ESSP and Danish Air Navigation Service Provider Naviair 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 the different Danish airports.
The agreement was sealed last July 2nd by Thierry Racaud, ESSP CEO, and Claus Skjaerbaek, Naviair Chief Operating Officer (COO).
The signature of an EGNOS Working Agreement establishes the operational and legal framework to use the EGNOS Safety-of-Life Service as navigation aid between the EGNOS Service Provider – ESSP - and the Airport / Navigation Entity willing to use this service. The EWA is the prior step to the publication of APV-1 SBAS approaches that offer similar performance to ILS CAT 1.
Aarhus Airport, in North-west Denmark, is planning to publish one of the first LPV procedures (EGNOS- based) in the next months.
Thierry Racaud, ESSP CEO said “From now on airports in Denmark can benefit from the publication of EGNOS-based procedures that will improve airplanes approach performance and accessibility, especially in case of bad weather conditions”.
From Naviair, COO Claus Skjaerbaek said ”The agreement between ESSP and Naviair enables Danish Airports to establish and operate EGNOS based approach procedures (LPV procedures) which will give airports increased possibilities to maintain continuous and safe operations".
ESSP and Storuman 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 Swedish aerodrome.
EGNOS provides a cost effective alternative to ILS CAT I, offering similar performance, and increasing safety by allowing Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) approaches via APV-1 SBAS approaches; in particular at difficult locations or under degraded meteorological conditions where previously only NPA approaches were possible.
Thierry Racaud, ESSP CEO said “we are happy to have a new member in the EGNOS family. From now on the Storuman Airport can benefit from the publication of EGNOS-based procedures that will improve the airport performance and accessibility, as done in several other European aerodromes”.
From Storuman Airport, Ivan Forsman informed that they are planning to publish an EGNOS-based approach procedure at the end of the current year, which should provide better minima to one of the runways. Actually, the aerodrome just relies in one ILS installed at RWY 33.
In the frame of the EU MEDUSA project, ESSP actively participated in the final event on GNSS for Aviation held in Tunis, June 4th, to support the potential use of EGNOS SoL Service in Civil Aviation applications beyond the European Union and specifically in the EuroMed region.
Hosted by GEMCO (Galileo EuroMed Cooperation Office), the event presented the results of the activity carried out by MEDUSA last months in the aviation field, sharing the lessons learnt with the aviation communities from the Euromed countries, and mainly around the flight trials conducted of GNSS approaches designed for the airport of Monastir (Tunisia), making use of the EGNOS coverage available in the Northern fringe of the country.
Conducted by OACA (Office de l'Aviation Civile et des Aéroports), the Tunisian Air Navigation Service Provider, with the support of European experts (from Telespazio, ENAV , Helios, Ineco and ESSP), this event means a pioneer experience for LPV approach procedures implementation in the MEDA region.
ESSP was represented by Francisco Javier de Blas, who gave a full explanation on the role of the ESSP as EGNOS Services Provider and the existing framework for the implementation of EGNOS based operations in civil aviation.
Through its achievements, MEDUSA is making a breakthrough for the introduction of EGNOS Safety of Life service in North Africa and Middle-East region.
The message coming from the 14th annual European Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition (EBACE) – the annual meeting and exhibition of the European business aviation sector – was clear: business aviation needs EGNOS. This is because the sector’s value lies in convenience, and to be convenient, business aviation demands access to airports.
Currently, many business aircraft are not specifically catered to by existing Air Traffic Management systems (ATM) and thus unable to utilize key airports. This is particularly true as Europe’s skies become increasingly crowded, meaning smaller airports are being pressured to make themselves available. In order to be available, these small and regional airports cannot rely solely on non-precision approaches.
And this is where EGNOS comes in!
Many of these small and medium sized airports lack the high-tech equipment found in commercial airports. For example, ILS navigation aids are often limited or simply nonexistent, increasing the risk of a flight diversion. However, EGNOS-based approaches (i.e. APV approaches based on SBAS or LPV approaches) do not require ground equipment. By next year, EGNOS will allow for SBAS CAT 1 approaches, allowing for a 200 foot decision height, which is comparable to what is available via ILS Cat 1, without the need for expensive ground equipment.
This is a message that the European GNSS Agency (GSA) and ESSP, the EGNOS Services Provider, were discussing with the business aviation sector during EBACE. Both entities had numerous one-on-one meetings with such operators as Jet Aviation, NetJets and the Flying Group and manufacturers as Gulfstream, Bell Helicopters, Textron Aviation, Piaggio, DAHER-SOCATA, Airbus, AgustaWestland, Bombardier, Eclipse, Dassault, HondaJet, Embraer, Pilatus and Boeing Business Jets. The purpose of these discussions was to find out the SBAS forward fitting possibilities of their new aircraft fleet and the retrofitting opportunities for the older ones.
“We’re interested in understanding whether the new business aircraft models come with SBAS capabilities by default or whether they have to be ordered by the operator as an option, or service bulletin,” said Alejandro Fransoy, Marketing and Promotion Expert, ESSP. “For the models no longer in production, we also inquired about the available retrofitting options.”
What became apparent from these conversations was that most new business aircraft are SBAS equipped by default. “This is very good news as it means operators can start using the already published LPV procedures immediately,” said Gian Gherado Calini, Head of Market Development, GSA. “However, there is the ongoing challenge that individual operators are still required to obtain the operational approval from the authority where the aircraft is registered in order to be able to perform these types of approaches.”
EGNOS is There, Use It
Another positive outcome coming from EBACE is that the GSA and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) agreed to form a partnership with the specific purpose of facilitating this enhanced use of EGNOS within the business aviation sector.
As a result of partnerships like this and the GSA and ESSP’s ongoing work with the business aviation sector, today many small and medium sized airports are using EGNOS. Today more than 100 airports are benefitting from EGNOS and more than 400 runways plan to use EGNOS-enabled approaches by 2018.
ESSP has just signed an EGNOS Working Agreement (EWA) with a British ANSP: Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (operating Cambridge International Airport).
The EGNOS Working Agreement formalizes the working procedures and required interfaces between ESSP as the EGNOS Service Provider, and the ANSP for the publication of EGNOS- based operations (LPV approach procedures) at their local airports.
EGNOS provides a cost effective alternative equivalent to ILS CAT I, offering similar performance yet without the need for infrastructure installation and maintenance. It is a very valuable navigation aid mainly to small and medium-size airports, increasing safety and accessibility to those aerodromes.
On top of that, the use of EGNOS is free of charge.
“We are delighted to become part of the growing list of EGNOS users; this is a significant part of the development of Cambridge International Airport and will ensure we remain competitive with the latest emerging technologies to provide the best possible level of service for our customers”, as stated by Ian Rogers, Cambridge Airport Safety Manager.
EGNOS procedures are already in place in 105 European airports. Alderney Airport, in the Channel Islands, is the pioneer one in the UK, using EGNOS LPV approaches since December 2011.
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