What Wake Turbulence Category is a B757? That long favoured question by Dispatch Trainers and ATC Instructors will become a thing of the past under new rules slowly being introduced in Europe, where the current four (Light, Medium, Heavy, Super) will become six. The first place you will see this happening is at LFPG/Paris Charles de Gaulle and LFPB/Paris Le Bourget, from 22 MAR 2016.
Those six new categories are Light, Medium (with Lower and Upper), and Heavy (with Lower, Upper and Super). The rules are part of the RECAT-EU project, with the intention of squeezing more traffic into busy European Airports by applying more precise turbulence separation rules.
The separation minima are determined specific to each Aircraft Pair. For example, at the moment, an A330 following a B777 (Heavy behind heavy) requires 4 miles in trail. With the new rules, that is reduced to 3nm. An A320 can now follow 4 miles behind a B777, instead of the current 5nm.
There are no Flight Planning Changes (continue to use /L,M,H,J for the ICAO Category). For crews, you’ll notice the smaller separation, but there are no changes to callsigns or pilot obligations – for now.
More on the topic:
- More: Paris Le Bourget – New Requirement to list parking in Flight Plan
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- More: Airbus 380 flips CL604 – full report is now published
- More: Inside the cabin – before and after the wake turbulence encounter
- More: This is what an Airbus 380 looks like when it’s coming to get you