iStream – Optimized arrival wave at Zurich Airport in cooperation with Swiss and Zurich Airport

As of October 13th the concept iStream will definitely be implemented in Zurich. After the successfully completed test phase, the concept is finally introduced. Involved in the project were mainly Swiss, Zurich Airport as well as skyguide.

The aim of the iStream test financed within the frame of the EU’s SESAR project is to optimize the arrivals in busy times. By using arrival time targets, the approach sequence is to be established at an early stage, thus enabling an efficient approach of all landing aircraft and avoiding holding patterns. This prevents unnecessary kerosene consumption, which also reduces CO2 emissions.


Together with Swiss and Flughafen Zürich AG as well as other airlines, skyguide has been testing the system for the optimization of approaches at Zurich Airport for one year since June 2015. The approach sequences of all flights were coordinated early in the morning between 06:00 and 07:00 o’clock by skyguide to ensure an optimized approach for each aircraft.


Drastic reduction of holding patterns

The test phase was extremely successful: With iStream, the number of holding patterns at Zurich Airport could be reduced by up to 96 percent and the flown route could be reduced by an average of 30 percent. As a result of the successful test phase, the concept will also become binding for all morning waves at Zurich Airport as of 13 October 2016. As a result, all airlines can now benefit from the positive overall effect.


In order to visualize the project, SWISS has produced an explanatory video in cooperation with Zurich Airport and skyguide. This video is now available on the Youtube page of SWISS:



In the future, the concept is also to be extended to further approach waves at Zurich Airport. A similar procedure for the optimization of the arrival wave is now also being tested for arrivals in Paris due to the successful test phase in Zurich.