Departure Separation

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Separation between departing aircraft is applied so that after one aircraft takes off, the next aircraft does not take-off with less than the number of minutes needed. There are 3 main departure separation methods; Vortex Separation, Route Separation and Speed Separation

Vortex Separation

First Aircraft Vortex Category Second Aircraft Vortex Category Separation (Mins)
Heavy Heavy 1
Heavy Medium 2
Heavy Small 2
Heavy Light 2
Medium Heavy -
Medium Medium 1
Medium Small 2
Medium Light 2
Small Heavy -
Small Medium -
Small Small 1
Small Light 2
Light Heavy -
Light Medium -
Light Small -
Light Light 1

The time is counted from the moment the 1st aircraft's main landing gear leaves the ground. (At certain airfields it is counted from the time the aircraft starts its take-off roll.) If the first aircraft commences a full length take-off and the following aircraft departs from an intersection, the spacing must be increased to 3 minutes.


Route Separation

1 minute separation - The aircraft fly on tracks diverging by 45° or more immediately after take-off.

2 minute separation - The preceding (first) aircraft has filed a true airspeed 40 knots or more faster than the following (second).

5 minute separation - The preceding (first) aircraft has filed a true airspeed of 20 to 39 knots faster than the following aircraft.

10 minute separation - Any other case

ATC Units may have their own reduced separations. These will be detailed in the airport information on our website.


Speed Separation

Group 3 Group 2 Group 1 Group 0
ATP
AT43/44/45/72
All jet aircraft excluding: BA46 BE20 BE99
BA46 C501 DHC7 E110
C501 C551 DH8A/8B/8C/8D SH33
C551 CARJ E120 SH36
CARJ CL60 F27 C404
CL60 E145 F50 PA23
E145 L328 G159 PA31
JS31/32/41
SF34
SW3/4

When a faster aircraft follows a slower aircraft, the minimum separation is increased by one minute for each successive group (e.g. Group 3 following Group 2, add 1 minute. Group 3 following Group 0, add 3 minutes)

The time is counted from the moment the first aircraft begins its takeoff roll. If the first aircraft commences a full length take-off and the following aircraft departs from an intersection, the spacing should be increased to 3 minutes.