The increasing popularity of EGNOS LPV-200 approach procedures as a cost effective and safe alternative for CAT I capability is attracting support from major aircraft manufacturers in an effort to help European airports replace expensive nav-aid infrastructure.
May saw the first LPV-200 approaches implemented at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport following the publication of the EGNOS – European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service – based approaches. EGNOS is owned by the European Union and managed by the European GNSS Agency.
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LPV-200 allows for lateral and angular vertical guidance during the Final Approach Segment without requiring visual contact with the ground a Decision Height down to 200 feet above the runway. As such it allows European airports to implement the most demanding PBN operations as defined by ICAO, explained Thierry Racaud, chief executive of ESSP which is the EGNOS service provider under contract with the GSA.
The first LPV 200 landing on runway 26L at Charles de Gaulle airport was flown by a ATR 42-600, a Dassault Falcon 2000 and a Airbus A350 test aircraft with positive pilot feedback.
“The LPV system is much more stable and more reliable in terms of safety, but also more efficient than the ILS approach. It really makes a difference,” said Eric Delesalle, ATR chief pilot.
“Lowering the LPV minima down to 200ft in Europe is a great improvement enabled by EGNOS, and is very valuable for business aviation operations,” said Jean-Louis Dumas, Dassault flight test pilot.
Airbus Experimental Test Pilot, Jean- Christophe Lair, landing with the A350 said, “Airbus is pleased to have demonstrated that the A350 XWB complies with the new RNAV (GNSS) approaches with satellite-based augmentation, as implemented at Paris Charles de Gaulle. These approaches will be a valuable backup to the airport’s traditional ILS approaches and will maximise runway availability for the A350 by maintaining CAT1 capability, down to 200ft decision height, even when the ILS ground station is not available.”
Racaud explained that although SBAS is an option on the A350 – together with GBAS – most of A350 customers have purchased the SBAS option and there are ongoing discussions over considering offering SBAS on the smaller A320 aircraft type.
DSNA, the French air navigation service provider, pioneered these EU co-financed procedures after the GSA declared the service operational last September. Maurice Georges, DSNA chief executive, said he was convinced that SBAS is a fundamental technology to modernise France’s navigation infrastructure. “Following this first implementation, LPV-200 approach procedures will be progressively deployed over our IFR runway-ends network,” he said.
The GSA is confirming that the launch of the first LPV-200 procedure at an international hub such as Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport paves the way for the publication of additional LPV-200 procedures at other European airports. Vienna international airport will soon publish its LPV-200 procedure thanks to a DLR project funded under the 1st GSA Aviation Call for grants.
Racaud also reported that countries in north Africa are considering using EGNOS services and are currently in discussion with the European Commission. Central African countries led by ASECNA are also understood to be considering operating their own EGNOS-based system. “Discussions are on-going between the EC and ASECNA” said Racaud.