Wake Turbulence Separation Minima

Wake turbulence separation minima is currently (!) the subject of AIC P 72/2010, which replaced AIC P 64/2009 (August 2009). Prior to that it was covered in AIC P 18/2009, which itself superseded Pink 188 (AIC 17/1999).

These changes have been required partly in order to further harmonise with ICAO standards but also because of the arrival of the A380-800. The 'Medium' category has also been split into 'Upper Medium' and 'Lower Medium'. Consequently, some of the UK separation minima have changed. We have provided a summary of the changes here, extracting only those UK separation minima pertinent to light aircraft operations.

Wake turbulence separation minima - final approach

Leading Aircraft Following Aircraft Separation
A380-800 Light 8 nm
Heavy Light 7 nm
Upper Medium Light 6 nm
Lower Medium Light 5 nm
Small Light 4 nm
Light Light Nil required

Wake turbulence separation minima - on departure

Leading Aircraft Following Aircraft Separation if departing from same position Separation if departing from intermediate position
A380-800 Light 3 minutes 4 minutes
Heavy Light 2 minutes 3 minutes
Upper Medium Light 2 minutes 3 minutes
Lower Medium Light 2 minutes 3 minutes
Small Light 2 minutes 3 minutes
Light Light Not specified Not specified

References:

AICs and the IAIP is available from the NATS website at http://www.nats-uk.ead-it.com/public/index.php.html

Atmospheric Picture

FL45, English Channel.