Commercial, Embedded Avionics

Cyprus Flight Trials Demonstrate SESAR PBN Deployment

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | June 20, 2016
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[Avionics Magazine 06-20-2016] Since February, the Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) has been working with Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs), Air Traffic Management (ATM) companies, and airlines to demonstrate the benefits of using Performance Based Navigation (PBN) flight procedures in Cyprus. More than 30 flight trials have been conducted in Larnaca, with 20 additional trials in Paphos.
An Emirates Airbus A330-200 taking off at Larnaka Airport in Cyprus. Photo: Hermes Airports.
The flight trials are part of the SESAR Required Navigation Performance Implementation Synchronized in Europe (RISE), an initiative designed to demonstrate that the use of PBN can result in fuel savings and continuous descent operations at airports throughout Europe. 
In Cyprus, SESAR JU has been working with Airbus ProSky and airline partners Novair, Easyjet, Emirates and Aegean to design and implement PBN procedures. DCAC, the ANSP for Cyprus, has designed Required Navigation Performance 1 (RNP1) to Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Area Navigation (RNAV) visual procedures for both airports. In particular, the RNAV procedures facilitate more stable approaches, fewer go-arounds and fewer diversions, which increase airline schedule reliability. 
In Larnaca, the newly deployed RNAV visual procedure is 12 nautical miles shorter than the existing conventional VHF Omnidirectional Range (VOR) procedure. If replaced entirely, it will save operators using the airport approximately 500 miles per day. At Paphos airport, the western arrivals are using the RNP TO ILS and the RNAV visual, which have both resulted in fuel savings and smoother approaches.

The new procedures will be published in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) at the end of the trials. The Cyprus flight trials are a portion of the more than 160 flight trials that will be conducted in collaboration with the partner airlines and ANSPs through September in France, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal. These trials will capture feedback from flight crew and air traffic controllers on the procedures in terms of fly-ability, safety, crew and ATC workload, as well as assess savings in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption reduction. 

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