IAA Website - Monday, January 30, 2023 7:02 PM

Since April 2014, the IAA's Shannon Area Control Centre (ACC) has been cooperating with NATS (UK Air Navigation Service Provider) in a Heathrow XMAN Trial.

When delays in the Heathrow holding stacks begin to build, Shannon air traffic controllers together with their colleagues in the Netherlands, France and Scotland are asked to slow down aircraft up to 350 miles away from London to help minimise delays on arrival, with the aim of cutting average Heathrow holding times by at least a quarter from the current time of just under 8 minutes. This reduction in holding times delivers UK-Ireland FAB environmental benefits through reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

In 2017, in conjunction with NATS, the Heathrow XMAN initiative has been successfully implemented and the IAA has now put in place a permanent procedure where NATS can notify IAA controllers directly on the IAA’s COOPANS system of delays at Heathrow. This allows the IAA to implement measures for en-route into Heathrow to assist in alleviating these delays.

In 2018, discussion will continue to expand this service to include arrivals from London Gatwick.