The European project DREAMS sees alternative ways of landing as a future solution that is less environmentally damaging and provides less noise pollution from landing aircraft for nearby (residential) areas near an airport. As part of that project, several flights were carried out at Twente Airport last year in September and October, spread over two weeks. This will now be followed up.
In the period from Wednesday, June 22 to Friday, July 1, the Netherlands Aerospace Center (NLR) will conduct approach flights with a research aircraft. This is a small "business aircraft" with measuring equipment on board, the Cessna Citation with registration number PH-LAB.
According to the current schedule, the aircraft will make four flights almost every day. Twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon. The flights will happen only when the weather is sufficiently good and during the daylight period. Each flight lasts about 1 hour during which the aircraft is likely to make eight rounds. Depending on the wind direction, the aircraft will approach the airport from the southwest or from the northeast.
It cannot yet be said with certainty but it is possible that on June 30 or July 1 a larger aircraft will also be part of the investigation. This will most likely be a Boeing 737.
Like last year, the plane will approach the runway at different angles. Although the difference is not really noticeable in the cabin, it requires the pilot's attention. How he or she experiences this alternative approach is the focus of this week's study.
To land an aircraft, the pilot uses his instruments. When visibility is good, a pilot sees different colored lights next to the runway. A specific color combination of the four lights in the so-called PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) indicates whether the aircraft is coming in optimally, too high, or just too low. For this study, in addition to a regular PAPI, there is a second movable PAPI on the other side of the runway. This helps the pilot to make the aircraft follow a different glide path. Normally, the aircraft approaches at a three-degree angle. So this time, several approach paths will also be slightly steeper, with a maximum angle of 4.49 degrees.
Twente Airport is a relatively quiet airport with few flight movements and offers a good test site for aviation research. We are well aware that because of this special situation, local residents and residents in nearby communities may hear more aircraft noise than usual. We strive to keep any disturbance from the temporary flights to a minimum. In any case, the aircraft will only fly during the day when visibility is good.
More information about the flights with the most current flight schedule can be found here:
Here you can find a video explaining last year's flights operated at Twente Airport:
The websites below give you information if you want to know more about the European project DREAMS (Demonstration of Runway Enhanced Approaches Made with Satellite Navigation):