The European GNSS Agency (GSA) was once again at the AERO International General Aviation Fair at Friedrichshafen, Germany emphasising the advantages that European GNSS can bring to all general aviation users and, effectively, changing the way they fly.
This 27th edition of the international aviation exhibition saw a record number of visitors with over 32 000 attendees from around the world. The GSA was present with a stand in the main exhibition hall and contributed a number of presentations to capacity audiences.
The GSA’s first speaking contribution was as part of the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) update session on its roadmap for general aviation. The session outlined the achievements of the General Aviation Roadmap so far, and described the exciting activities ahead to develop the next phase: the EASA GA Roadmap 2.0.
Recently appointed EASA Certification Director Rachel Daeschler and a range of speakers from the European Commission and other stakeholders presented the latest successes and the path forward. EASA underlined its continued commitment to making general aviation easier and safer by embracing innovation and affordability. EASA’s new Basic Regulation for General Aviation, adopted last year, allows for much greater flexibility across the sector.
EGNOS increasing safety for general aviation
Katerina Strelcova from the GSA described the Agency’s work on the development of safety promotional material on the implementation of GNSS-based Instrument Flight Procedures (IFP) for General Aviation. This was coordinated by EASA and other stakeholders and is intended to be published under the EASA Safety Promotion – Safety Together initiative. This document provides an assessment of the existing regulatory framework and a complete analysis of current enablers, and shares best practices that can facilitate implementation of IFP.
Satellite technologies, such as EGNOS, can in effect implement an instrument approach to a small field. Bringing more IFP into general aviation will increase safety in Europe, which is the ultimate objective of EASA. The document will be available soon and should be considered as an initial step, with further and fuller guidance in the pipeline, including on how to tackle specific areas of implementation.
Changing how we fly
In addition to the contribution to the EASA event, the GSA organised a dedicated session on satellite navigation for general aviation on 12 April that attracted a full room of participants.
The current status of European GNSS (EGNOS and Galileo), how it is contributing to landing, surveillance and Search and Rescue operations, and actions targeting every aviation user were highlighted at the session. Easier access to instrument flight rules for general aviation through the use of EGNOS and localiser performance with vertical guidance (LPV) was described by Julian Scarfe, deputy chairman of PPL/IR – Europe, the leading group for private pilots across Europe interested in instrument flying. He said: "Today we have EGNOS that can enable vertical approaches to non-instrument runways. The GSA is running a project to enable this. This will change the way we fly."
Other speakers in the session were Martin Robinson, CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), who described aircraft tracking for general aviation and Philip Church, director of engineering consultancy Helios, who talked about ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast), a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position using satellite navigation technologies and periodically broadcasts its location, thereby enabling accurate tracking.
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