Flight-testing at Toulouse, France, and Frankfurt, Germany, has proved that a reliable alternative to an ILS signal can be produced with a GNSS constellation and single-frequency input signal. Eurocontrol’s Sesar air traffic management research team worked with equipment manufacturers Thales, Indra-Navia, Honeywell and Thales Avionics using a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS). Further testing at both airports is expected to resume in the middle of next year.
When representatives from every world nation and every civil aviation organization gather at the triennial ICAO Assembly, topics on the agenda include current progress and issues as well as future challenges and potential solutions.
Any of the 6,000 helicopters that annually use the helipad at Eurocopter’s facility in Donauwörth, Germany, will now find arrivals easier in poor weather with the recent certification of a GPS localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approach to the pad, one of the few in Europe certified for all-weather operations.
In 2008 Donauwörth became the first European helipad to introduce satellite-based Rnav (area navigation) specifically for use by rotorcraft.
After several years of anticipation, the planned earth-girdling network of five global navigation satellite system (GNSS) constellations is taking tangible form in space. Two of them–America’s GPS and Russia’s Glonass–are already fully operational. Glonass reached that goal in 2009, joining the pioneering GPS, which achieved that status in the 1980s.
With the continuing strains on the U.S. national budget and the possibility that the Administration’s sequestration program could last for several more years, Pentagon planners are said to be worrying that the costs of the future GPS III system could become out of reach, despite its major advances and the need to have modernized replacement satellites ready to be deployed as the orbital lives of current satellites end.
Lockheed Martin has chosen CMC Electronics to provide a new flight management system (FMS) and GPS landing sensor for the avionics upgrade package it is producing for the U.S. Navy’s C-130T fleet.
It had always been ICAO’s intent that civil user services provided by the global navigation satellite system (GNSS) should be free of charges or user mandates, except for certain optional applications such as fee-bearing accuracy enhancements with performance guarantees. Europe’s Galileo is expected to offer such optional enhancements. But Russia has announced that it will mandate the carriage of receivers for its Glonass constellation in all aircraft on its civil aircraft register. GPS may also be used, but only when integrated with a Glonass receiver and its adjuncts.
Russia’s announcement before ICAO’s November Air Navigation Conference that it intends to mandate that all aircraft on the Russian civil register carry, by January 2018, that country’s Glonass system or combined Glonass/GPS equipment but not GPS or other foreign GNSS as a stand-alone system (see AIN, November, page 48) met resistance from the international community during the November gathering.
United Airlines and Honeywell celebrated a satellite navigation milestone September 28 when they received operational approval for a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS using Honeywell’s SmartPath SLS-4000) installed at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), clearing the way for United to begin regular passenger flights in the U.S. using this technology. United Airlines will primarily fly its GBAS capable Boeing 737-800 and -900 model aircraft into EWR. A United Boeing 787 Dreamliner also made its first GBAS landing at Newark on October 10.
Russia plans to announce this month that its civil aviation fleet will be required to carry Glonass, that nation’s GNSS, or combined Glonass/GPS units, but not GPS on its own. The mandate will be unveiled at this month’s triennial ICAO Air Navigation Conference, and it has significant cost implications for western-built corporate aircraft on the Russian register, all or most of which likely carry just GPS. Foreign-registered aircraft flying in Russian airspace would be exempt from the rule.
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