The Dutch aviation sector (KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, LVNL), together with the Ministry have jointly committed to develop a new concept for the Schiphol terminal airspace operations, called Interval Management (IM). This concept consists of fixed arrival routes and continuous descent operations. It is expected that the current night operation at Schiphol will gradually be expanded into daytime off-peak hours, provided that new support tools become available to manage the inbound traffic.

Fixed arrival routes, like standard instrument departures have the tendency to negatively affect capacity. Vectoring aircraft to a merge point close to the runway is currently practised as the most effective way to realize high runway capacity. High capacity in combination with fixed arrival routes needs alternative technological solutions.

One of the pillars under the SESAR concept is Flight Deck Interval Management (FIM). With FIM, aircraft exchange flight information via ADS-B and use this information to control an ATC assigned time interval with a lead aircraft. It is assumed that this closed loop control provides the accuracy and predictability that is required to maintain peak hour capacity. For the Schiphol terminal airspace IM may be an enabler to expand fixed arrival route operations and CDOs into peak hour operations.

An interval separation module from NASA has been integrated in NARSIM Radar and ATCo HMI tools for initial sequence instructions and monitoring separation have been implemented. The project is supported by an international team of experts from LVNL, KLM, NLR, TU Delft, Boeing, Rockwell Collins and NASA.

The project is currently on-going with new real-time trials to be held in 2019.