London’s Heathrow Airport published the final report on the Operational Freedoms trial. The report concludes that new procedures should be implemented to improve resilience in the airport’s operation.
The Operational Freedoms trial was developed to explore if a more flexible use of the airport’s runways could minimize delays in the event of any disruption to the airport’s tightly packed schedule.
The report recommends that specific operational freedoms should be integrated into standard procedures as soon as practically possible.
The new recommended procedures include using both runways for arrivals/departures during times of disruption, early vectoring procedures to allow aircraft to leave the designated departure route earlier than usual, and options to prioritize use of the southern runway for A380s, Terminal 4 aircraft and small/light wake vortex category aircraft for greater taxi and stand efficiency.
The UK government has invited the UK Airports Commission to review the Heathrow report. The government will consider the findings of the commission, scheduled to be published in December, as well as reports by the country’s aviation regulator and the Heathrow Airport operator to decide on any further action on Operational Freedoms.