Speed Separation (in APP or Lower ACC to APP PreSequencing)

Speed Separation adjustment on same point converging traffic
There are two tools in achieving radar separation at lower levels (below 2024 000 feet ) ; vectoring the most important one but speed as well . Speed control may be complementary but not less important as it 'fine tunes' or corrects and therefore reduces vectoring .
The important things to note down on speed , however , are the following :
The speed depends on the individual pilot  apart from the landing and takeoff speed
The speed to control used is the indicated one (IAS) but the movement of the aircraft depends on the true air speed (TAS)
To control the first you should keep your eyes open on the speed evolution of a flight despite the 'promise' of a pilot to comply or not with a restriction . You should additionally get familiar with the 'speedattitude' of pilots in your area .
TAS and IAS relation . The Speed Differential
Where there is more thinking for the controller is the relation between IAS and TAS , as TAS derives from IAS if the flight level FL is taken into account
Let us watch these two arriving flights : The one below is the BAW6341 a typical AT42 just in contact at FL 090 ( modeC +/ 200 ft ) making 189 kt of TAS reporting IAS=165 ., about 25 nm from the aerodrome
The second is LGL335 is a F50  this pilot likes to 'pushit' a bit  he is descending to FL 140 , presently at 150 making TAS=242 reporting IAS=193
Can we identify a relation between IAS and TAS due to Flight Level ? The general relation considered is 'linear' obeying to the general format : TAS = IAS + C x FL , where C is a coefficient to define . From the first relation we get : C1 = (242193)/150 = 0.32 and from the second C2 = (189165)/90=0.26 . Yes , the relation is not a steady one but if we think of an "average" of 0.30 for simplicity then we have an easy way of calculating quickly the speed effect . So :
TAS = IAS + 0.3 ( or 30%) x FL (unit is Knots) [1]
The controller has a tendency to impose same IAS in order to avoid the speed effect on separation . In this case the Speed Differential ( SD = TAS1  TAS2 ) becomes important , where if IAS are the same then the speed difference between traffic  mainly succeeding  it is actually :
SD = TAS1  TAS2 = 0.3 x (FL1  FL2)  on same IAS [2]
So practically a 1/3 of FL becomes the speed difference . For say a difference of some 2000 ft , this is 20/3 = 6 knots or a difference of 6 knots / 60 = 1/10 of nm per minute !! Really nothing ! It is obvious from the above relation that on the final with succeeding arrivals then equal IAS produce a practically zero SD . Therefore at this phase IAS control does everything !
Succeeding Traffic on final with same IAS do not loose separation due to speed
Separation reduction due to Speed Differential
What if the IAS are not maintained the same ? Then :
SD = TAS1  TAS2 = (IAS1IAS2) + 0.3 x (FL1  FL2)  on IAS1<>IAS2 [3]
For an easy reference remember that a difference of 60 Kt loses 1 nm of separation per minute . If you assume that from the time between the first aircraft on sequence is aligned on the Localiser about 12 nm from the aerodrome until it lands is an average of 45 minutes , then this is how many nm of separation you'll loose at the end
See an example here :
The FBBGN is an AT42 about 15 nm from a/d TAS=160 , IAS = 146 . The second behind LGL1801 is a B735 on TAS=297, IAS=260 at 30 nm from a/d . Both a straight in not in a critical situation we do not ask any speed adjustment . How much will the separation be when FBBGN is landing ?
Think :
A FL differential is now about 117058=059 ~ 60 ; 1/3 of 60 = 20 Kt and this is due to FL only
The IAS differential is 260146=114 at present . The B735 will reduce further on ILS to about 200 so an average differential should be (260+200)/2  146 = 230  146 ~ 80 Kt
The total differential should be about 80 + 20 = 100 Kt or roughly close to ' a loss of just less than 2 nm per minute separation '
FBBGN will need about 5 min to land so a total of something less than around 10 nm of separation reduction is expected
When FBBGN is half a mile from the RWY , the B735 is 7 nm behind him , on the simulator . We have lost 15  7 = 8 nm of the initial separation . At this time the AT42 has an IAS=135 and the B735 of 195 . You may note that the IAS difference alone would suggest something just below 5 nm of separation reduction , but ...it is more than that ! You may also note that the very exact calculation in the case above suggests with a 100 Kt differential in 5 min a separation reduction of :
100 nm/h * 5 min / 60 min/h = 8.33 nm !!! Our model has a remarkable precision !!
