Fact sheets

The fact sheets below are ordered alphabetically. In the right side menu, you can select sheets under the topics Aviation Engineering and Aviation Operations


Aircraft Separation Fact sheet | 2017-06-01 08:24:43 UTC

Constant growth in air traffic has caused congestion in the sky and at airports. Optimising the available capacity is therefore vital. Research performed by NATS and EUROCONTROL has indicated that the physical separation between aircraft can be optimized by re-categorizing aircraft types; a project called RECAT-EU. By decreasing the distance between a leading and trailing aircraft on approach, the time between the aircraft consequently decreases as well. This increases the effective runway capacity significantly. However, in case of strong headwind conditions on approach, the groundspeed of aircraft decreases, consequently increasing the time

between landing aircraft. Research at London Heathrow Airport has indicated that in these circumstances, separating aircraft based on time-intervals (TBS) rather than distance (DBS) would reduce the impact of the strong headwind. This reduces the physical distance between aircraft, whilst maintaining the same time between landings. Besides optimising the available runway capacity, the wind related delays are also reduced by up to 50%. By using RECAT-EU, the available runway capacity is increased and TBS can be used in order to utilise the increased capacity, even in case of strong headwind conditions. In other words, both can be used as the next steps to optimise runway capacity. 

Photo: Jeffrey Schäfer

Airport Capacity Fact sheet | 2016-09-05 10:12:45 UTC

Air transport is a fast-growing industry, and the number of flights is expected to rise at even steeper levels during the next decade. However, available airport infrastructure is limited, and capacity constraints pose a potential threat to accommodating future air travel demand. The term ‘airport capacity’ is not a clear-cut phenomenon: there are many different sub-definitions depending on point of view adopted. Relationships between individual definitions can be categorized along three dimensions:

1. Differentiating between technical, acceptable and allowed capacity, 2. Differentiating between the steps in the passenger journey at the airport, 3. Differentiating between capacity based on period of time (hourly, seasonal and annual). In order to resolve airport congestion in a sustainable way, it is important to acknowledge that all infrastructure is part of a larger airport system and that solutions to one of the capacity definitions often negatively affect others. Photo: Daan van der Heijden


Article Next-Generation Airport Check-In | 2016-10-26 12:15:23 UTC

Over the past two decades the check-in process went through a number of major changes, driven by the introduction of self-service technology that enabled to separate the various elements of the complete check-in and optimise each of these individual processes. However for airports to develop their check-in product, it is important to have a clear

understanding of the market requirements, which is seen as a key driver for airport process development. Both passengers and airlines are increasingly in favour of self-service processes, however this largely depends on a number of factors including personal technological readiness, and the (perceived) ease of use and usefulness.  
Photo: Brussels Airport Company

Article Shared Situational Awareness for CDM | 2016-09-05 10:36:18 UTC

There is a demand for an enhancement in the collaborative decision making process at airports. To enable this increased collaboration, shared situational awareness is required. This enables adequate decision making in complex systems such as airports. To research this subject, the question “What are the specifics of developing shared situational awareness in airport systems?” is asked. It is concluded that awareness is formed by sharing

relevant information on a system wide scale. By identifying the most disruptive factors for airport operations and embedding these in an information system that provides timely and accurate information of each factors’ status, the shared information enables stakeholders to improve the performance of the airport system as a whole and to make more efficient use of available infrastructure and slots. 

Photo: Jeffrey Schäfer

Article Which Came First for LCCs | 2015-09-18 09:45:10 UTC

Due to hybridisation, the airline sector is no longer a binary world consisting of low-cost carriers (LCCs) and network carriers. LCCs are adjusting their models to the prevailing market conditions. In order to gain higher yields, LCCs have started to attract business passengers by offering bundled fares, operating from primary airports, and the revaluation of the

product by business passengers themselves. Furthermore, secondary airport routes are saturating, making a move to primary airports inevitable. Next to gaining higher yields and secondary airport route saturation, LCCs are shifting from secondary to primary airports in order to capture slots and market share at congested airports. Photo: pilootenvliegtuig.nl

Cockpit Automation Fact sheet | 2016-02-22 15:48:09 UTC

In aviation, modern aircraft have become increasingly reliant on cockpit automation to provide a safe and efficient flight. It has provided aircraft with increased passenger comfort, improved flight path control, reduced workload and many other advantages. However, due to cockpit automation problems concerning the human-computer interaction have risen that have led to fatal air accidents. Two main phenomena can be pointed out that cause these problems and influence aviation safety: automation bias and automation surprise. To

solve these problems, two main solutions have been proposed: revise pilot training and redefine the role of the pilot in the cockpit. To introduce and substantiate this topic, two examples are given of flight accidents that have happened due to human-cockpit automation error: Turkish Airlines flight TK1951 on route from Istanbul Atatürk to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in 2009 and Air France flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro Galeāo to Paris Charles de Gaulle in 2009.
Photo: Julian Hiraki

