Field Trip: Validating PBN Procedures At Airports

Post by Alyce Shingler on February 23, 2016, updated on January 24, 2020

Aviation Week & Space Technology
John Croft
Feb 19, 2016

A new breed of procedure designers is mapping fast lanes above and beyond.

Sky Architects

Building highways in the sky requires getting your feet dirty. Luckily, I wore boots the day I accompanied a team from Hughes Aerospace Corp. through the ranchlands of Cisco, a tiny rural town smack dab in the middle of Texas. Today’s job: validating a slate of new performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures that Hughes built  for the operators of a new airport in Cisco. At the edge of the Angle R property, adjacent to an approach path, a tree limited the minimum altitude for a certain approach; its height had to be verified for a final data package to be sent to the FAA for approval of the procedures.

A key step in gaining approval for PBN procedures is a validation flight, a track of which is shown in lavender for the new airport in Cisco, Texas. Credit: Hughes Aerospace

What is unusual at Gregory Simmons Memorial Airport is that the owners, with a small fleet of Cessna and Bombardier business jets, did not look to install any land-based instrument approaches: They jumped right into the future. That future will largely consist of approaches and departures defined by global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), GNSS augmentation systems, GNSS-based landing systems, or required navigation performance (RNP) avionics—rather than procedures linked to traditional land-based systems such as VORs or instrument landing systems. Along with lower costs—no ground infrastructure has to be purchased and maintained—PBN is more efficient, allowing for more direct routes, safe passage around obstacles and an associated reduction in fuel burned and carbon emissions. (more…)

Global PBN Deployment Arrives in Middle East

Post by Alyce Shingler on October 8, 2015, updated on January 24, 2020

Aviation Today :: Global PBN Deployment Arrives in Middle East

Woodrow Bellamy III

[Avionics Today 10-07-2015] Oman Air is using Performance Based Navigation (PBN) to simplify approaches into an airport with one of the most challenging terrains in its network, thanks to new procedure work performed by Hughes Aerospace and Honeywell. The national airline of Oman is currently flying the first Area Navigation (RNAV) approaches to be deployed in the region at Khasab Airport.

The Khasab Airport runway where Oman Air is now flying RNAV visual approaches. Photo: Hughes Aerospace.

According to Ricardo Jaramillo, manager of fleet training for Oman Air, the airport sits at the northeastern gulf coast of Oman with a number of different flight environmental challenges.

“Over the last three years we’ve started flying our ATR aircraft fleet into this airport, which is quite challenging. The airport is in between a valley, and you have mountains about 3,000 to 4,000 feet high surrounding it as well. The weather is also a challenge with high winds often creating a turbulent environment with a very limited flight envelope to operate within,” Jaramillo told Avionics Magazine. The Oman Air fleet manager also noted that the airline is introducing the Embraer 170 into its fleet, and the Oman civil aviation authority required a new approach into Khasab to allow them to start flying that aircraft to the airport used primarily for the military.

Hughes Aerospace CEO Chris Baur has been working in partnership with Honeywell Aerospace all over the world to implement PBN procedures and help airlines and operators deal with challenging terrain, reduce approach times and fuel burn during the approach phase of flight. At Khasab, Hughes, which is a globally credentialed third party Air Navigation Services Provider (ANSP) licensed to develop instrument procedures in Oman,  looked to introduce the RNAV Visual approach to deal with the airport’s unique challenges.

“RNAV Visual is a type of approach that we initiated in the United States with the FAA several years ago. The purpose of the RNAV Visual is allowing the [Flight Management Computer] FMC to provide guidance to the pilot for a stabilized approach onto a runway,” said Baur. “The challenge for Oman was getting in and out of Khasab and giving the pilots flight guidance; but they didn’t need guidance that was going to take them down to the approach minimums. Oman’s pilots were able to land the aircraft in [Visual Meteorological Conditions] VMC, but they just didn’t have a feasible approach. RNAV visual approaches give the aircraft a stabilized and well-defined path to and from the runway as long as the pilots can maintain VMC.”

