Kishangarh: Airports Authority of India (AAI) today successfully conducted a light trial using GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation)-based LPV Approach Procedures, making the country the first in the Asia Pacific to achieve the landmark.
Indigo Airlines using its ATR aircraft has flown an Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) with LPV minima of 250 feet, using GAGAN Service. Lowering the decision height up to 250 feet provides a substantial operational benefit in poor weather and low visibility conditions. Thus, any airport which hitherto would require higher visibility minima will be able to accept aircraft benefitting remote airports which are devoid of precision approach capability equipment.
LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) is a Satellite-Based Procedure which has been used by the aircraft for landing purpose today at Kishangarh Airport. It is a satellite-based procedure, that permits aircraft guided approaches without the need for ground-based navigational infrastructure. The service relies on the availability of GPS and GAGAN Geo Stationary Satellites (GSAT-8, GSAT-10 and GSAT-15), launched by ISRO. LPV approaches make it possible to land at many small regional and local airports not equipped with expensive Instrument Landing Systems.
The tests at Kishangarh Airport in Rajasthan were performed as part of initial GAGAN LPV flight trials along with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation team on- board. After the final approval by DGCA, the procedure will be available for the usage of commercial flights.
GAGAN is an Indian Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) jointly developed by AAI and ISRO. It is the first such system developed for India and neighbouring countries in the equatorial region.
There are only four Space-Based augmentation systems available in the world namely India (GAGAN), the US (WAAS), Europe (EGNOS), and Japan (MSAS).
GAGAN System was certified by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2015 for Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV 1) and en-route (RNP 0.1) operations.
A number of airports including airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) are being surveyed for the development of GAGAN based LPV Instrument Approach Procedures so that suitably equipped aircraft can derive maximum benefit in terms of improved safety during landing, reduction in fuel consumption, reduction in delays, diversions and cancellations etc.
AAI in coordination with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has implemented GAGAN Message Service (GMS) through which alert messages to fishermen, formers, and disaster-affected people will be sent on the occurrence of natural disasters, calamities, such as flood, earthquake etc. The additional capabilities of GAGAN are also being explored to utilize it in non-aviation fields such as Railways, Surveying, Agriculture, Power sector, Mining etc.
Design of GAGAN procedures requires a meticulous survey of the airport environment surroundings and obstacle surfaces. These data are correlated with the complex aircraft approach manoeuvres and further simulated in software to ensure the safety of the procedure designed. These procedures can be developed for any of the airports in India for landing without the help of an Instrument Landing System. These types of procedures make aircraft land in low visibility conditions almost equivalent to Category-1 Instrument Landing System (ILS).
Currently Indigo (35), SpiceJet (21), Air India (15), Go First (04), Air Asia (01) and other airlines have aircraft in their fleet capable to use these LPV procedures. Airports Authority of India has developed 22 such procedures and some are under the process of approval from DGCA for commercial flight operations. Development of LPV procedures for all civil airports is also in progress to make the Indian civil aviation sector more self-reliant.
– global bihari bureau