Satellite-based landing system goes live at Frankfurt Airport

4 June 2013 (Last Updated June 4th, 2013 18:30)

Frankfurt Airport in Germany has commissioned Indra Navia's NORMARC 8100 CAT III ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) to improve runway capacity in low-visibility conditions.

Indra Navia’s NORMARC 8100 CAT III ground based augmentation system (GBAS)

Frankfurt Airport in Germany has commissioned Indra Navia's NORMARC 8100 CAT III ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) to improve runway capacity in low-visibility conditions.

The commissioning marks the beginning of system validation testing, which is being done by Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) together with EUROCONTROL and other members of the project team.

Deployed as part of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme, the new satellite-based landing system is expected to boost signals from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), making them precise and reliable to deploy during aircraft approaches and landings.

Complying with the International Civil Aviation Organisation's (ICAO) GAST D (CAT III) requirements, the system will also assist in boosting air traffic capacity, reducing noise and accommodating flexible operations, including curved approaches and landing on close parallel runways.

Indra Navia CEO Eldar Hauge said that DFS has helped to drive the project forward and in the continued joint efforts of the project team as it paves the way for a new approach to CATII/III precision landing and guidance.

"Ever since Norway's short-runway airports started using our pioneering SCAT-I satellite landing system for commercial traffic in 2007, we have been looking forward to the day when airports in the rest of Europe and the world can enjoy the benefits of certified satellite landing systems based on open and global standards," Hauge said.

Prior to installation, the NORMARC 8100 GBAS completed interoperability testing next to Honeywell's CAT III prototype avionics in January 2013 and factory acceptance testing in April.

Frankfurt Airport owner Fraport revealed plans to delay the commissioning of its third passenger terminal by three years over 'sluggish' air traffic growth, with anticipated opening around 2020.


Image: The NORMARC 8100 GBAS would assist in increasing runway capacity at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: courtesy of Indra Navia.