Even though the General Aviation (GA) community undertakes millions of flights on aircraft equipped with GNSS-receivers, it is not taking full advantage of the technology. It is a priority of the European GNSS Agency (GSA) to support GA by facilitating instrument procedures with EGNOS. As a first step the GSA has identified enablers and blocking points along with aviation stakeholders and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
There are currently 660 EGNOS procedures in Europe, most of which are at instrument runways. However, EGNOS can also support general and business aviation on non-instrument runways. The GSA has issued safety promotion material on GNSS-based Instrument Flight Procedures implementation for General Aviation, Uncontrolled Aerodromes and Non-Instrument Runways in an effort to address this and encourage a wider use of EGNOS in general aviation.
The materials draw together the current regulatory analysis supporting EGNOS operations, along with enablers and best practices to support implementation, open issues and, last but not least, use case examples to encourage national authorities to authorise these types of operations in their countries. This includes examples showcasing how these can be implemented at locations where there are currently visual flight rules only.
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This document is aligned with the EASA Roadmap for General Aviation, which identifies simpler, more proportional rules and operations that are cost efficient, flexible and based on existing best practices. It aims to provide a view on the current implementation enablers in different EU countries and highlights the results of EASA RMTs (Rule Making Tasks) which can be relevant for the implementation of IFR for General Aviation.
“The General Aviation community undertakes millions of flights with aircraft equipped with GNSS-receivers without using the full capabilities of this new technology. By developing IFR procedures for situations where the ground infrastructure may not be present at the aerodrome it would enable GA pilots to plan A-to-B flights with more confidence of being able to complete them safely in changing weather conditions, which would have a positive impact on safety. EASA is extremely grateful to EGA for this collaborative effort,” said Dominique Roland, Head of General Aviation & Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems at EASA.
The document will be of interest to General Aviation community, aerodromes, and air traffic control staff and national authorities alike. Publication of this document aims to start a discussion within the General aviation community, trigger future pilot cases and obtain feedback to identify the tools that should be developed to support the implementation of the IFR procedures for general aviation.
“Engagement from the aviation community has been high - we received more than 320 comments from over 25 contributors, including civil aviation authorities, air navigation service providers and others during preparation of the document. The GSA would like to thank all the contributors and supporters of this initiative, as this support was fundamental to the development of the document,” said GSA head of Market Development department Fiammetta Diani. “Special thanks go to EASA, ESSP, PPL IR, AOPA, EBAA, Austro Control, DFS, IDRF, FOCA Swiss, the Swedish Transport Agency, Europe Air Sports and the European Regional Aerodromes Community,” she said.
Just the beginning
The document will be published as a Safety Promotion material under EASA’s Together4Safety Safety Promotion initiative. This initiative is a key enabler towards reaching the ultimate objectives of the EU Aviation Safety Management Strategy and contributes to the continuous improvement of aviation safety in Europe and worldwide, together with regulations and oversight.
Publication of the materials is just the beginning. The GSA is launching a network of pilot cases in 2020 to collect lessons learned and best practices to promote and support future implementation. It is also proof that GNSS/SBAS is ready to support many different types of operations, extending beyond the traditional scope or initial objectives that the technology was designed for. If you would like to be among first to implement LPV at a non-instrument runway, you are more than welcome!
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