I have always assumed that landing separation depends on wake turbulence limits depending on weight class.

However I see that no minimum separation needed for the A380 as trailing aircraft (and in a few other cases): http://www.ais.gov.hk/HK_AIP/aic/AIC22-12.pdf

In practice, what distance or time separations used in these cases, where wake turbulence isn't the limiting factor?


1 Answer 1


In general, the heavier an aircraft is, the greater the wake it produces but, it is also less affected by the wake of other aircraft. In particular, an aircraft can always resist the wake turbulence of a lighter category aircraft.

It was found that the A380 was not affected by wake turbulence from any aircraft in front, including another A380, down to the minimum RADAR separation used on approaches which is 3NM.

The RADAR separation used on any particular approach might be greater, but not less than this minimum therefore, there is no need to apply wake turbulence separation to a following A380 and the required RADAR separation for the approach is applied.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Simon I was looking for that 3NM value. And then I wonder, if the "particular approach" value is greater, is that found on the approach maps, or national ATC websites? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielSparing Sorry, I don't know where to find the separation minima for a particular approach. That's worth a new question I think. $\endgroup$
    – Simon
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 10:44

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