The effect of an aborted landing

When a pilot has to abort a landing and go around again, the result can be costly. One development to avoid this is being used in Minneapolis.

When a pilot has to abort a landing approach at the last minute, one of the reasons can be that an aircraft which has just landed has not cleared the runway in time. In Geneva, the cost in time of an aborted landing is of the order of 15 minutes. Tthis might be important if the aircraft is expected to fly out again very soon afterwards, since this subsequent flight might miss its assigned slot either on departure or at the subsequent destination.

Such might possibly have been the case yesterday, 12 September, for the easyJet flight EZS8464 from Gatwick, which was due to arrive at 10h50am, but only arrived at 11h04am after having to abort its landing and go around again. It is unclear why this happened (Skyguide will have certainly reported this incident, but their reports are highly confidential), but the aircraft involved (an Airbus A319, HB-JZW), after flying to and from three other destinations, was the last easyJet flight to return to its Geneva base, landing at 11h51 pm that night (although in this particular case I think this was just a coincidence).

In the US airport at Minneapolis, there is apparently a new tool to allow air traffic controllers to check automatically the separation of aircraft on their final approach. One of its features is an automatic alert when an aircraft is flying too close to the aircraft preceding it, since there is always a defined separation distance.

I absolutely do not suggest in any way that there was any separation problem in this particular case. What I do find interesting, however, is the way in which technological innovations are coming to the aid of air traffic control systems. Anything which can result in more on-time flights is of benefit to passengers and sometimes to people living around the airports.

12:39 Posted in Potpourri | Permalink | Comments (3) | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook


Thank you for this presentation.

How often thus this happen approximately? Can you make a comparison between the costs of an aborted landing and the installation of such a system as the one in Minneapolis?

With kind regards.

Posted by: Pierre Scherb | 09/13/2011

How often has what happened? A check on the number of aborted landings this month shows about one every 2 days, but half the aircraft do not give out GPS coordinates, so it might be more like one per day. Also, I cannot know why they were aborted (and the airport authorities have frequently said that these can happen quite normally for various reasons). In addition, the "cost" of an aborted landing is entirely dependent on circumstances.
Finally, I have no doubt that the top people in SkyGuide are perfectly well aware of this, and perhaps other, possible improvements to their air traffic control system, and will be looking into their cost and whether they could integrate with the system used in Geneva.

To see trajectories of aircraft which do give out GPS information


(and today's shows the circling of a flight checking system aircraft).

Posted by: Mike Gerard | 09/13/2011

Thank you for this additional information.

Posted by: Pierre Scherb | 09/13/2011

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