Germany’s Frankfurt Airport (FRA) has installed a satellite-supported precision approach system for aircraft known as a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS), which will help to increase efficiency and achieve noise-reducing approach procedures.

The GBAS offers a single system for different procedures and up to 49 approach flights on different runways can be supported by a single GBAS station.

The system will offer a number of flight approach options, which will create opportunities to develop new approach route solutions that would lead to a reduction in noise pollution. The GBAS will also require less testing than an instrument-landing system, which requires regular checking and calibration.

"GBAS underscores once again our international leadership in new technologies."

The system was formally inaugurated by Fraport executive board chairman Stefan Schulte, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung managing director of operations Robert Schickling and Deutsche Lufthansa member of the board passage Kay Kratky.

Speaking at the launch, Schulte said: "GBAS underscores once again our international leadership in new technologies and also shows how we are consistently implementing elements of the catalogue of measures being developed within the Alliance for Noise Abatement at Frankfurt."

This new system will be able to facilitate segmented landing approaches in the long term, further reducing the impact of aircraft noise in the region. It will permit steeper approaches on all of FRA’s landing runways with an increase from 3° to 3.2°.

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The GBAS also provides digital guidance for precision approach flights through differential global positioning system (DGPS) procedure, which claims to deliver considerable advantages compared to the existing approach procedure used at FRA.

A total of €5m have been invested in the installation of the system.

Kratky said: "After retrofitting of our Airbus A320 fleet with vortex generators as an active noise abatement measure, we are now commencing GBAS operations in cooperation with Fraport and DFS."