How to increase / decrease or adjust the separation using IAS changes ? Well ...have a look at our next chapter
Speed Separation adjustment on same point converging traffic
This case is especially useful to the 'feeder' sectors ( APP or Lower ACC ) that deliver approaching traffic at same level but separated by a steady distance . Traffic enters from the upper sectors usually at FL 240 at various separations from a given point ( IAF or hand over fix ) and after some distance of about 3040 NM they must reach a level like FL 140 but all having a spacing of some , say 510 NM between them . For 'feeder' sectors from only one direction usually 10 NM are demanded as there are other feeders from other points delivering traffic to the APP ILSsequencer
The real 'difference' here is that most of traffic follow simultaneous descends and there is practically no FL difference  except if aircraft types are incompatible in speed . It remains therefore to see how much one could increase the separation by using the IAS changes .
If in [3] , FL1 = FL2 then the IAS difference IAS1  IAS2 does the whole job . For jets these IAS values vary between 280 to 350 Kt ( at FL = 240 that makes about a TAS of 360 to 420 Kt ) . At those TAS the distance per minute ( have a look at the speed vectors ) is 67 NM and a distance of 3040 NM is covered in about 6 minutes !
So if at average the trajectory is 6 min the time of the speed reduction should be around 5 min as no pilot would immediately cut down the speed . To make it more simple we assume 5 min available for speed reduction in all cases and then we ask how many NM of separation could we achieve at a given IAS difference . The answer is given by the :
Additional separation increase in NM = ( IAS1  IAS2 Kt ) x 5 / 60 ~ 0.1 * ( IAS1  IAS2 Kt ) [4]
So it is practically the 1 / 10 of the IAS difference , or :
the IAS difference is 10 times the required separation !!
in favor of the slower ahead  no doubt !
Example 1 : A B733 reports IAS=320 and the succeeding A320 reports IAS=340 . Present separation to hand over fix is 7 NM , what reduction can we suggest to achieve the additional 3 NM ?
To get additional separation of 3 we need 30 Kt IAS difference . We may ask the B733 to increase to 330 and the A320 to reduce to 300 . It is better to divide the speed adjustment if we can .
Example 2 : A CARJ reports IAS=290 and the succeeding B762 reports IAS=360 . Present separation to hand over fix is 5 NM , what reduction can we suggest to achieve the additional 5 NM ?
To get additional separation of 5 we need 50 Kt difference with the B762 as slower !! We may ask the CARJ to increase to 320 but then the B762 should reduce to 270 , a very hard situation for a B762 at this point ! We may improve it : The CARJ pilot can increase to 340 , practically close to its maximum so that the B762 will only reduce to 290
Example 3 : On final about 15 NM from RWY aircraft are on ILS ( at below 5000 feet ) . A F50 reports IAS=150 and the succeeding A320 reports IAS=180 . Present separation is 4 NM we want to make them 5 . We need another 1 NM of separation therefore 10 IAS difference less for the jet behind for whom the less than 150 is already near stalling speed . We ask the F50 to keep up 180 Kt and suggest 170 Kt to the A320 .
Note : considering the altitude difference is always safer to adjust further by 5 Kt , so I would have asked the F50 to make 185 . The reason is that overall the 1/3 of FL difference does give some value around 510 Kt in TAS .
Example 4 : A AT42 reports IAS=210 and the succeeding A320 reports IAS=340 . Present separation to hand over fix is 6 NM , what reduction can we suggest to achieve the additional 4 NM ?
Well ...we need a difference of 40 with the A320 as ..slower ! The AT42 may increase but no more than about 240 , in which case the A320 should do ...200 Kt !!! The A320 will probably reply Negative ! to such a request . The answer is ...the APP can not receive this situation with 10 NM . If the tracks are wide and allow some vectoring then we may get few miles but then only near the ILS we may force the A320 to accept something like 200 Kt or less . It is good to try to coordinate another type of spacing