Loss of separation Schiphol

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On Monday 5 June, two aircraft approached each other during the approach to the Kaagbaan (06) for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, closer than prescribed by the separation minima. LVNL is investigating this incident itself and has reported this incident to Onderzoeksraad voor Veiligheid (Dutch Safety Board) and the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate.


An E190 approaching from the west is the last aircraft handled by the approach controller for runway 06. A B77L also approaches from the west for the same runway, but is handled by the radar controller. To obtain sufficient separation from an aircraft in front, the approach controller allows the E190 to intercept the localizer from the other side. At that moment, the radar traffic controller focuses attention on a starting business jet from runway 04 and separation from a departing aircraft from runway 36C.

Now, however, the B77L in turn comes too close behind the E190. The B77L crosses at 2000ft and 1.8 nautical miles (3.3 kilometers) behind the E190, with 600ft altitude difference. The radar controller makes the B77L intercept the localizer also from the other side, to restore separation with the E190 (standard: 3NM or 1,000ft).

Lessons learned

The incident occurred because it was not recognized at an early stage that the B77L would end up too closely behind the E190. A contributing factor was the required attention to the separation between the two departing aircraft from runway 22 and 36C.

The investigation results have been communicated to air traffic controllers, with an emphasis on separating traffic when turning to final approach. Particular attention was paid to transition situations and when traffic is split amongst several traffic controllers.