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March 15, 2022

SFO gets FAA’s approval to deploy new landing technology

The Ground-Based Augmentation System is expected to help lower aircraft noise over nearby communities.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a US agency responsible for civil aviation, has approved a new aircraft landing technology for the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in California, US.

Called Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS), the new technology is designed to help aeroplanes land with more precision than existing systems.

This is said to eventually help lower aircraft noise over nearby communities.

Using a broadcast station located on airport grounds, GBAS will help generate Global Positioning System (GPS) signal more precisely compared to what satellites deliver alone.

The approval enables the system to replicate current landing procedures and allow the airport to submit new GBAS-specific procedures that are expected to cut down noise in nearby communities in the coming days.

SFO airport director Ivar Satero said: “We have much more work to do, but this is a critical first step. My sincere thanks go out to our project team, all the airlines who supported its development, United Airlines, who conducted real-world flight testing and the FAA for certifying this system for use.”

Using receivers and broadcast antennae, GBAS will rectify inherent errors in satellite-based GPS resulting from atmospheric conditions.

It will also help fix the position of satellites, in addition to addressing minor clock errors.

Locational information from nearby satellites will be compared by GBAS using its accurate fixed position.

It will enable the generation of a corrected GPS message that will be communicated to aircraft landing at the airport.

SFO stated that the FAA has yet to formally approve this technology on a federal level.

It intends to implement more innovative GBAS procedures for future airline use in the future if approved.

In May last year, SFO announced the installation of Honeywell Aerospace’s SmartPath GBAS technology to reduce aeroplane fuel usage and accelerate flight times for airlines.

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