For the first time in Europe a commercial scheduled airline is using an EGNOS based LPV procedure for landing.
From December 21st, the Trislander aircraft operated by Aurigny Air Services, a regional airline operating connection flights between the Channel Islands and the UK and France can use EGNOS when approaching the runways.
This is possible after the publication past December 7th of two EGNOS based LPV approach procedures (RNAV GNSS approach to LPV minima) at Alderney Airport (EGJA), the only airport on the island of Alderney in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, a British Crown dependency in the Channel Islands.
The activities leading to the publication of these LPV procedures were undertaken by a consortium led by NATS, the UK main Air Navigation Service Provider, and they are part of a European project partially funded by the European Commission and EUROCONTROL.
"EGNOS technology is a major step towards equipping airfields to operate safely in inclement conditions" said David Pole, NATS Project Manager and GNSS Systems Engineer. "It's a cost effective solution for smaller airfields that need the accuracy and reliability of an instrument landing system. Not only does EGNOS improve the regularity of flight services it also offers reductions in both pilot and controller workload".
The main advantage of this kind of EGNOS based procedures is to enable approaches equivalent to ILS approaches (potentially down to 250 ft minima at some runways) with a limited ground infrastructure. Thanks to EGNOS, the Alderney airport will now benefit from an approach with vertical guidance which increases the safety and accessibility compared to non precision approach (NPA) procedures. This LPV approach procedure complements the 2 NPA procedures based on NDB and the 2 recent procedures based on GPS (RNAV GNSS approach to LNAV minima) published in the airport.
So far France and Switzerland have published also LPV procedures. In Germany, as of December 17th, 35 airports are also using EGNOS within their RNAV procedures.
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