The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Implementation Plan (NGIP) and the National Airspace System (NAS) Enterprise Architecture (EA) identify improvements to Closely Spaced Parallel Operations (CSPO) as a key future capacity enabler, with three high level goals:

  • Increasing Capacity: Reduce the impact of lower visibility conditions by closing the gap in capacity between Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) and Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC)
  • Reducing Delay: Reduce system wide NAS delays
  • Maintaining Safety: Ensure an acceptable level of safety exists in reduced visibility conditions with an increased number of approach operations to near that of VMC

To accelerate these high level NextGen goals (via RTCA TF5 recommendations), the CSPO team has focused on updating blunder angle severity and frequency assumptions, fast time simulation model parameters, Test Criteria Violation (TCV) definition, and adding PBN/SATNAV approach capabilities to the closely spaced parallel operations. This acceleration is initially focused on current Simultaneous Independent Parallel Instrument Approach (SIPIA) runway spacing standards, including:

  1. SIPIA without High Update Rate (HUR) surveillance – 4300
  2. SIPIA with HUR – 3400
  3. SIPIA with HUR and one offset approach – 3000

In September 2011, the CSPO team proposed an initial reduction from 4300’ to 3600’ for dual SIPIA operations without HUR surveillance. The analysis and overall scope of this proposal is contained in the FY11 Simultaneous Independent Close Parallel Approaches – High Update Radar Not Required (DOT-FAA-AFS-450-69) technical report.

The FAA Safety Management System (SMS) process incorporating this change into the NAS is nearly complete. Final steps including coordination of training and publication of notices will be completed within this physical year FY13.

The CSPO team is currently applying lessons learned from this research to both dual SIPIA with one offset approach and triple SIPIA. An effort is ongoing to determine the application this research may have on the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP) end-state runway configuration. The team is also working to reduce dependent parallel operation standards and continued development of paired approach (PA) concepts.

On this site, you will find the Focus Areas of the CSPO Working Group (WG). The CSPO WG was created in March 2008, meets every six months to discuss CSPO milestone(s) progress, exchange current developments, and coordinate efforts for project success.

Scope Statement

Utilize new concepts, updated analysis and modeling tools to implement closely spaced parallel operations to minimum runway spacing in less than visual conditions while maintaining an acceptable level of risk.