Airports Authority of India (AAI) has conducted flight trials using a GPS aided geo augmented navigation (GAGAN) system based on Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) approach procedures at Kishangarh Airport, in the state of Rajasthan.
Jointly developed by AAI and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), GAGAN is an Indian Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) that was approved by the Indian statutory body Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in 2015 for Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV 1) and en-route (RNP 0.1) operations.
It is claimed to be the first system that was developed for India and its neighbouring countries in the equatorial region.
Currently, this type of system is only available in India, Japan, Europe and the US.
LPV is a satellite-based procedure that can help aircraft land, even at small regional and local airports that do not feature instrument landing systems.
It makes use of GPS and GAGAN Geo Stationary Satellites launched by ISRO.
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By lowering the decision height up to 250ft, the system is claimed to offer substantial operational benefits in poor weather and low visibility conditions.
As part of this trial, India’s Indigo Airlines ATR aircraft used an Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) with LPV minima of 250ft with GAGAN Service.
The trials were carried out with a DGCA team on board.
Once the procedure is finally approved by the DGCA, it will be available for use on commercial flights.
With this successful trial, India has become the first country in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region to achieve this milestone.
It is also considered a landmark achievement in the field of Air Navigation Services (ANS) in the history of the Indian Civil Aviation Sector.