Helicopter RNP 0.3 routes
Since last December, the Helicopter RNP 0.3 routes based on EGNOS are displayed in the LPV Procedures Map with their associated waypoints and the list of operators using them.
Required Navigation Performance (RNP) refers to the level of performance required for a specific procedure or a specific block of airspace. It is a type of performance-based navigation (PBN) which allows an aircraft to fly a specific path between two 3D-defined points in space.
Particularly, RNP 0.3 means that the lateral navigation accuracy of the helicopters must be within ± 0.3 NM (Nautical Miles) for at least 95% of the flight time.
The aircraft must have both airworthiness and operational approval for RNP 0.3. A typical RNP-compliant installation would at least consist of FMS (Flight Management System) equipment with GNSS sensor meeting ETSO-C146 (SBAS).
The first set of operational routes has been implemented in Switzerland, being the Swiss Air Force and REGA (HEMS Operator) the users of these procedures.
The new routes provide a huge advantage in terms of airports/heliports connectivity and accessibility, as the operators do not have to cancel their operations in case of adverse meteorological conditions.
It is expected that in the future RNP 0.3 routes will become more common throughout Europe, as new approaches are planned to be implemented.