The Wakenet-3 Europe Project was launched on 1 April and had its first Partner Meeting on 8 April at Airbus, in Hamburg. The project is European Commission-funded and is part of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).
The FP7 lasts from 2007 until 2013, with a budget of 50 billion euro, which will be distributed among the different projects. One aim of the FP7 is, among others, to maintain and develop Europe's international competitiveness in the field of research and strengthen its scientific and technological bases.
The Wakenet-3 Europe Project (WN3), which is included in FP7, is the continuation of the Thematic Networks Wakenet and Wakenet-2 Europe. Those projects are aimed at the study of the phenomenon of wake vortex turbulence. They try to minimise aircraft separation on the ground and in flight without endangering the following aircraft, to enhance airspace and airport capacity. This can be achieved by pinpointing the realtime wake vortex 3-D position and its forecast development. The WN3 provides the main stakeholders in the field of wake vortex with a platform where they can share their ideas and experiences, both from a scientific and operational point of view.
The Project was officially launched on 1 April and will last for 36 months. There are 12 full partners participating in it, plus the Eurocontrol Experimental Centre (EEC), which joins as a third party. Airbus-Deutschland is the coordinator of the project.
ECA joined the project as a full partner and is represented by F/O Nikolaus Braun, from the German Airlines Pilots' Association, VC. During the first meeting in Hamburg, the role of the pilots was underlined, as they will give their "operational" point of view on the scientific approach. In the two previous projects, the pilots were represented by IFALPA as the official partner. ECA, as IFALPA's European Regional Body, has taken over the role of the international organisation in the Wakenet-3 Project and looks forward to a successful start to the work.