SESAR partners on Greek island PBN

Airbus, HCAA and Novair have conducted a successful flight trial on Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures in Corfu, Iraklion and Santorini, a key milestone in the two-year RISE project which will help Greece improve airport access and enhance operations.

To enhance safety, improve flight efficiency and airport accessibility, Airbus ProSky and its partners launched the RISE project (Required Navigation Performance Implementation Synchronised in Europe) throughout southern Europe, including Greece, last fall. Without relying on the ground navigation infrastructure, these procedures will result in shorter tracks and track miles savings as well as continuous descent operations.

Co-financed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, the RISE project, with its partners, successfully ran the first flight trials with Novair’s Airbus A321 in Greece. In May, two RNP Approaches procedures to Corfu and Iraklion airports were successfully flown, followed by two RNP AR Approach Procedures to Santorini. In September, Novair also operated the RNP AR Approach at Santorini followed by RNP AR Approach at Gothenberg on the way back, a city pair flown in Europe with RNP AR at both airports, which increases accessibility among the city pairs.

Henrik Ekstrand, Novair captain remarked: “The RISE project and trials in Corfu, Iraklion and Santorini, Greece are very important to us. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with our fellow RISE stakeholders and the SESAR JU on this project. There are many benefits by using satellite-based navigation at these sites, leading to improved flight operation in terms of airport accessibility and efficiency.”

In advance of the demonstration flight, Airbus ProSky, in partnership with HCAA, intensively trained the controllers on the PBN procedures of all three airports. This prepared them for the trials as well as for future publication of the procedures to ensure the highest clearance rate.

Thomas Lagaillarde, Airbus ProSky general manager added, “The stakeholders of the projects and SESAR JU are very proud to support aviation projects in Greece. This project will allow more efficiency of flight operations and will set the standards for future implementation in this country.”

HCAA is anticipating a publication in the AIP of these procedures in the near future, to be accessible to the national and foreign aircraft operators.

In addition, more than 160 flight trials will be conducted in collaboration with the partner airlines and ANSPs through September 2016 at the following locations: Mykonos, Santorini (Greece), Nice, Ajaccio (France), Paphos, Larnaca (Cyprus) and Madeira (Portugal). These trials will capture feedback from flight crew and air traffic controllers on the procedures in terms of fly-ability, safety, crew and ATC workload, as well as assess savings in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption reduction.

Led and co-financed by the SJU, RISE project partners will conduct over 160 flight trials, demonstrating a range of PBN procedures, such as RNP, RNP AR, Visual RNAV, and RNP to Instrument Landing System (ILS) procedures, in France (Nice and Ajaccio); Portugal (Madeira and Horta), Greece (Corfu, Iraklion, Santorini, Mykonos) and Cyprus (Paphos, Larnaca).

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