Captain Jean Hersen, an Airbus flight operations expert, presented the benefits of the concept of operations for RNAV Visual approaches during an Airbus Winter Regional Seminar earlier this year. Hersen’s presentation cites research from an ICAO Operations Panel working paper on the concept of operations for RNAV visual approaches. According to Hersen’s presentation, the requirements for an RNAV visual approach are for storage and access from a Flight Management System (FMS) database. Also, the pilot of the aircraft must verify the aircraft capability matches navigation requirements for Radius to Fix (RF) leg capability and GPS accuracy. Flight crews can request RNAV visual approaches only upon verification that the required visual meteorological conditions exist, requirements are met, and the aircraft is in a position where the approach can be managed within the flight envelope of a normal approach.

Hughes Aerospace and Honeywell have been collaborating on similar PBN projects at airports in the Asia Pacific region, the United States and elsewhere, and Khasab marks the first deployment of an RNAV visual approach in the Middle Eastern region.

Back in the United States, Honeywell provides major support to such projects by adding the approaches that are coded and submitted to them by Hughes into their available software upload-able FMS navigation database.

“Hughes will develop the procedures and code them and then they send the information to us at the navigation database production group and we will build a navigation database. The database will then be tested. We fly it, we partner with our pilots group here at Honeywell, and we take it to our simulation bench and actually fly it to verify that the procedure flies correctly. We videotape it as well before sending the database to Hughes and the customer that’s going to do the flight validation and testing,” Scott Roesch, product support manager for the navigation database production team at Honeywell Aerospace told Avionics Magazine.

Roesch leads a team that updates 1,200 databases for various civil aviation authorities and operators all over the world every 28 days.

“Our database engineers, normally we go back and forth with the procedure designer at Hughes to make sure that the proper line types and path terminators are featured and everything that is associated with building the navigation database and the coding to spec is correct. Once it is error free, we take the ARINC 424 data and convert it into a binary format which is readable and useable on our FMS,” said Roesch. “We then build a database which is compatible to the specific aircraft FMS that will use the new procedures and make it available via our website. Whoever the customer is, whether it be the Oman Civil Air Authority, or an airline, we give them authorization to go onto our website, download the database, create it themselves on their specific media type and then they can load it onto the aircraft.”

Oman Air is now flying the new RNAV visual approaches at Khasab.

“We were lacking in a proper re-useable procedure, as we were relying on an internally created procedure, where we added some coordinates and we were following certain inputs into the [Global Navigation Satellite System] GNSS, essentially in a make-shift way. It was not an easy procedure so there were constant changes to the coordinates or the waypoints by the airline. But the one created by Hughes is an easy procedure, an easy database and nobody can modify it,” said Jaramillo.

The Khasab runway was recently resurfaced to support civil aircraft operations, although Oman’s air navigation authority required an instrument procedure for approval to use the airport.

“With a jet aircraft at Khasab, in order to get approval to fly there, we had to have an instrument procedure. This was the tool that gave us the approval because the Oman authority did not want the aircraft to land there without an instrument procedure. The RNAV Visual was the solution, because we did not have the capability for obtaining approval for [Required Navigation Performance Authorization Required] RNP AR,” Jaramillo explained.

Khasab could be the first of many RNAV Visual and other variations of PBN procedures introduced into the region, he added.

“This is a start; there is always a starting point and I think now we have changed the mentality of so many people here with the procedure, especially the authority. They saw it can be done and we are getting more confident. I believe there is room for another one here, and perhaps other areas throughout the region as well,” said Jaramillo.

Myanmar Implements its First PBN Procedures

Post by Alyce Shingler on August 27, 2015, updated on January 24, 2020

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Woodrow Bellamy III

[Avionics Today 08-12-2015] Operators using Myanmar’s two busiest international airports, Mandalay and Yangon, can finally begin using Performance Based Navigation (PBN) practices after the country’s civil aviation authority approved and validated their first ever GPS-based procedures, which were badly needed in the country. Both airports have now unlocked the use of PBN, after flight validations were completed at the end of July through collaboration between experts from Hughes Aerospace and Honeywell.

Chris Baur, CEO of Hughes Aerospace, working with a team of Myanmar pilots to implement the country’s first PBN procedures.

Photo: Hughes Aerospace

Using a Cessna Caravan equipped with a retrofitted Garmin G1000 avionics package, Chris Baur, CEO of Hughes Aerospace, lead a team of Myanmar pilots through the first-ever PBN validation flight in Myanmar.

