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IAA Successfully Introduced Point Merge A System To Sequence Aircraft For Landing
By Shane Nolan

December 17, 2012 - Point Merge is an innovative system which uses new air traffic management techniques to assist airlines in flying more environmentally friendly continuous descent approaches to an airport.

Continuous Descent Approaches permit the aircraft to reduce their fuel burn by up to 250kgs per flight depending on the aircraft size. 

Point Merge at Dublin will greatly reduce the need to put aircraft into traditional holding patterns, thereby providing environmental benefits by cutting fuel burn and CO2 emissions, as well as reducing delays to passengers.


Rather than using traditional “race track pattern” holding stacks, Point Merge places arriving aircraft onto defined arcs or tracks, every point on which is equidistant from the runway.  From these arcs, the aircraft make one single turn and fly a continuous descent to the runway. Overall track miles flown by the aircraft and inefficient maneuvering at low levels are reduced. 

Point Merge is a component part of the Dublin Terminal Area 2012 Project (TMA 2012), which involves several other measures that work together to enhance the efficiency of the airspace surrounding Dublin airport. Additionally, a new air route for traffic departing from Dublin will help reduce air traffic congestion particularly during the busy morning period. 

The reorganization of Dublin’s air traffic control (ATC) sectors will further enhance ATC efficiency, helping to maintain the IAA’s position as one of the lowest cost providers of Terminal Air Traffic Management services in Europe. 

The TMA 2012 project is the result of over two years’ intensive research and development by a dedicated IAA project team in conjunction with Euro control and supported by our civil and military partners in the UK-Ireland FAB.



Speaking in Dublin today, Peter Kearney, Director of Operations & ATM Strategy at the IAA said: ‘TMA 2012 is part of the Irish Aviation Authority’s continuing strategy to develop innovative new air traffic management solutions to provide safe, efficient and cost effective services to our airline partners’. The IAA is a commercial State-sponsored body and receives no Government funding. 

Dublin Airport, is an international airport serving Dublin, Ireland and is operated by the Dublin Airport Authority. It is located in Collinstown, near Swords, in the county of Fingal, Ireland. In 2011, 18.7 million passengers passed through the airport, making it the busiest of the state's airports by total passenger traffic, followed by Cork Airport and Shannon Airport. It also has the greatest traffic levels on the island of Ireland followed by Belfast International Airport, George Best Belfast City Airport, Cork and Shannon.

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