The potential for further developing conventional navigation systems has now been exhausted. If flight procedures are to be further refined, new technologies are required. One such technology is satellite-based navigation, which offers more possibilities than conventional navigation systems and provides a promising foundation for innovative new approach and departure procedures.
Satellite-based navigation’s potential for aviation
Satellite-based navigation looks set to play a major role in the design and development of flight procedures over the coming years. One of the key advantages of this new technology is the greater positional accuracy it provides. This in turn offers several further benefits, with the promise of more efficient air traffic handling, lower fuel consumption, fewer pollutant emissions and less noise, too.
A programme for developing flight procedures
The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation, Zurich Airport, Geneva Airport, Switzerland’s regional airports, SWISS, Easyjet, the Swiss Air Force and skyguide have jointly established an innovation programme known as “CHIPS” for introducing new satellite-based flight procedures. CHIPS stands for the Swiss (“CH”)-wide Implementation Programme for SESAR-oriented objectives, and is intended to coordinate all the projects involved here at the national level and provide the parameters for their implementation. To date, more than 20 project proposals have been submitted throughout Switzerland in association with innovative new flight procedures. Some of these have already been implemented, at locations such as Zurich Airport, St. Gallen-Altenrhein and Les Eplatures regional airports and the Inselspital hospital in Bern.
Extensive groundwork required
Innovative flight procedures cannot be introduced from one day to the next. Extensive groundwork needs to be performed at both the technical and the institutional level before satellite-based navigation procedures are adopted. Certificated navigation techniques are needed, on the ground and in the air; and due regard must also be paid to the various air transport operators and further airspace users, their specific training requirements and the changed and changing processes involved.
Every new satellite-based flight procedure is individually tailored to the needs of the airport and the airspace users concerned. Skyguide assists and advises the airport authorities and operators in their decisions on whether to adopt the new procedures, and works together with them to find the best possible solutions.