The project demonstrated new Navigation Specifications included in the Performance Based Navigation (PBN) manual for rotorcraft, general, business and regional fixed-wing operators. Eight different scenarios were designed and tested by involving operators’ fleet equipped with a portable PBN flight validation platform developed by Pildo Labs, so-called PLATERO. In total more than 80 approach and departure operations, approximately 32 flight hours, have been performed in coordination with Air Navigation Service providers and Aviation Authorities, evidencing the great value that satellite navigation technology can provide to rotor and fixed-wing users, usually operating at less ground-equipped infrastructure like helipads, heliports and small aerodromes. The project also served to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating IFR-based rotorcraft operations at busy airports, like Barcelona El Prat Airport, without interfering with existing fixed wing traffic.
Number and duration of trials:
More than 80 approach and departure operations, approximately 32 flight hours. The following table presents a precise report of the actual flights performed up to date.
• NASCIO has emphasized GNSS based RNAV and RNP benefits to the aircraft and airport operators, while supporting ANSP and regulators in achievement of the national PBN implementation plans
• NASCIO involved end users from rotorcraft, general, business and regional aviation, regularly operating at less ground-equipped infrastructure where satellite navigation technology can provide major benefits
Main lessons learned/next steps:
• New navigation specifications included in PBN manual will allow rotor and fixed-wing operators develop further their actual services upon cost-effective solutions based on satellite navigation technology
• The implementation of those innovative operations requires the involvement of all the stakeholders, and in particular aviation authorities for its final operational approval
• Innovative solutions, like PLATERO portable flight validation system, can help to leverage the final cost for implementation
• There is a lack of education within the sector on the innovative concepts demonstrated, which requires an effort on communication by being present at most important sectorial symposiums