aviation regulators have approved the Airbus A320 family for Category IIIb precision approaches using
microwave landing system (MLS) guidance capability.
was once seen as a successor to instrument landing systems (ILS) before the
emergence of satellite-based navigation. But satellite guidance has yet to
fulfil accuracy requirements for Category III approaches.
IIIb approaches allow an
aircraft to land with a decision height of less than 50ft, or even no decision
height, with a runway visual range of 50-200m.
Airways is to use MLS on A320 and A321 aircraft at London Heathrow, in order to
reduce disruption to operations during poor weather. MLS installations are also
less susceptible to interference such as that arising from multi-path
says that the European Aviation Safety Agency has approved Category IIIb MLS operations for the A320.
French aerospace firm Thales has manufactured the on-board MLS receiver – part
of a multi-mode receiver for the aircraft – and the MLS ground stations located
at each runway.
equipped with MLS will be able to increase their traffic flow during bad
weather conditions, no longer having to re-route aircraft when visibility is
low,” says Airbus.
authorities have previously explored the use of Thales-built MLS equipment for
operations at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly.