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Thursday, November 7, 2013

UK to Consider More Instrument-Based Airport Approaches

Woodrow Bellamy III

The U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is considering the implementation of the wider availability of instrument-based approach procedures at smaller airports throughout Britain. On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the CAA asked pilots, air traffic controllers and operators to submit comments and suggestions on which potential airports can go from using ground-based navigational aids to satellite-based approaches that rely on aircraft avionics systems. 
 
When performing instrument-based approach procedures, the aircraft follows a pre-set flight pattern from initial approach to touch-down on the runway. The CAA believes some of its airports can replace older technology with these new approach procedures and save money on “costly ground infrastructure.”
 
“We feel it is time to introduce a ‘risk-based’ policy which would allow instrument approaches to be introduced at a greater number of UK aerodromes [airports],” said Phil Roberts, head of airspace, air traffic management and aerodromes at the CAA. 
 
“Although not exclusively related to satellite navigation systems — as applicants could still apply for an instrument approach based on conventional navigation aids — it is likely to be of most benefit at some of the smaller aerodromes where advantage could be taken of satellite technologies.”
 

The CAA is seeking suggestions from industry stakeholders through the end of the year.  

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