The World ATM Congress proves to be an ideal venue for EGNOS to engage with partners and to introduce airports and ANSPs to the benefits of Performance Based Navigation (PBN). An EGNOS dedicated workshop organised by the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and ESSP on 4th March brings together ANSPs and airports interested in operational implementation.
The theme of this year’s World ATM Congress, which took place in Madrid on 4 - 6 March 2014, was ‘Delivering the Future’. With a prominently placed stand at the Congress, EGNOS was clearly positioned as a service with a key role to play in the future of aviation in Europe.
Thierry Racaud, CEO at ESSP, which is the EGNOS service provider under a contract with the GSA, said that a lot of work remains to be done to promote the EGNOS service, which is what makes events like the World ATM Congress so important. “We have nearly 100 LPV approaches that have been certified, plus APV Baro authorised to be flown with EGNOS vertical guidance in several countries, and the idea now is to have more and more ANSPs and more and more airports using the system,” he said.
Hard work pays off as airports implement PBN
In his opening address at the EGNOS PBN Implementation Workshop, Mr Racaud said that the three years of hard work since the launch of the system had finally started to pay off, as localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) procedures are currently being implemented at European airports.
Noting that EGNOS is an integral part of the world-wide satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) scenario, GNSS Projects Development Manager at ESSP Javier de Blas said at the workshop that the goal of the EGNOS safety of life service is to support civil aviation by enabling the implementation of LPV approach procedures. He said that 17 EGNOS Working Agreements (EWA) had already been signed and 171 EGNOS-based approach procedures authorized.
De Blas said that this was just the beginning and an ambitious roadmap had been put in place to improve the service area, to improve the existing service levels, to increase the robustness of the system and to enhance the existing interfaces with users so they can make use of EGNOS services. .
The GSA’s Aviation Market Development Officer, Carmen Aguilera, outlined the initiatives in place to support LPV implementation. She said that the GSA is launching the implementation of the first LPV procedures in seven countries in 2014, as an exercise to gain the necessary competencies at national level, leading to a further plan for EGNOS adoption in the PBN plans. She said that support was being provided in the form of training, technical expertise and ad-hoc support meeting the needs of each specific scenario. A successful incentive scheme is set out t under the FP7 ACCEPTA project, co-funding LPV implementation to almost 80 runway ends and upgrading avionics on 44 aircraft. Further support is available to interested ANSPs and airports that request it, either in the form of technical assistance or cost benefit analysis to assess the feasibility of the investment.
The EGNOS PBN workshop provided an opportunity to recognize the efforts of some of the ANSPs and operators that have recently signed EWAs or published their first LPV procedures.
ANSPs excited about EGNOS
Award recipient Per Ingar Skaar, Director of Projects and Business Development at Norwegian airport operator Avinor, was emphatic about the benefits that EGNOS had to offer. He said that up to now his company had been using traditional systems, which were imprecise and expensive. Skar said that Avinor planned to implement full PBN coverage by 2016 and that EGNOS was an important element in this plan.
Within the Norwegian context, where there are many small airports providing crucial transport links to remote communities, he said that it is important to supply the next generation of navigation support, adding that this is what EGNOS provides. The implementation of the first LPV procedure at Rost airport is on its way, leveraging GSA support.
Daniel Schaad, Head of Procedure Design at Austrian ANSP Austro Control, said at the award ceremony that the LPV implementation had been an exciting process that had worked very well. He said that the main driver in Austria had been the general and executive aviation community, which the company sees as its main user base.
Noting that in some small regional airports it may be expedient to fully replace instrument landing systems (ILS) with LPV, he said that in most cases LPV would work alongside ILS as a complementary tool to enlarge the portfolio of approach procedures offered. The first LPV procedures in Austria are fully operational at Linz and Graz airports since January 2014 and were co-funded within the framework of the EU FP7 ACCEPTA project.
Matts-Anders Nybers, Head of Business Innovations, Air Navigation Services at Finnish airport operator Finavia paid particular attention to the business case for EGNOS-based LPV, as a solution that can help companies control costs. Instead of investing in traditional land-based equipment, he said that EGNOS provided the company with an opportunity to modernize its equipment at airports at a very low cost. Joensuu airport is the first case of LPV implementation in Finland, leveraging the GSA support via the EU co-funded FP7 ACCEPTA project.
