Leonardo and ENAV signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) in Italy primarily aimed at modernising and making safer, efficient and sustainable the use of helicopters and air space leveraging the most advanced navigation technologies. The aim of the partners is to join forces and offer helicopter operators products and services in the advanced instrument navigation field, while also contributing to modernise the relevant infrastructures. The partners are extremely committed to strengthen a major national resource.
Through the LoI this innovative collaboration combines Leonardo’s industrial capabilities for design, production, supply and support of modern, high performance helicopters together with ENAV’s expertise in the development and management of air space in Italy and overseas.
The agreement will allow the partners to develop and supply advanced integrated solutions for both private and public service operators, in Italy and internationally. This collaboration marks a unique initiative in the world’s aviation sector and also contributes to Italy’s critical infrastructures sustainability, digitalization and safety objectives, with both partners as major stakeholders.
Today the air navigation infrastructures, particularly procedures and air space development, are designed mainly to support fixed-wing aircraft flight operations, limiting rotary-wing aircraft’s potential and versatility. Helicopters inherently feature great flexibility and a higher degree of freedom in manoeuvrability, primarily based on vertical take-off and landing and hover capabilities.
The latest certification standard of Leonardo helicopters, with its advanced systems and equipment, already allows the use of modern Performance Based Navigation (PBN) navigation procedures, and ENAV has already been at the forefront of design PBN procedures for both fix- and rotary-wing aircraft for years.
PBN procedures, carried out through advanced satellite navigation, significantly contribute to air space optimisation delivering greater flight operation safety thanks to greater navigation, approach and landing precision and accuracy, a key enabler particularly in certain weather conditions. PBN is combined or replaces the more traditional land-based radio navigation systems
Moreover, PBN procedures ensure a reduction in polluting emissions and noise through dedicated routes and higher efficiency. Passenger transport, emergency medical service and rescue, disaster relief operations, surveillance and fire-fighting are among the main applications which can benefit from this technology, in all-weather conditions, day and night. Its adoption and implementation significantly enhance flight safety, environment protection, public service flexibility, responsiveness and effectiveness, air transport efficiency.
Alessandro Profumo, Chief Executive Officer of Leonardo, said: “With this initiative we confirm our commitment to contribute to Italy’s growth and competitiveness by strengthening a critical infrastructure like our sky as well as the systems and rules regulating its use. We do this by introducing innovation, digitalization and procedures which will come closer and closer to the future ‘urban air mobility’ scenarios, thanks to the continuous modernisation in the field of integration with our expertise in helicopters and the relevant flight safety enabling technologies, air traffic control systems and space technologies. An integrated solution delivering benefits for mobility, safety, environment protection and services for the communities. Italy, with its industrial and technological excellence, confirms its contribution to the efforts made by Europe in this sector with programmes like SESAR and can become a benchmark at an international level.”
Paolo Simioni, Chief Executive Officer of ENAV, said: “We’re proud of this agreement which shows aviation industry’s ability to create synergies aimed at helping our sector grow and contributing to modernize systems which make flight more efficient and safer. Air space is a prime infrastructure for the Italian and international economy growth. Therefore, we’re investing in technological innovation which must also be sustainable and support the environment. Leonardo and ENAV are two strategic players for the technological and infrastructural development of this sector and this partnership provides further evidence of the technological excellent and quality of ENAV’s people. I’m confident that this collaboration will provide both partners with a competitive advantage in the international market.”