“The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) of Myanmar wanted to implement their first ever [Global Navigation Satellite System] GNSS procedures starting with the main airport of Yangon. They wanted a GNSS procedure to both ends of the runway and then [Standard Instrument Departures] SIDS and [Standard Terminal Arrival Routes] STARS, based on GNSS,” Baur told Avionics Magazine. “The government was eager to get them implemented, and derive the benefit of having SIDS and STARS, which they haven’t had before. The traffic there is definitely growing quite quickly, so this should help to address that growth.”

Airlines and operators flying into both Mandalay and Yangon can begin using the new procedures immediately, Baur said. Operators will not be required to become certified or undergo any training there, as the majority of international carriers flying with modern aircraft have the avionics equipage and pilot training necessary to fly PBN procedures.

Like the rest of the country, Myanmar’s airspace was ruled by a military junta until 2012 and had never undergone modernization of its aviation infrastructure. Over the last several years though, the Myanmar government has been rapidly modernizing its economy, and its airports.

“Their initial excitement was to get into the PBN global movement and do this with GNSS approaches,” said Baur. “When we did the flight validation, we brought all of our own flight validation equipment and put it in their aircraft and conducted the flight validation and recorded the flight tracks. The aircraft flies the procedure and then we record the aircraft’s position independent of the aircraft system to validate it. What you’re mainly looking for, aside from recording flight tracks, is the ‘flyability’ of the procedure, ensuring that the aircraft is able to maintain the descent or maintain the crossing restrictions.”

While the initial benefits will mainly be around the safety and flight operational efficiency of aircraft flying into and out of Yangon and Mandalay, implementing PBN also serves as a foundation to manage future air traffic growth in the region. The Airbus Global Market Forecast for 2015-2034 has predicted that the Asia-Pacific region will lead the world in air traffic by 2034.

Myanmar is the second major GNSS procedures project that the Hughes-Honeywell partnership has completed this year, following the implementation of GBAS approaches in China early this year. Honeywell, like most other major U.S.-based suppliers, sees Myanmar and the greater Asia-Pacific region as a major area of growth for the global aviation industry. Growth begins with projects such as the recently completed ones in Myanmar, and continues with aircraft equipage and air traffic management modernization, according to Michael Underwood, director of business development at Honeywell Aerospace.

“We view the aviation ecosystem in the Asia Pacific as a high growth region,” said Underwood. “As such, we’re working across the full spectrum to help move and modernize not just the airplane fleets but the overall aviation infrastructure.”

Beyond Myanmar, Honeywell and Hughes are in similar talks with other Asian-Pacific countries for aircraft navigation modernization projects.

“We recently opened discussions with the civil aviation authority of Sri Lanka to talk about their PBN needs. They heard about what we have done in Myanmar,” said Underwood. “We’ve had similar discussions in Indonesia, the Philippines, so we’re very active in that region and working to help modernize the air traffic infrastructure there.”

– See more at:

China Eastern, Shangdong Demonstrate GBAS at Pudong

Post by Alyce Shingler on May 27, 2015, updated on January 24, 2020

Woodrow Bellamy III

[Avionics Today 05-26-2015] China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) has unlocked a new capability for reducing delays and increasing efficiency at the country’s most congested airports that could be ready for live operational use by the end of this year. A recent flight demonstration by Honeywell and Hughes Aerospace showed the benefits of the SmartPath Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS) for next generation GPS-based precision landings.

A cockpit display shows the GLS approach into Pudong Airport used during the April flight demonstration. Photo: Hughes Aerospace.

Using a China Eastern Airlines Airbus A321 and a Shangdong Airlines Boeing 737-800, flight crews demonstrated the first ever Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) instrument approaches in China at the end of April. To enable these precision landings, SmartPath’s four ground-based antennas take an aircraft’s GPS signals and sends them to a single box located on the airport, which then correlates the signals for a high degree of integrity before beaming it back up to the aircraft for precision landing guidance.

“The CAAC, knowing that they needed to have some very flexible alternatives to the legacy [Instrument Landing System] ILS, they asked us to do some very innovative approaches with the system,” said Brian Davis, vice president of airlines, Asia Pacific at Honeywell Aerospace. “Honeywell and our partner Hughes Aerospace, we actually designed and created the flight paths into Pudong airport, not only for the standard approaches but we did four very flexible innovative approaches that have never been done by a commercial airline before. The first one was what we called a displaced threshold, the second was a variable glide-path.”

