ENAIRE, Spain's national air navigation service provider, has improved operations at the Castellón Airport with new satellite-based procedures that include the European EGNOS system for the runway 24 threshold.
By implementing them, ENAIRE is increasing the efficiency of operations, as well as accessibility to the Castellón Airport, by making the new airspace procedures more widely available. Since these procedures do not depend on ground-based navaids, they provide a very useful solution as an improvement or alternative to the current, conventional approaches. To fly one of these new satellite procedures, aircraft need to be properly equipped and their crews trained on their use.
As for the current VOR/DME approach to runway 24, the new satellite-based procedures improve performance, providing vertical guidance to aircraft in the final phase of the approach and a direct approach to this threshold. They also bring the point at which the pilot must decide whether to continue or abort the landing closer to the runway threshold, thus improving service continuity at the airport in low visibility conditions.
The addition of satellite procedures at the Castellón Airport is in addition to those already rolled out by ENAIRE as part of its Plan to Implement Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Procedures at the airports of Girona-Costa Brava, Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat, Jerez, Seve Ballesteros-Santander, Almería, Valencia, Fuerteventura, Palma, César Manrique-Lanzarote, Vigo, A Coruña and San Sebastián.
In addition, the Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport has a satellite-based ground augmentation system called GBAS, and procedures for precision instrument operations based on this system. Improved air traffic efficiency These new operations in Castellón serve to further the plan to implement PBN, which is part of ENAIRE's strategic 2025 Flight Plan. It also assists in complying with European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1048, the aim of which is to improve the efficiency of air traffic management at the European level by implementing performance-based navigation (PBN).
ENAIRE has conducted the relevant safety studies involving landings and takeoffs at the Castellón Airport with the new approach procedures, which were analysed by the Spanish Aviation Safety Agency (AESA).
The use of the European EGNOS satellite navigation system, which is owned by the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA), is part of the service agreement already in place between ENAIRE and the ESSP, the company that operates the EGNOS system. This company is an air navigation provider supervised by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and owned by ENAIRE together with air navigation providers from Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Through this effort, ENAIRE is making available to users of the Castellón Airport satellite-based approach procedures that improve the safety and consistency of operations. This is all possible without having to set up additional land infrastructure, which provides financial savings and operational benefits as a result.
On 27 January, ENAIRE became the first company in Spain to be certified as a provider of flight procedure design (FPD) services, in order to comply with the new European law, EU Regulation 2017/373, as laid out in its 2025 Flight Plan. This certificate authorises it to design, document and validate flight procedures, including maintenance and periodic review activities.