Composites in Commercial Aircraft Engines Fact sheet | 2016-12-20 12:02:20 UTC

This fact sheet provides insight into the application of composite materials in aeroengines. Composites are used in aviation to replace metal components, reducing the aircraft’s weight and enabling them to fly further on less fuel. Composites consist of several layers of different materials. Combined, they bring the best properties of each material to the new

combination. Composites are increasingly used in aeroengines, and CFM International and GE Aviation with the LEAP Engine are currently leaders in this field. However, all aeroengine manufacturers are now applying composite materials, and the future will bring interesting new developments in this field. 

Photo: flickr.com

Damage Detection in Composites Fact sheet | 2016-02-29 13:50:50 UTC

Composites are lighter, stronger and have more design shape freedom than aluminium. These advantages are reasons why aircraft manufacturers use more composite materials in their aircraft nowadays. Composite materials make up 50 percent of the primary structure of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner contributing to 20 – 30% less fuel consumption than today’s similarly sized airplane due to the low weight and better aerodynamics. However composites have different kinds of damage than metal structures such as micro-cracking and delamination. Current damage

detection methods are not adequate to detect these kind of damages in composites. That is why additional structural weight is necessary to provide safety at all times. To eliminate the need for additional structural weight it is necessary to have an adequate damage detection method for composite material. The Composites Fact sheet describes the properties of composites in aviation, the different sources of damage, followed by the detection methods used. Problems that are faced today are described plus future research areas. Photo: Daan van der Heijden



Development of Network Strategies Fact sheet | 2016-05-03 09:06:19 UTC

The commercial aviation industry revolves around three fundamental elements: political, economic and technological developments. Since the jet age, these three elements have affected the route system that carriers fly. For decades, the system was based on a set of regulatory rules and restrictions. After deregulation, airlines were able to become increasingly competitive and penetrate more markets with fewer restrictions. A major influence has been the introduction of newer generation aircraft improving operating and range

capabilities. In 2011, Boeing introduced the 787, a ‘hub-buster’ that opened up new thin routes and decreasing the need for hubs. Legacy carriers are increasingly offering services to secondary cities, bypassing existing hubs and reinforcing their hub by expanding their network to secondary destinations. The introduction of more efficient aircraft in relation to economic growth and urbanization may create new opportunities for airlines to operate in certain markets directly instead of via a hub.  Photo: Jeffrey Schäfer

Drones Fact sheet | 2017-04-18 18:34:47 UTC

Drones have become increasingly popular in recent years, and their number continues to grow. However, the aviation industry puts drones in a bad light. At the same time, there are no global rules or regulations concerning drones, and when they do exist they can be unclear for many users. While it is true that drones are dangerous when flown close to an aircraft, they can also be used in positive ways, such as to inspect

aircraft quickly. The commercial and technical development of drones is currently proceeding faster than legislation. These elements should find a balance to create a drone-friendly environment for all parties involved. Drones will become more popular and smarter, causing a danger to aviation if used incorrectly. Clear regulation and enforcement are required to prevent incidents and accidents.

Photo: Bas Wiggerman

High Altitude Pollutants Fact sheet | 2017-06-02 09:19:34 UTC

The aviation industry is often associated with air pollution and climate change. Is air travel as polluting as it is portrayed to be? And what possibilities or solutions are there to mitigate the effects? Despite growth, the energy intensity shares of air transport have remained fairly unchanged since 1970. The issue is quite complex, as greenhouse gases have different effects (e.g. the emission of NOX and water vapour 

have more local impacts than CO₂). A number of possibilities exist to reduce contrail cirrus cloud formation, such as re-routing and adjusting flight altitudes or scheduled times. Moreover, the use of biofuels can contribute to more sustainable aviation. However, the sustainability and the long-term effects of the production of biofuel should be further investigated and deliberated.
Photo: Sam van Gammeren

Human Factors Fact sheet | 2016-02-25 12:19:37 UTC

The aviation industry is growing safer every year. The lessons learned from incidents and accidents in the past have played an important role in this increase in safety. During the first half of the twentieth century, accidents could mainly be attributed to technical defects. Over the years, it became obvious that accidents could also occur when no technical defects were involved. As a result of this increased awareness, human factors have steadily grown in importance in the field of aviation safety. Human factors are currently known to be the biggest causes of aviation accidents,

responsible for 80% of all incidents. Research projects focus extensively on human factors. This may not be justifiable, given how strongly environmental factors affect how people perform. Researchers should focus less on who is to blame and approach the matter more holistically, addressing the root causes of human behaviour. The fact sheet contributes to a greater understanding of aviation accidents that are related to human limitations, external factors and incentives from the organisation. 

