The European GNSS Agency (GSA) together with air traffic management organization EUROCONTROL jointly held the 16th meeting of the RNP Approach Implementation Support Group (RAISG) together with the Aviation Grants program workshop at the GSA’s Prague headquarters.
The two-day meeting last month featured an interesting blend of presentations and roundtable discussions focused on required navigation performance (RNP) approach implementation and sharing experience and project implementation of different GSA co-funded aviation projects fostering EGNOS adoption in aviation. As of March 2019, 617 EGNOS-based approach procedures are operational at 326 airports in 23 countries, of which 324 procedures are localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) and 169 are LPV-200, according to a GSA press release.
The meeting, which was organized within the context of a Framework Partnership Agreement between EUROCONTROL and the GSA, attracted 90 participants from various backgrounds, including National Air Navigation Service Providers and authorities, civil and military aircraft operators, pilots, international aviation associations, equipment manufacturers and rotorcraft.
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The first day of the meeting was devoted to the Aviation Grant Programme, the GSA’s funding tool designed to foster EGNOS adoption in aviation. Through the various success stories of GSA-funded projects, the participants had the opportunity to exchange best practices, discuss the specificities of RNP approach implementation in different countries and equipping the European fleet with EGNOS.
The GSA established its Aviation Grants Programme in 2014 to promote EGNOS operational implementation and stimulate EGNOS adoption in aviation. There was a significant increase in demand from applicants in the last call and, so far, it has awarded 42 projects with a total budget of EUR 22 million, or about $24.55 million.
Thanks to the Programme, more than 100 LPV procedures have been implemented and more than 50 EGNOS-enabled aircraft are operating in Europe. The GSA stated the Grants Programme will soon be responsible for an additional 60 EGNOS-based LPV approaches at European airports and another 70 EGNOS-equipped aircraft (including 20 rotorcraft), thereby making a significant contribution to increasing safety and accessibility in the aviation sector and boosting the EGNOS-based network in Europe.
Since 2014, EUROCONTROL and the GSA have worked together to develop advanced systems and operations for aviation-based space technology, contributing jointly to Europe’s GNSS policies. In particular, they are focused on improving airport accessibility, aviation efficiency and air traffic management capacity, while also reducing safety risks. “The success of the previous RAISG meeting in Prague in 2016 encouraged us to renew this organization as part of our collaboration with EUROCONTROL,” said Fiammetta Diani, GSA Head of Market Development.
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As part of the agreement, EUROCONTROL and the GSA also aim to coordinate aviation research and development (R&D), standardize aviation regulations and monitor aviation-specific GNSS performance, while supporting the uptake of EGNSS for aviation at the international level. In addition, in July 2018, the European Commission (EC) published the PBN regulation, mandating RNP approaches to all instrument runway ends with two milestones: 2020 and 2024. These approaches will implement the three minima (LNAV, LNAV/VNAV and LPV), so there will be EGNOS approaches in all airports by that date, according to the GSA , which is working with the EC, EUROCONTROL, EASA and SDM to facilitate implementation in airports and aircraft.