World first certified satellite precision landing system for Australian airports

Airservices will begin introducing the world's first certified Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) into service at Australian airports from late 2009
Sydney airport is expected to be the first to receive the Honeywell SmartPath Precision Landing System. Honeywell is the world's first and only GBAS supplier to have achieved system certification by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Airservices used its own extensive experience in satellite navigation technology to partner with Honeywell in developing the system. Airservices' General Manager Air Traffic Control, Jason Harfield, said GBAS improved the accuracy of aircraft positioning and could reliably guide aircraft along a predictable, precise landing path by correcting Global Positioning System (GPS) errors and transmitting data directly to an aircraft's flight management system. "GBAS is the 21st century alternative to the 1930's-era Instrument Landing Systems and offers major improvements in airport safety, efficiency and capacity," Mr Harfield said. GBAS is also expected to be a critical feature of Australia's future satellite-based air navigation system and has been recognised as a key contributor to similar programs being run by the FAA (NextGen project) and European air navigation services provider Eurocontrol (SESAR project). A Honeywell/Airservices' GBAS trial system has been operating at Sydney Airport since November 2006. Qantas aircraft have made more than 2000 GBAS approaches and pilots have consistently reported extremely precise and smooth guidance for approach and landing. "Airservices is now working with domestic and international airlines to encourage take-up of GBAS avionics and to work cooperatively on new, efficient GBAS procedures," Mr Harfield said. "We expect to complete the installation in Sydney by the end of the year and are working with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority to achieve the GBAS service approval in 2010. "By integrating GBAS and other GPS-based operations with air traffic management, Airservices is focused on transitioning to the satellite-based performance-driven air navigation system of the 21st century," he said. For media enquiries or images of Sydney Airport's trial GBAS installation, please call 02 6257 2828 or email media@airservicesaustralia.com
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