Photo: Amazing Aviation

Human Fatigue Fact sheet | 2015-09-18 09:51:38 UTC

Human fatigue can be seen as a huge problem for aviation safety. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) estimates that fatigue contributes to twenty to thirty percent of all accidents considering all transportation types. Therefore human fatigue is a serious threat to aviation safety. Although fatigue countermeasures can be very helpful it still remains a problem. Since it poses a threat to aviation safety it should be taken seriously, which is why the aviation industry is still searching for ways to decrease the risks that are associated with human fatigue.

Scientific research at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) is aimed at better understanding fatigue and the effects of fatigue on the performance of aviation professionals, effective ways for the management of fatigue and developing ways to measure fatigue in a fast, easy and non-invasive manner. This fact sheet explores different facets of human fatigue in the aviation industry within the context of human factors and safety; it discusses the impact, causes and countermeasures for fatigue.
Photo: Amazing Aviation

i4D Fact sheet | 2016-02-25 12:21:18 UTC

In response to the problems caused by European airspace fragmentation, the European Commission launched its Single European Sky initiative to unify airspace and modernize its air traffic management system. SESAR is the technological dimension of this initiative, involving nearly 300 research and development modernization projects. This fact

sheet is about initial 4D (i4D), one of SESAR’s solutions. First the problems that are faced today are described and the objectives set by SESAR to reduce these problems. Then the operation and technical requirements of initial 4D are described and concluded in the implementation plans.

Photo: Amazing Aviation


LEAN MRO Fact sheet | 2015-09-18 09:45:38 UTC

Process improvement methods and LEAN in particular have become more important for the daily operation of businesses. LEAN originates from a new method of performing work with a constant focus on elimination of wastes within a production process. Research by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences has shown that small and medium sized enterprises will benefit from applying process improvement techniques. However, this business sector is characterized

by a number of factors that complicate the application of traditional process improvement techniques. On the other hand, practice and research has shown that these companies will greatly benefit from process improvements, especially because competitiveness with large scale maintenance companies is increased. Additional research is necessary to continue the application of LEAN within this sector.

Photo: Jetstar Airways flickr.com

Noise Reduction in Gas Turbines Fact sheet | 2017-02-15 09:57:23 UTC

Noise emission from aircraft is caused by the shape of the aircraft and the gas turbines. Aside from the fact that gas turbine producers need to take durability in to account when designing an engine, they also need to address noise emission. This fact sheet answers the following question: ‘Which noise reduction techniques are used in

the current generation of gas turbines and what can be expected in the future?’ This question will be answered through a brief introduction about gas turbine components, and where noise arises. Techniques that reduce gas turbine noise will be explained, as well as future developments from gas turbine producers.  
Photo: Johan van der Tuin/KLM

Optimizing Runway Capacity Fact sheet | 2016-06-20 16:50:43 UTC

Eurocontrol predicts a continuous grow of air traffic. If air traffic grows as expected, airports cannot deal with the amount of traffic by 2021. Growth possibilities for European airports, like Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, are limited. However, a way to grow is to increase runway capacity. There are several ways to do that. First: let aircraft leave the runway faster after landing and decrease runway occupancy time. During some meteorological conditions, capacity can increase by separate aircraft

based on time instead of distance. Also, more wake turbulence categories can be used. Other technologies like microwave landing systems and ground based augmentation systems can increase runway capacity by allowing more aircraft to simultaneously use this equipment. If the situation at Schiphol does not change, capacity related problems are imminent. Some of the procedures and technologies can provide an outcome for these problems. Photo: virazzphotography

Repair of Composites Fact sheet | 2016-03-21 12:16:29 UTC

Over the years, composites have been introduced as the main material for new aircraft, such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350. Compared to currently used metals such as aluminum, composites have better properties such as more strength and stiffness compared to their density. However, composites have different kinds of damages which make certain repair methods impossible. For these damages, several repair techniques have been developed to keep the aircraft airworthy. Different aspects of the damage determine which repair technique is to be used. The current repair methods have some disadvantages and this leads to the fact that not every damage can be repaired. The Structural Repair

Manuals (SRM) contains the limits towhat extent the repair of a damage is allowed to be performed. The goal of the Commercial Aircraft Composite Repair Committee (CACRC) is improving repair of commercial aircraft composite structures and components, such as the usage of an extra composite plate as sealant. Furthermore, research is being done to the non-conventional machining methods, which create less heat and are more accurate. In addition, companies are currently working on improving surface treatments. Current developments in the industry are focusing more on the complete repair process instead of new repair methods, because of the strict aviation regulation concerning new equipment and methods. Photo: Boeing.com

