The Airbus A318 demonstrated its steep approach capability during its flying display. Airbus is targeting certification of a glidepath of 5.5°, compared with the normal 3°. The A318's steep approach procedure involves the partial deployment of spoilers to reduce lift and increase drag to achieve the required glidepath angle. Minor software modifications have been made to the fly-by-wire system to achieve the required approach characteristics.

Approval for the approach will be sought during the certification programme for the Pratt & Whitney PW6000-powered A318, enabling it to be available for steep approach operations by the end of 2005. This will enable the twinjet to operate into airports that require steeper than normal approaches due to obstacles or noise constraints on the flightpath.

Source: Flight International