Honeywell’s GBAS debuts at Bremen

The satellite-based precision approach system GBAS (Ground Based Augmentation System) has received the German type certification as a primary landing system by the Federal Supervisory Authority for Air Navigation Services (BAF).
It may now be used independently of the instrument landing system (ILS) which has been is use for decades for instrument flights.
At Bremen Airport, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung will be the first air navigation service provider in the world to operate GBAS for CAT I precision approaches for regular air services. GBAS provides digital guidance for precision approaches using a Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS).
The system boosts the accuracy and integrity of GPS by transmitting corrections to the aircraft. Currently, GBAS is being installed at airports as a supplement to ILS. In the future, GBAS will replace ILS when all aircraft are equipped with the appropriate on-board receivers. The system offers a large number of advantages compared to ILS.
Firstly, weather and obstacles have no negative impact on the system. Secondly, the equipment does not need to be surrounded by a protected area to prevent possible interference by taxiing aircraft at the airport.
Furthermore, up to 26 arrivals, destined for various runways, can be supported by just one GBAS station. On top of that, the system does not need to be checked by flight inspection as often as an ILS system. This makes it much more cost-effective, both in purchase price and maintenance costs.
DFS has been working on pilot projects in Munich and Frankfurt testing this type of GPS technology since the mid-1990s.
The GBAS station in Bremen, built by the company Honeywell, has been used in test operations since 2008 with the two airlines TUIfly and Air Berlin under instrument meteorological conditions down to minimum descent altitude.
Air Berlin has already received approval for unlimited use of the GBAS system for its Boeing 737 next-generation fleet under CAT I meteorological conditions. By the middle of the decade, certification for GBAS operations under all-weather operations (CAT II and CAT III) is expected.

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