Safety Management System Fact sheet | 2016-12-20 12:28:48 UTC

To ensure the safety in the growing aviation sector, a systematic and up-to-date system is necessary. A Safety Management System is developed to mitigate safety risks and strive for maximum safety. It minimized the “organization” factor in accidents Safety risks must be mitigated to strive for maximum safety. A SMS consists of four parts. Safety policy and objectives ensures continuous improvement and describes methods, processes, and structures which are

necessary to meet safety objectives. Safety risk management identifies hazards and analyses risks. Safety assurance provides a feedback loop in the system and ensures the continuity of an SMS. The safety promotion components ensures that all employees in an organization are trained and aware of the SMS. All four pillars of an SMS are interrelated to each other and are required to make an SMS a success.
Photo: Amazing Aviation

Security US after 9/11 Fact sheet | 2017-04-18 18:56:39 UTC

This fact sheet examines the current effectiveness of US aviation security from a government perspective. New security measures were implemented after 9/11 to deal with identified bottlenecks. In terms of ‘soft-security’, an advanced version of the old and limited CAPPS system was introduced: Secure Flight. This system collects data from the government and airlines and sends it to commercial data services and a terrorist screening centre database (TSCD). This increases the chance of detecting potential terrorists and threats. In terms of ‘hard security’, new measures were introduced together with a new law

regarding baggage, along with more employees, improved screening equipment and armed and trained pilots. This research looked at three indicators to determine whether aviation security in the US improved: the number of hijackings, the number of bombings and the percentage of caught mystery guests. No commercial airline hijackings or bombings occurred since 9/11. However, the number of mystery guests successfully passing through US security is shocking: 95%. Is the US security system adequate, or is it only a matter of time until the next terrorist incident?
Photo: flickr.com

Selectivity Fact sheet | 2015-01-26 12:42:27 UTC

Now that the Airport Decree has been signed, Eindhoven Airport has official permission to continue developing and gradually take over part of Schiphol’s growing activities. Authorization has been granted for 10,000 additional airplane flights through November 2015, taking the first tangible step towards implementing the selectivity policy. This transition is required by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment to ensure effective coordination of flight connection supply and demand. By doing so, the government aims to fully use the capacity of Schiphol Airport for

mainport-related traffic. Lelystad and Eindhoven will provide the capacity fortraffic not related to the mainport function. The fact sheet on Selectivity explains the reasoning behind selectivity, which goes back to the introduction of concepts such as mainport and hub function in the 1980s. It also covers the necessity of market regulation and the intended multi-airport system and the segmentation suggested by the selectivity policy. The fact sheet ends with the in-depth debate by all stakeholders on criteria for selectivity.
Photo: NLR

Self-connectivity Fact sheet | 2016-06-20 16:40:46 UTC

The concept of self-connectivity is playing an increasing role in the development of airline connectivity. The concept is based on passengers buying two separate tickets and creating their own transfer at an airport. This often involves two tickets of airlines that have no affiliation or two separate tickets of one airline that doesn’t offer connectivity in its own network. With this concept passengers seek to fly cheaper and/or fly a route not offered by traditional airline 

networks. In this fact sheet the principle is thoroughly explained and existing examples are given. Also the potential benefits and risks for passengers and other stakeholders such as the airlines and airports are described. With this factsheet a correlation is found between the scale of low cost operations and the level of self-connectivity. These findings raise the question if self-connectivity can be a solution for airlines that want to simplify their complex operation?  Photo: Jeffrey Schäfer

STAMP Fact sheet | 2017-02-17 10:49:39 UTC

The STAMP model, short for Systems Theoretic Accident Modelling & Processing model, is used to analyse complex systems. The model contains multiple processes whose are connected with each other by means of a control loop as well as a feedback loop. These processes on its own contain of an operating system and

a controller, whereas the processes are connected in a hierarchical order. The higher hierarchical situated processes will guarantee the safety constraints of the lower situated processes. The safety constraints will provide the total system of a safe way of operating.
Photo: Flickr.com

Sustainable Propulsion Fact sheet | 2016-04-18 07:07:36 UTC

Earth’s fossil fuels are quickly becoming depleted. The aviation industry is highly dependent on these fuels, and is searching for methods to become more sustainable. Instead of kerosene as jet fuel, a variety of scientists and organisations are developing and testing revolutionary methods for future use by aircraft. Many methods are potentially suitable candidates, however some possess

characteristics, which make their large-scale application questionable. This fact sheet focuses on biofuels, electricity and hydrogen as alternatives to kerosene. In a related issue, the combustion of kerosene has a large environmental impact. Aircraft engines could be made more economical, reducing harmful emissions and lowering fuel consumption. Photo: Pixabay.com