Hughes Aerospace CEO Chris Baur also noted that the demonstrations were done in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC), providing a real world flight environment for the airline pilots.

“We built GLS approaches to all of the runways at Pudong,” said Baur. “We built GLS approaches to 35L and 35R and 17L and 17R. Then we did something that hasn’t been done anywhere before where we built multiple GLS approaches to one runway. For Runway 35L, we built a straight-in GLS approach and variable geometric path approaches, one with a 2.8 degree flight path angle and one with a 3.2 degree flight path angle.

Baur said the team also built two non-linear curved path, or XLS, approaches for Runway 35L, and the approach was flown to an automatic landing in IMC conditions. The trial flights provided a demonstration that exploited all of the benefits of the SmartPath technology, such as the ability to merge GLS with Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures to create a custom path to the runway based on the type of aircraft being flown.

Hughes Aerospace CEO Chris Baur and the flight crew from Shangdong Airlines that performed the precision landings demonstrations. Photo: Hughes Aerospace.

Davis says the implementation of the new procedures at Pudong can provide a model for dealing with wake turbulence issues from different aircraft as well. With heavier aircraft such as Boeing 747s, 777s or Airbus A380s dispersing an enormous amount of wake turbulence from the wings, aircraft in trail behind them are often forced to maintain very lengthy separation distances. An airport as busy as Pudong can face huge efficiency challenges when this happens.

“The variable glide-path allows the SmartPath station to send a signal to the aircraft that will allow it to fly a 2.8 or 2.9 or basically any glide-path you would like. It allows pilots to fly a much shallower glide-path than they would with an ILS,” said Davis. “SmartPath allows for up to 26 different approach combinations. That means for the same runway you can have an approach at a 2.8 degree glide-path. That’s where you bring the A380s and the Boeing 777s in. To the exact same runway, you can actually have the SmartPath station send a signal on a different channel to the smaller aircraft that will allow it to come in at a 3.1 degree glide-path, for example, so wake turbulence always disperses downward. If we bring those larger aircraft in at a shallow glide-path and the smaller aircraft in at a steeper glide-path, that means the 737 and A320 are always above the wake turbulence footprint of the larger aircraft.”

SmartPath has already been deployed in Australia, Brazil, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, and CAAC sees it as one of the key tools for managing future increases in air traffic. The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) expects China to have 415 million air travel passengers annually by 2016, which would be second only to the United States in domestic passenger volume.

According to Davis, the majority of aircraft coming off of production lines today are equipped with Multi-Mode Receivers (MMR) capable of performing GBAS landings and the localizer guidance and glide slope guidance for a SmartPath approach looks the same to a flight crew as if they were flying an ILS approach.

Going forward, the new procedures must now be certified by the CAAC and Air Traffic Management Bureau.

“We should have this station up and certified by the end of 2015, or the early part of 2016 with many airlines ready to fly the new GBAS procedures shortly thereafter,” said Davis.

– See more at:

China Advances In Satellite-Based Landings

Post by Alyce Shingler on May 13, 2015, updated on January 24, 2020

John Croft | Aviation Week & Space Technology           May 12, 2015

China leapfrogged its international peers in late April with what is arguably the world’s most advanced display of a precision navigation capability—satellite-guided curved approaches with multiple glideslopes that seamlessly terminated in automatic landings.

The one-day demonstration on April 29 took place at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport using a China Eastern Airlines Airbus A321 and a Shangdong Airlines Boeing 737-800 with senior officials from China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) and air traffic management bureau onboard. Anchoring the capability is a Honeywell SmartPath ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) that has been operating at the airport since January.

The approaches at Pudong demonstrated key benefits of a digital GBAS landing system (GLS), including the ability to merge the GLS with satellite-based required navigation performance (RNP) procedures for a customized 3-D path to the runway. RNP provides the aircraft with narrow horizontal and vertical paths into the vicinity of an airport, where GLS provides the precision guidance to landing. The SmartPath system, the first certified GBAS landing system to be installed in China, uplinks digitized approach paths and correction factors to GPS signals to allow an aircraft equipped with a multi-mode receiver capturing GPS signals from space and the GLS information from the ground station to fly as many as 26 approaches to multiple runways. A GLS can replace or augment traditional instrument-approach architectures that use analog horizontal and vertical guidance transmitters placed at each runway end to transmit a straight-in path to the runway, typically at a 3-deg. glideslope. Those systems are costly to maintain and require flight inspections on at least a semi-annual basis.