Receiving a reward on behalf of Spanish ANSP AENA, Gonzalo Alonso, head of the company’s international division, said that AENA started flight demonstrations back in 2006 and seven years later, in 2013, it was able to start with the first procedures. He stressed that, now that the groundwork had been done, implementation of subsequent procedures would not take so long.
Carin Holtzrin-Kjellander, Senior ANS Advisor at Swedish ANSP LFV, said that her company’s priorities were to provide a safe, efficient, environmentally sustainable service while cooperating with others in the ATM sector, adding that EGNOS would help the company achieve these goals. She said that, following LPV implementation at Gothenburg airport, the pilot case implemented with GSA support, there were plans to engage 5-6 more airports in 2014 and approximately 10 more airports next year.
Looking to the future
Winding up the conference Alejandro Fransoy, an EGNOS marketing and promotion expert at ESSP, said that even though a lot of progress has been made, that there is still a need to boost LPV implementation adoption. He said that ESSP plans to conduct a thorough analysis of the current situation - not just with LPV implementation, but also the overall PBN implementation plan in different countries, in order to identify the various gaps and support needs, and actions required to address these.
Furthermore, a set comprehensive technical awareness and guidance materials will be made available for both ANSPs and operators, especially newcomers, in order to facilitate the implementation process and ensure the wider uptake and use of EGNOS services throughout Europe.
Please click here to download the Workshop Presentation
ESSP and London Southend Airport have recently signed an EGNOS Working Agreement (EWA) as a key step for the implementation of EGNOS-based approach procedures (LPV procedures) to be used at this aerodrome.
From now on, this British ANSP can publish EGNOS-based procedures that will improve safety, accessibility and efficiency to pilots and operators flying to London Southend Airport.
EGNOS provides a cost effective alternative to ILS CAT I, offering similar performance, and increasing safety by allowing Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) approaches at difficult locations or under meteorological conditions where previously such approaches were not possible due to safety concerns.
On top of that, the use of EGNOS is free of charge.
EGNOS procedures are already in place in many European airports. Alderney Airport in the Channel Islands is the pioneer in the UK.
London Southend Airport handled over 31,000 movements last year, ranging in size from light aircraft up to B757. 970,167 passengers passed through the Essex airport between January and December 2013, making it the busiest year in the history of the airport.
The Airport ‘s Operations Director David Lister commented: “The introduction of LPV approaches, complementing the LNAV and VNAV approaches shortly to be introduced at London Southend means that the airport will have a range of instrument approaches available to operators, assuring continued operations in all but the most severe weather conditions, even if the Category I ILS is out of service.”
It is expected that the new approaches will be published and available from the middle of 2014.
MEDUSA’s team led by Telespazio and composed by ENAV, OACA, INECO and Helios, have validated EGNOS-based approach procedures designed by the project for the airport of Monastir in Tunisia.
Only a few months after partial EGNOS coverage availability in North Africa, the validation flights campaign was carried out with the support of ESSP, the EGNOS Services Provider, which has performed the EGNOS’s feasibility assessment.
This activity is part of MEDUSA’s assistance actions programme for promoting the use of satellite navigation in the Euromed countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia).
In parallel, MEDUSA is also aiding the Tunisian competent authorities in the future publication of the validated procedures and in the process for the operational adoption of GNSS in aviation.
The results of these assistance actions will be presented during a public workshop organized by MEDUSA and hosted by GEMCO (Galileo Euromed Cooperation Office) in Tunis on the 4th of June 2014.
MEDUSA - MEDiterranean follow-Up for EGNOS Adoption
Contact MEDUSA at firstname.lastname@example.org
As of January 2014, flight operators can utilise EGNOS approach procedures in the Czech Republic, Austria and Finland.
In the Czech Republic, operators will benefit from LPV (Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance) approaches in two runway ends at both Brno and Ostrava airports. The Czech Civil Aviation Authority recently approved also the possibility for operators to use EGNOS vertical guidance with Baro-VNAV procedures, which means that four runway ends at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague will benefit from EGNOS. Design of Baro and LPV procedures for Karlovy Vary Airport is also underway, leveraging the experience at the pioneer airports.
