May 10, 2013
Since 2006 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working to develop a safe wake mitigation procedure that allows reduced wake turbulence separation during certain operations from closely-spaced parallel runways. Comprehensive analysis of wake turbulence has shown that sufficient crosswinds on parallel runways can allow for the elimination of departure wake separation minima. Starting Wednesday, May 15, the FAA will roll out a one-year demonstration of the Wake Turbulence Mitigation for Departures (WTMD) system at San Francisco International Airport (SFO), followed by Houston International (IAH) on May 20 and then Memphis International (MEM) in August.
Winds must be favorable to the runway configuration and visual meteorological conditions must prevail in order for WTMD to be enabled. WTMD use will be broadcast over the ATIS, and pilots will have the option to request longer separation times if needed.
Pilots operating at these demonstration airports should familiarize themselves with InFO 13006 (PDF) as well as WTMD operations. Additional information on WTMD can be found in InFO 13006 as well as WTMD operations. Additional information on WTMD can be found in FAA Order JO 7110.316 (PDF).