A GLS approach into the Pudong Airport as seen on the primary flight display of an aircraft participating in a late-April demonstration of satellite-guided curved approaches. Credit: Hughes Aerospace


Navigation procedure developer Hughes Aerospace drafted eight approaches for Pudong in partnership with Honeywell. Included are GLS procedures for Runway 35L that offer a traditional straight-in approach with 3-deg. glidepath, a curved approach that mates with an RNP arrival and intersects a straight-in GLS final, a straight-in approach with 2.8-deg. glidepath and a straight-in approach with a 3.2-deg. glidepath and a 3,517-ft. displaced threshold. RNP approaches with curved paths can be used to join with a GLS approach closer to the airport, saving track miles and fuel compared to legacy approaches, or to avoid noise-sensitive areas.

Chris Baur, president and chief executive of Hughes Aerospace, says choices for glidepath angle potentially could allow airports to increase runway throughput by mitigating wake turbulence concerns. For example, the arrival rate could be increased by having a heavy aircraft fly an approach with a lower glidepath while a lighter aircraft uses the steeper glidepath approach with displaced threshold.

SmartPath, to date the only FAA-certified GLS on the market, is installed at several airports worldwide, including Newark (New Jersey), Houston, Frankfurt and Sydney, where a growing number of aircraft equipped with multi-mode receivers (MMR) can access the capability. The systems are currently approved for Category 1 instrument approach minimums (aircraft must be in visual conditions at 200 ft. above the runway to continue the approach), but the FAA and others are working toward Cat. 2 (100-ft. minimums) and Cat. 3 capability (50-ft. minimums or less, including autoland) in the next several years. The FAA says Cat. 3 operations could be available in the U.S. in 2018.

A handful of airlines globally are beginning to use GLS as an alternative to a straight-in legacy instrument landing system (ILS) with a 3-deg. glideslope, particularly as newer aircraft are available from the factory with the option. Boeing says it has more than 1,000 GPS-equipped in-service aircraft, with the number growing by 25 per month. The airframer says one-third of all new 737s are being delivered with the MMRs, which are standard equipment on the 747-8 and 787.

Delta Air Lines conducted its inaugural GBAS landing with a Boeing 737 at Newark Liberty International Airport on Feb. 18, joining United Airlines and British Airways, which were already flying the approaches there. The FAA says United is averaging 65-70 GBAS landing system (GLS) approaches at Newark and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport each month with a portion of its 737 and 787 fleets. United has 95 737s and 14 787s with MMR avionics, and is selecting the option for all new 737s.

Delta is using the approaches in Houston as well as in Newark, and has a fleet of 42 GLS-equipped 737s. The carrier is investigating GLS for its Airbus fleet. In total, the airline plans to have 177 aircraft equipped for the approaches by 2019, according to the FAA. A growing number of international airlines also are using the capability at Newark and Houston. Emirates conducted its first GLS landing in Houston in December with an Airbus A380, one of 57 GLS-equipped A380s at the time. The carrier also uses the approaches at Frankfurt, Sydney and Zurich. Lufthansa made its first GLS landing in Houston in December with one of 12 equipped A380s that also use the approaches at Sydney and Frankfurt. Cathay Pacific made its first GLS landing in Houston, with a 747-8, at the end of January. The FAA says Virgin Atlantic is also planning to seek operational specification approval for the approaches into Newark. Other carriers purchasing GLS-equipped aircraft include Air Berlin, Qantas, Swiss, TUIfly and various Russian airlines.

Next steps for Pudong include CAAC certification of the GLS at the airport, an inaugural process that may allow for quicker installations at other airports in the country.

China Demonstrates GPS-Based Instrument Landing System

Post by Alyce Shingler on May 7, 2015, updated on January 24, 2020

John Croft | Aviation Daily

A China Eastern AirlinesAirbus A321 and a Shandong Airlines Boeing 737-800 flew a series of instrument approaches to the Shanghai Pudong International airport on April 29 using a Honeywell-built ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) and instrument-approach procedures developed by Hughes Aerospace, marking the first public demonstrations of the technology in China.

