Instrument landing and departures model could spread to other developing regions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is considering global navigation satellite system (GNSS) programmes in parts of Africa, Latin America and elsewhere after the success of its initial project in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

Thirty-seven airports in the SADC, Kenya and Cape Verde now have what are believed to be the world's first International Civil Aviation Organisation-endorsed public GNSS lateral navigation (LNAV) and LNAV/vertical navigation instrument approach and departure procedures following completion of the project.

The $3 million project, launched in January 2001, was funded and led by IATA using its ICAO-sanctioned, nine-module turnkey package that covers everything from the WGS-84 surveys and procedures design, done by Innovative Solutions International, to flight verifications, performed by the US Federal Aviation Administration, to training. The project cost will be recovered through user fees.

The success of the programme ensures that more will be launched, says Günther Matschnigg, IATA's senior vice-president of operations and infrastructure. "We need to take this model and expand it in Africa. There is also a huge potential in middle and Latin America." Former Russian states and the Middle East are also possibilities.

Project manager Vic van der Westhuizen says: "With GNSS it becomes financially feasible to implement procedures that are similar to instrument landing system category I."

Operational benefits include moving map displays, the option to decommission traditional navigation aids, lower approach minima and more instrument landings. For example, the minimum decision altitude on runway 11 at Angola's Huambo, Albano Machado Airport has been lowered to 360ft (110m) from 510ft. Rodrigues/Plaine Coral Airport, Mauritius, which previously had no published instrument procedures, now offers full instrument flight rules approaches for both runways.

More airports with instrument approaches offer new alternates and reduced flying times. For example, the new alternate for Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe is 10min away at Livingston in Zambia; the old alternates were 1h away at Bulawayo or Harare, Zimbabwe.

Source: Flight International