Austria has long been an enthusiastic supporter of EGNOS, and today LPV approach procedures are operational at Linz and Graz airports. “We are pleased to be an early user of the innovative potential of EGNOS,” says Andreas Schallgruber, Head of ATM Operations, AustroControl. “Providing satellite-based augmentation system procedures further augments our excellent service levels and customer relations.” In the near future it is planned to implement additional procedures at other Austrian airports to benefit from EGNOS. Thanks to the experience gained during the implementation at these airports, AustroControl will be able to maintain its pioneer role in publishing innovative satellite-based approach procedures.
The implementation of EGNOS procedures at Finland’s Joensuu Airport was launched in December 2013, shortly after the EGNOS Working Agreement signature between ESSP and Finavia - Finland's Air Navigation Services Provider.
The implementation of these new LPV approaches has been enabled by the EU-funded project ACCEPTA : Accelerating EGNOS Adoption in Aviation. ACCEPTA aims to procure a wide-scale, real-life adoption of EGNOS-enabled LPV approaches across Europe in areas where the EGNOS signal is available and certified.
ESSP as the EGNOS Services Provider has played an important role within ACCEPTA, supporting the different partners in their way of procedures implementation through feasibility studies and supporting them on the Regulation framework.The project targets 8 airports in 5 European countries.
Two new Scandinavian ANSPs have just signed the EGNOS Working Agreement (EWA) with ESSP: they are LFV, from Sweden and Avinor, from Norway.
The EGNOS Working Agreement formalizes the operational and technical modalities between ESSP, the EGNOS service provider, and each Air Navigation Services Provider, in order to support the gradual introduction and use of EGNOS LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance) approaches into the airports under their management.
From now on, both ANSP can start designing and publishing EGNOS-based procedures that will improve safety, accessibility and efficiency to pilots and operators at their local airports; as done in many other European countries.
EGNOS provides a cost effective alternative to ILS CAT I, offering similar performance, and it is free!.
The signature was sealed mid December 2013 by ESSP President Dirk Werquin and LFV Director of ATM Production, Anna Helena Wåhlin, who explained "The agreement on precision navigation with satellite data from EGNOS is an important step for air navigation services. We expect to be able to take the new technology into use sometime in the summer".
From Avinor's side, it was its ANS CEO, Anders Kirsebom, the one to sign the Agreement.
“We are very pleased with this contract, and look forward to implement the technology on our airports in the years to come. Improving safety and efficiency on our airports will be of great benefit to our customer” said Avinor Project Manager, Alexander Løvar.
The Board of ESSP has appointed a new Chief Executive. He is Thierry Racaud, currently Vice President at CapGemini AeroSpace & Defence, based in Toulouse. Thierry will take up his appointment in early 2014 and succeeds Dirk Werquin who is leaving ESSP at the end of 2013 after 7 successful years with both ESSP SAS and its predecessor ESSP EEIG.
Anne Lambert, Chair of ESSP’s Board of Directors, said “I am very pleased to announce Thierry’s appointment as ESSP’s new Chief Executive. Thierry has extensive experience and knowledge of the sector and will bring a strong commercial background to ESSP. The Board is confident he has the skills and attributes to ensure ESSP continues to provide a first class service to its customers, and to be a leading player in broadening and deepening EGNOS use.”
She added "Dirk Werquin leaves ESSP with a strong record of progress and achievement. He has led ESSP SAS from its start in 2009, through its certification as an ANSP, to the launch of the EGNOS Safety of Life Service for Aviation and to ESSP’s selection as the service provider for the next contract with the GSA which starts on 1 January 2014. The Board wishes him well."
Thierry Racaud said “Being passionate about aviation and space, I am very proud to be joining ESSP as Chief Executive, to lead the expansion of its business coverage while continuously excelling in the provision of EGNOS services”.
Thierry Racaud – Biography:
Holder of an engineering degree, Thierry Racaud spent 10 years in EADS Astrium (former Matra Marconi Space) as a program manager for mission critical ground segments (ESA Ariane5, export satcom ground stations and French MoD systems).
He then joined Capgemini in Toulouse in 2000 where he held various management and business development positions for space, aeronautics, air traffic management and defence activities in Europe. He was Vice President of Capgemini AeroSpace & Defence and member of its executive committee.