Loss of separation Schiphol

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On Tuesday, July 18th, two aircraft came closer to each other than the prescribed separation minimums during the parallel approach on runways 18C and 18R for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. LVNL reported the incident to the Dutch Safety Board and the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate. LVNL is also investigating this incident itself.


An Airbus 320 (A320), arriving from the east, does not fly the required flight path for runway 18C during a parallel approach operation, but mistakenly set the navigation to runway 18R. This despite the crew's repeated confirmations that they would carry out an interception on runway 18C. As a result, the A320 comes into conflict with a Boeing 737 also approaching on runway 18R.
This B737 has the A320 in sight and also reports that it is in danger of conflict. In both aircraft, TCAS warns of a risk of collision at almost the same time that the air traffic controller steers the B737 away from the approach on runway 18R to the west and the A320 is guided to the east.

Both the A320 and the B739 are then guided to perform a new approach at runway 18C and the runway 18R respectively. Both planes land normally.

The altitude separation standard during the parallel approach phase is 1,000 feet (300 meters) vertical. This separation standard applies until the moment the flights have intercepted the final course of the runway for which they have cleared and are flying stably (localizer established).
The minimum vertical distance measured between both aircraft was 600 feet (180 meters) vertically and 0.2 nautical miles (approximately 370 meters) horizontally.

Loss of separation 2023.07.18

Loss of separation 2023.07.18

Follow-up actions

After this incident, there was contact between air traffic control and the airlines involved. The A320 airline has taken immediate action internally and taken measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Within air traffic control, the investigation result of this event has been shared among operational staff, together with a 'refresher' of the parallel approach procedures and the associated risk factors.