From 25 to 27 September, a Citation II research aircraft, belonging to NLR of the Netherlands, carried out a number of curved and straight approaches to the airport at Nice in France, using data from the EGNOS System Test Bed (ESTB) for guidance.
These trials were carried out within the framework of a programme called GNSS-1 Operational Validation (GOV) and were undertaken by EUROCONTROL, the European organisation for the safety of air navigation, in close cooperation with ESA and a number of major air traffic service providers.
The GOV programme is designed to validate that EGNOS can be used for the civil aviation operations for which it is intended. The work in Nice, a joint effort of EUROCONTROL, ESA and the French civil aviation authority DGAC, is part of a GOV early trials programme intended to develop tools and demonstrate the possible operational use of EGNOS. Representatives of the French civil aviation authorities and ESA flew on a number of the approaches made to Nice airport.
One of the benefits that the use of EGNOS will bring is that it will allow planes approaching Nice to use the advanced noise abatement procedure - that is already in use - under more demanding meteorological conditions. At the same time it will maintain the stringent safety requirements in force at Nice airport.
The results of the trials will be presented at the 2nd ESTB Workshop which will take place on 12 November in Nice, immediately prior to the NAVSAT 2001 Conference.
For further information on these conferences please click on the relevant links on the right.