EGNOS Adoption in the Aviation Sector
Background & Objectives
GIANT-2 intends to accelerate the adoption of EGNOS in the aviation sector, including in helicopter search and rescue (SAR) areas. The previous GIANT project has successfully promoted and trialled the introduction of EGNOS applications in the area of regional aviation, HEMS (Medical) operations and North Sea oil rig operations. This project will constitute a step forward by promoting and accelerating the EGNOS aviation applications in the other key niche markets interested in using EGNOS.
The end users are the main community and decision-makers in order to introduce and adopt the usage of the EGNOS system and service in all markets. In aviation, airlines, helicopter operators, aircraft owners and pilots constitute the end users’ community, and they are key partners in the project.
General aviation aircraft often fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), but the use of VFR is restricted to Visual Meteo Conditions (VMC), and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) are of little use in uncontrolled airspace at low height. General aviation pilots sometimes lack routine in ATC procedures, radio voice communication, cockpit handling and information processing and would benefit tremendously from novel EGNOS services.
In order to advance in the lower end of the general aviation domain, a specific work package in the project will be devoted to study the feasibility of an enhanced VFR operating mode that enables EGNOS/GPS. This sector is dominated by private pilots, mainly for training, business and leisure travel.
The integrity and enhanced accuracy provided by EGNOS can improve and facilitate the SAR operations in finding the distress location and rescuing people in a shorter time.
EGNOS will allow the performance of low-level controlled IFR flights and approaches with vertical guidance to the distress location, taking into account all weather conditions. There will be benefits from the better integrity and accuracy of EGNOS and the EGNOS/GPS signal as the input to the onboard avionics to provide the flight plan for automatic transition from cruise flight to hover, hover and height hold to perform the rescue operation, and transition from hover to cruise flight.
The GIANT-2 project will promote and accelerate the EGNOS aviation applications in the other EGNOS key niche markets, i.e. the areas of corporate and general aviation, school and training aviation, and helicopter SAR operations.
Specifically, the main objectives of this project include:
- accelerating the adoption of EGNOS in regional airlines, corporate and general aviation and helicopters;
- identifying testing and operational practices that lead to the successful adoption of EGNOS;
- knowledge building and dissemination to a Europe-wide network of aviation community members with a strong interest in GNSS technology and the potential services provided by these systems, focusing on end users, i.e. airlines, helicopter operators, aircraft owners and pilots;
- carry out EGNOS end-to-end LPV applications by performing flight trials that make use of GNSS as the primary positioning technology, positioning being the key enabler of the application.
Work performed & results
GIANT-2 will constitute a step forward to the previous GIANT project by promoting and accelerating the EGNOS aviation applications in other key niche markets interested in using EGNOS. Work carried out here will lead to a successful EGNOS adoption, knowledge building and dissemination to a Europe-wide network of aviation community members with strong interest in GNSS technology, focusing on showing economic and operational benefits to end users.
Furthermore, there are a number of additional direct or indirect impacts that the GIANT-2 project is to bring about and which relate to other open topics:
- reducing operating costs:
- reduced costs associated with CA delays (attributed to the reduction of delays), in terms of missed approaches, diversion of flights to alternate airports, etc.;
- less expensive onboard avionics equipment;
- elimination of ground NAVAIDs infrastructure;
- enhanced efficiency of aircraft operator operations, specifically flight operations;
- optimised use of all resources for all involved partners;
- improved punctuality (on time performance) and reduced delays;
- greater flexibility in the planning and management of flights.