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Heathrow MLS

Old 17th Jan 2011, 12:58
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Heathrow MLS

Hi,

Is is still just the BA Airbus that uses this? or does the rest of the fleet use the MLS as well now?

ta
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Old 17th Jan 2011, 14:56
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Currently still just the Airbus. Don't personally know if there are plans for other fleets (or airlines) to equip with MLS.
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Old 19th Jan 2011, 21:19
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which is a shame, as MLS is vastly superior to ILS.

Still, if it ain't broke........

RS
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 06:55
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<<which is a shame, as MLS is vastly superior to ILS. >>

In which way did you mean?
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 07:29
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SLF here but I recall from a conversation with a former ATC and then Airport director, that MLS provides for a greater flexibility on approaches.

Rwy in Sight
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 08:14
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OK... I'm curious as to how that "flexibility" is achieved?
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 08:50
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HD...

OK... I'm curious as to how that "flexibility" is achieved?
MLS beams are not distorted to same extent, so protected area(s) are much smaller. So spacing on approach, even in LVPs can be less (5NM v 8NM?), also To to Ldg spacing (I believe ILS needs dpearintg aircraft beyond LOC aerial as arriving is at 2NM, MLS can be dep aircraft "airborne" with approaching at 1NM).

You can also do curved approaches etc.

Of course, seeing those theoretical benefits, and getting the airfeld / ATC system to adopt the reduced spacing in practice, is another matter. As, errrr, being discussed between LHR and one of the larger operators there

NoD
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 08:57
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Curved approaches might be okay at low use airfields where you only have one aircraft at a time, but Heathrow?!!!
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 09:32
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Chev... That's the problem most potential users don't see. It would be immensely difficult to run an approach sequence to a busy airfield with curved approaches!

Spacing in LVPs doesn't simply depend on protecting the ILS - there's the matter of getting off the runway too.
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 09:44
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"It would be immensely difficult to run an approach sequence to a busy airfield with curved approaches!"
They managed to do it at Kai Tak for many a year. Mind you they were using the predecessor of the MLS - the IGS!
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 10:08
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With all due respect, Kai Tak was a 'dogleg' rather than a curve, and you had to be visual before the turn ie before you hit the hillside.
A curved MLS approach would be ideal at Farnborough as all traffic would use the same final approach track (FAT) and it could be designed to keep the FAT outside the Heathrow CTR.
We originally decided this would be the way to go at Farnborough rather than install ILS then replace it after a few years, but then along came GPS and the ILS/MLS replacement programme was forgotten (although we did evaluate TLS which could have given us a dogleg approach).

Last edited by chevvron; 20th Jan 2011 at 10:18.
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 11:13
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Kai Tak was a 'dogleg' rather than a curve
You're confusing Chek Lap Kok with Kai Tak, I'm afraid. Kai Tak had the curved approach sequence flashers which rather gives the game away. 07 approaches at CLK have the dog-leg.
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 12:01
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A MLS trial was held at Aberdeen in August 1991 with the CAA,FAA,NATS and Air Hanson.The MLS covered 2 runways from the north,16 with a curved approach,and heli Rwy 23.Also there was an approach to 34.The curved approach to 16 commenced at about 10 miles to the North East with a 45 deg turn on to a 4 mile final.It was interesting sitting up front with the needles centred yet the 727 was in a rate one left turn on to final.This an IMC curved approach unlike Kai Tak which was visual turn onto 13.
As for sequencing other traffic it was quite easy,just like fitting an aircraft on to visual approach.
I thought that the system was fantastic,but here we are nearly 20 years later and......?
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 12:32
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Negativity ?

Chev... That's the problem most potential users don't see. It would be immensely difficult to run an approach sequence to a busy airfield with curved approaches!

Spacing in LVPs doesn't simply depend on protecting the ILS - there's the matter of getting off the runway too.
wow, thats not a very open minded view, of course curved approaches could work at busy airfields, why wouldnt they? Things dont always have to be done the same way and change can be even better. Runway clearing times might be able to reduce but that is separate from curved approaches.
bb
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 13:04
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Is MLS not somewhat outdated?
Surely RNAV is the way to go .It offers all that MLS offered without the associated ground systems
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 13:50
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MLS has only been around since the early 70s, whereas ILS has its origins some 30 years earlier, so which one would you call outdated? Don't forget, airfields are still installing new ILS' when they are supposed to have been phased out about 10-15 years ago.
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 14:08
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Chevvron...they are both old technologies. They will be replaced by the new kid on the block. You have to wonder why MLS didn't find universal favour though?
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 16:16
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<<wow, thats not a very open minded view, of course curved approaches could work at busy airfields, why wouldnt they? Things dont always have to be done the same way and change can be even better.>>

OK... how do you achieve appropriate separations with aircraft approaching from 4 stacks on curved approaches? You have to take into account landing conditions, wind, weather, wake turbulence separation, time of day and all... and all...
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 16:35
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Some years ago (mid - late 90s) DERA, who had already moved to Boscombe Down, decided to do an MLS demonstration at the Farnborough Air Show. I think it may have been in association with NATS, cos the MLS came from Manchester.
Anyway the ex Farnborough BAC 111 was to be used flying a profile completely automatically from initial approach. They designed the procedure and pattern at Boscombe Down and test flew it there too. We were told it MUST follow the pre-programmed route, but when we saw it, were amazed to see not only did it penetrate the Gatwick CTR, but it passed just west of Gatwick, meaning they would have to stop all departures or arrivals while it was in their airspace! They had designed it for the class G airspace around Boscombe and failed to take into account the fact there was controlled airspace near to Farnborough. Not only that, but final approach was designed as a 4.5 deg glidepath, something which the BAC 111 was not designed for. Then we were told we couldn't cross traffic ahead when it was established on the MLS, nor could we allow a departure ahead, which led to a 'backup' of traffic at Farnborough. Needless to say, the requests to enter the Gatwick CTR at about 6pm were refused and the aircraft ended up going back to Boscombe for its demo flights.
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Old 20th Jan 2011, 16:39
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The MLS sensitive and critical areas, and the protected ranges, are the same as ILS at LHR.
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