The Honeywell SmartPath GBAS landing system (GLS)—which augments GPS signals to boost accuracy to required levels—is the first certified system to be installed in China. One GLS, which can output guidance for up to 26 approaches to any runway, replaces traditional instrument-approach architectures that require horizontal and vertical guidance systems to be placed at each runway end. The single system covers approaches for all four runways at Pudong and saves on a variety of regular inspection and maintenance costs.

SmartPath, to date the only FAA-certified system on the market, is installed at several airports around the world, including Newark, Houston, Sydney and Frankfurt. The GLS is currently approved for Category 1 (Cat 1) instrument approach minimums (aircraft must be in visual conditions at 200 ft. above the runway to continue the approach), but the FAA and others are working toward Cat 2 (100-ft. minimums) and Cat 3 capability (50-ft. minimums or less, including autoland) in the next several years. The FAA says Cat 3 operations could be available in the U.S. in 2018.

Other “firsts” on April 29 include the demonstration of curved approaches that connect to the GLS, and approaches with lower- or higher-than-standard glideslopes, including a 2.8-deg. flight path angle (FPA), a 3.2-deg. FPA and the standard 3.0-deg FPA. The 3.2-deg. FPA approach also included a displaced threshold of 1,072 ft., an offset that could help avoid the potential for wake turbulence during parallel runway operations, Hughes Aerospace CEO Chris Baur said.

Hughes, which is partnered with Honeywell on the project, is one of three FAA-certified third-party providers of NextGen procedures. Baur said the company built eight approaches into Pudong. The two commercial aircraft each flew 4-5 non-revenue approaches in instrument weather that day, he said.

Next steps for Pudong include certification at the airport by the China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) and Air Traffic Management Bureau, a process that may allow for quicker installations at other airports in the country.

Bell, Hughes Explore PBN for Operators in China

Post by Alyce Shingler on March 6, 2015, updated on January 24, 2020


Bell, Hughes Explore PBN for Operators in China by Kerry Lynch –

March 5, 2015, 11:24 AM

Bell Helicopter, teamed with Hughes Aerospace, is exploring the development of performance-based navigation (PBN) procedures for Bell operators in China equipped with advanced navigation systems. PBN defines navigation performance requirements for air-traffic routes and instrument procedures. The procedures would enable the helicopter operators to optimize access to airspace, flying more direct approaches and departures than they would otherwise under IFR-base routes or those designed for fixed-wing aircraft, said Chris Jaran, vice president for Bell Helicopter in China. “The flexibility PBN delivers to operators translates into less fuel burned and time in the air, effectively increasing the number of flights a helicopter can perform before requiring maintenance,” added Hughes Aerospace president and CEO Chris Baur.

SESAR Launches Major Flight Demonstration Project for Augmented Approaches

Post by Alyce Shingler on December 27, 2014, updated on January 24, 2020

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Woodrow Bellamy III

[Avionics Today 12-23-2014] A new consortium formed by the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) will perform more than 200 demonstration flights at airports throughout Europe to validate new approach and landing technologies. The new consortium, called Advanced Approaches for all Airports (A3), is looking to use the demonstration flights to develop new approach and landing solutions that will increase air traffic throughput while also reducing aircraft emissions and noise over communities located near airports throughout Europe.

Computer rendering of an RNP approach into an airport runway. Photo: Hughes Aerospace.

NetJets Europe is leading A3’s demonstration flights, named the Augmented Approaches to Land project (AAL). The project will use advanced approach and landing procedures based on five different technologies; curved Required Navigation Performance paths (RNP), Ground and Satellite-based Augmentation Systems (GBAS and SBAS), Synthetic Vision Guidance System (SVGS), and Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS).

These different approaches provide benefits for operators with more efficient flight paths into airports, as well as the airport itself, as they eliminate reliance on inflexible ground-based Instrument Landing System (ILS) equipment. GBAS systems are designed for aircraft equipped with GPS landing system technology, which most current production Airbus and Boeing airplanes feature.

“It will demonstrate that augmented vision and satellite-based augmented navigation can improve the access while reducing the environmental impact of all types of airspace users into all types of airports,” said Jean-Phillippe Ramu, SESAR project manager, second in command Gulfstream V/550 at NetJets Europe. “We believe that the project will show what will be the approach and landing operations of tomorrow.”

