. The implementation makes Avinor Air Navigation Services the first in the world to have implemented a second Point Merge project.

The implementation of Point Merge provides gains for airspace users and controllers alike, and facilitate for future increase in capacity, efficient operations and improved safety. The successful implementation further enhances Avinor Air Navigation Services’ position as a leading provider of airspace design. The improved arrival route system provides benefits in terms of reduced fuel consumption through improved arrival sequencing, and significantly simplifies the workload of air traffic controllers, says managing director of Avinor Air Navigation Services, Anders Kirsebom.

Avinor Air Navigation Services was the first ANSP in the world to implement the Point Merge System in 2011. The arrival route system was originally developed by Eurocontrol to improve and harmonize arrival operations.

The implementation of Point Merge for Oslo Airport Gardermoen was part of the comprehensive Oslo ASAP project (Advanced Sectorisation and Automation Project), and the point merge arrival route system facilitated for an increase in capacity at Oslo Airport Gardermoen. The SNAP project includes 16 airports in southern Norway.

The project entailed development of new continuous decent operations and continuous climb operations at 16 airports, including Point Merge structures for the larger airports Sola, Flesland and Værnes. SNAP will increase flight safety, ensure increased capacity in airspace, a standardized and efficient service, while reducing CO2 emissions as traffic continue to increase. SNAP also facilitates for the implementation of free route airspace in the functional airspace block NEFAB.

Successful implementation

Within less than 12 hours of the implementation, ATFM-regulations could be reduced to a limit allowing for negligible delays for airlines and passengers.

This confirms our capabilities in successfully implementing complex airspace projects, including airspace design, system operations and substantial training of personnel, Anders Kirsebom states.

About the Point Merge system

Point Merge provides both the pilots and air traffic control operators a greater degree of predictability when the aircraft approaches the airport. Prior to commencing final approach all aircraft will fly a predetermined arc at an equal distance to landing where the landing sequence is then determined by giving direct-to instructions. This enables aircraft to utilize their onboard flight management systems to facilitate a continuous descent towards the runway, thereby reducing pilot workload in this critical phase. This ensures an efficient and well-organized flow of arriving aircraft.