Approved global positioning system (GPS) approach procedures at several UK provincial airports are likely to go live for general aviation (GA) aircraft by July this year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The CAA says it is about to issue a letter of intent to permit GPS non-precision approaches (NPA) for GA aircraft at UK licensed airfields with an instrument runway.

Having designed GPS NPAs at Shoreham, Gloucestershire Staverton, Inverness, Exeter, Durham Tees Valley and Blackpool airports, the CAA has received 170 reports from GA pilots that provided “encouraging data”, according to Ron Elder, head of the CAA’s Safety Regulation Group Licensing Standards Division.

He adds: “As a result of the positive feedback we have taken the decision to move ahead with the project via a letter of intent rather than an eight-week consultation and hope to be able to introduce the approaches in July.”

The aerodromes that took part in the trial will be able to introduce the approach procedure permanently once the legislation has been passed, says the CAA.

Approaches will be permitted at other UK licensed aerodromes with a full air traffic service and an instrument runway once procedures have been approved.

Pilots with instrument ratings or instrument meteorological conditions ratings will be allowed to fly the approaches, but CAA will recommend pilots undertake additional training on NPAs with a qualified instructor.