One of the more progressive aspects of the demonstration will be the trials that feature the use of synthetic vision technology. SVGS technology, such as Honeywell’s SmartView system, provides a three-dimensional view of an airborne aircraft’s surrounding terrain, obstacles, airports and runways. Honeywell has applied for a Supplemental Type Certificate for SmartVision Lower Minimums (SVLM) that, if certified, would allow pilots to navigate using synthetic vision down to a 150 feet decision height with visibility as low as 1,400 feet.

Curved noise abatement Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures with transitions to satellite navigation based approaches (GBAS and SBAS) will be demonstrated during the trials. A3 also has a goal of developing and publishing new airport procedures during the demonstration period.

Deploying more Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures, such as those mentioned above, is one of the top goals of the overarching Single European Sky project in Europe and the NextGen Air Traffic Management (ATM) modernization project in the United States. During a recent interview with Avionics Magazine, Chris Baur, president and CEO of Hughes Aerospace Corp., discussed the benefits of eliminating operator and airport reliance on ILS equipment. In 2013, Hughes lead the effort to establish the first public RNP procedure at the world’s busiest airport, Chicago O’Hare.

“There’s really no business case for legacy navaids anymore. Its just a horrific expense, you have to constantly calibrate them, validate them, maintain them, and you’re limited as to how you can operate,” said Baur, who is also a commercial airline pilot.

“Everything with these legacy navaids is also linear you have to fly out to catch your radio beam and track it inbound. The GBAS, the [GNSS Landing System] GLS approaches, the RNP approaches, the PBN catch all eliminates all of that,” he said.

Honeywell and Elbit Systems will be supplying the avionics for the demonstrations, while Dassault Aviation andAirbus will provide airframe manufacturer and aircraft systems support. Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines will also participate in the demonstration flights, which will occur at small and medium airports including Perigueux, Bergerac, Bordeaux, Ostrava and Bremen, as well as large airports Frankfurt and Zurich.

Hughes, Honeywell Expanding PBN Deployment at Myanmar Airports

Post by Alyce Shingler on December 5, 2014, updated on January 24, 2020

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Woodrow Bellamy III

[Avionics Today 12-3-2014] Hughes Aerospace and Honeywell Aerospace have announced a partnership with Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation to bring Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures to the nation’s busiest airports. In recent years, both companies have embarked on a global initiative to assist airports with redesigning the airways within their airspace to allow them to move away from legacy ground-based navigation aids and forward to PBN procedures. The satellite procedures enable shorter and more direct routes as well as more efficient takeoffs and landings that help operators reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions.

Computer rendering of an RNP approach into an airport runway. Photo: Hughes Aerospace.

Hughes Aerospace President and CEO Chris Baur, an air transport, business jet, helicopter and General Aviation (GA) pilot with more than 35 years of commercial and military flying experience, will be traveling to Myanmar to perform a flight validation of the new takeoff and landing routes. Myanmar’s two main international airports, Yangon and Mandalay could use the new procedures to reduce overload in air traffic, as they currently handle a combined three million passengers annually. Hughes, in partnership with Honeywell, has helped to lead some of the biggest airspace redesign projects throughout the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, leading the transition into this new global era of taking advantage of onboard equipment to fly safer and more efficient landings and takeoffs.

“In Myanmar, we were early to go into the country and show them what the benefits are, we’re working with them right now doing some validation of the procedure concepts that they came up with at Yangon and Mandalay,” Baur told Avionics Magazine. “Yangon is their capital and busiest airport. I’ll be going over myself in January to meet with the directorate general and his staff and fly the procedures.”

The Myanmar airports are part of the Asia-Pacific region, which is currently experiencing some of the fastest increases in demand for air transportation services. As that demand continues to rise, civil aviation authors face the challenge of safely increasing capacity, efficiency, and access, particularly in regards to some of the terrain-challenged airports in the region. Currently, Hughes and Honeywell are among third-party developers of PBN procedures that are certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to help the international aviation community transition to a global performance-based airspace.

“Utilizing our combined expertise in PBN procedure design, process and quality control, navigation database creation, and Flight Management Systems, our team is reviewing and validating a number of new [Global Navigation Satellite System] GNSS-based departure and arrival procedures developed by the Myanmar Department of Civil Aviation,” Brian Davis, vice president of the Asia Pacific airlines division at Honeywell, told Avionics Magazine.

