David Learmount/LONDON

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the second phase of a programme designed to implement global navigation satellite system (GNSS) procedures in 14 southern African countries. The project is intended to result in the use of accurate GNSS approach, landing and departure procedures at 26 airports in the region.

The project was launched last August with demonstration flights in Namibia. IATA is working with the 14 states in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), aiming to provide GNSS instrument arrival procedures (IAPs). The association and programme partner Innovative Solutions say they have begun WGS-84 geodetic surveys of the 26 airports to enable accurate procedures to be designed, and they are training local aviation staff to enable them to implement the procedures.

The advantage of non-augmented GNSS non-precision approaches (NPA) is that they do not use ground-based navigation aids, which cost money to buy and maintain. But IATA's GNSS project manager Vic van der Westhuizen says the IAPs provide an accurate continuous descent procedure leading into an "ILS [instrument landing system]-like final approach" with a minimum descent altitude (MDA) of 250ft (75m) above ground level, subject to identified obstacles. This is only slightly higher than the decision height for a Category 1 precision approach.

IATA's Air Traffic Control Enhancement and Financing Service says that some non-SADC countries have approached it about taking similar action, but for now the countries involved include the larger nations like South Africa, Zambia, Angola and Tanzania, but also smaller states like Swaziland, Botswana, Malawi and the Seychelles. Airports being surveyed for the IAPs include major hubs like Johannesburg, South Africa, as well as smaller ones like Livingstone, Malawi.

Source: Flight International