In March 2013 saw the IAA's nominate the Point Merge airspace initiative, a unique innovation that improves safety and provides extra environmental and cost efficiencies for airlines. Point Merge was nominated under the category of Innovation in Action which it duly won. It also won the overall award at the ceremony which is a big achievement considering there were 77 projects to choose from. Mr Peter Kearney, IAA Director ATM Operations and ATM Strategy reacted to the win by saying that the Authority had successfully introduced Point Merge as part of a wider strategy to develop new, innovative air traffic management solutions which deliver safe, efficient and cost effective services to its airline partners. The criteria and feedback from the judges showed what a resounding success it was “a transport initiative that has demonstrated true innovation and a distinct new method to meet a challenging issue”.
Introduced in December 2012, Point Merge uses new techniques to assist airlines to land in what are known as Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs) on the main Dublin Airport Runway (28). This reduces noise and emissions and is therefore more environmentally-friendly. Depending on the aircraft size, these CDAs permit the aircraft to reduce their fuel burn by up 250kg of fuel (estimated value €170.00) and 750kg of CO2 per arrival. This is also in the interests of the airlines, passengers and environmental stakeholders.
Point Merge, or similar Air Traffic control methodologies are now in effect at international airports at Oslo, and considered at Paris, Dublin, Rome, Brussels, and Geneva. Point Merge was developed by the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre as an innovative technique aiming at improving and standardising terminal airspace operations1 in a pan- European perspective (systematic use of precision area navigation and continuous descent in high traffic conditions). As it relies on existing technology, it has the potential for implementation in the short term.
The logistics and Transport awards are organised each year by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.