“Beyond Myanmar, we are active in numerous projects all around the world to promote, support and enable the global movement to adopt PBN for enhanced aviation safety and efficiency,” Davis added.

The main benefits of PBN procedures for airlines are their ability to address current limitations of air transportation capacity. Some of the specific advantages include, “better access to terrain/airspace-challenged airports; parallel runway, converging and adjacent airport operations; lower Minima resulting in fewer weather-related delays and diversions; reduced flight time due to optimized routing; and more reliable, repeatable flight paths,” said Davis.

Hughes and Honeywell also recently introduced PBN procedures in the Philippines. In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines’ Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport in Tacloban as well as surrounding areas. The Typhoon knocked out the airport’s sole ground-based navigation aid, causing them to make a transition to PBN and switching to satellite-based technologies that use area navigation procedures in order to enable a lowering of the approach minimums that were in place using the legacy aids prior to the occurrence of the disaster.

“We made the offer of providing them with the flight procedures at no cost. We subsequently got a license to be a third-party public procedure design organization by the government of the Philippines and we presented our procedures to the director general of the Philippines,” said Baur, adding that the airport and airlines that fly there are now developing the new procedures.

“When you look at the [VHF Omnidirectional Range] VOR approach that was there before, the VOR was destroyed by the Typhoon. The GNSS procedure that we built that was GPS-based, provided them with lower minimums than the VOR and obviously its Typhoon-proof, there’s nothing on the ground for them to maintain and they’re going to get more benefit out of it — and in the process we made the approach and the transition much more efficient, which reduced the amount of track miles that the aircraft would fly so it reduced the environmental impact as well as the fuel used by the aircraft used to service Tacloban,” Baur said.

Now, Honeywell and Hughes are bringing their integrated CNS approach to deploy PBN with a focus on the inter-relationship between Air Traffic Control (ATC) engineering, Safety Management Systems (SMS) and flight operations to the two busiest airports in Myanmar. According to Baur, the majority of aircraft flying into both Yangon and Mandalay airports in Myanmar have the onboard FMS and GPS technology required to fly the new more efficient procedures.

“We work with differential GPS, which is really the future,” said Baur, adding that most GPS systems have about a 10 meter accuracy in measuring the position of the aircraft along its flight path during an approach to the airport. “If you can augment the GPS signal, you can bring the accuracy down consistently. One way that it’s done is through space-based augmentation, or SBAS, which in the U.S. they would call WAAS. That’ll bring the accuracy down to one to two meter accuracy as you know you can develop a three-dimension path in space, and [Localizer Performance with Vertical guidance] LPV approach and that LPV approach will give you essentially what a CAT I [Instrument Landing System] ILS would without the ground-based infrastructure,” said Baur. “The other part of differential GPS is GBAS, or Ground-Based Augmentation. GBAS takes the GPS constellation and brings it down to a 10 centimeter accuracy.”

Bauer said the Honeywell-Hughes partnership will have more announcements about new PBN projects throughout the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world in early 2015.

“Any time somebody publishes a procedure I celebrate it, it’s a victory, it’s what the aviation community is gradually moving toward,” said Baur. “Most of the world is evolving and the low-hanging fruit seems to be GNSS approaches, GPS-based [Standard Instrument Departures] SIDs and [Standard Terminal Automation Replacement Systems] STARs.”

– See more at:

Honeywell and Hughes to Introduce PBN to Myanmar Airspace

Post by Alyce Shingler on December 1, 2014, updated on January 24, 2020

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[Avionics Today 11-26-2014] Honeywell Aerospace and Hughes Aerospace will assist Myanmar’s Yangon and Mandalay international airports to develop satellite-based navigation technologies for optimizing takeoff and landing routes. Performance-based Navigation (PBN) procedures, made possible by satellite technologies, allow for shorter and more direct routes and more efficient takeoffs.

Yangon and Mandalay are Myanmar’s two main international airports, capable of handling more than 3 million passengers each annually. This is the first step in an effort to improve procedures at Myanmar airports by the Department of Civil Aviation, which plans to install PBN procedures at other international and domestic airports in the country.

“These new PBN instrument flight procedures will transform Myanmar’s existing airspace, supporting not only safer, all-weather access but improved reliability and growth opportunities for the future,” said Chris Baur, president and CEO of Hughes Aerospace.