Sweden trials GPS-based air navigation system

14 May 2012 (Last Updated May 14th, 2012 18:30)

The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LFV) is trialling a GPS-based required navigation performance-authorisation required (RNP-AR) technology to help optimise flight paths and reduce aviation emissions.

Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, Sweden

The Swedish Civil Aviation Administration (LFV) is trialling a GPS-based required navigation performance-authorisation required (RNP-AR) technology to help optimise flight paths and reduce aviation emissions.

The precision navigation technology will allow paths approaching airport runways to be curved and shortened, minimising carbon dioxide emissions by between 100kg-165kg a flight.

As part of the Green Connection trial, a flight demonstration will take place between Gothenburg Landvetter Airport and Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

National Civil Aviation Administration director general Thomas Allard said the agency is working to make Swedish airspace more efficient, which includes shortening flight paths and improving flight timing.

"Implemented on a large scale, this can mean a significant reduction of aircraft greenhouse gas emissions," Allard said.

Aircrafts taking off from Gothenburg's Landvetter Airport will be allowed to rise to a cruising altitude, after which the aircraft will take the shortest possible route at optimal speed to Stockholm Arlanda Airport, reducing environmentally-unfriendly fuel burn.

During the flight, the aircraft constantly communicates its anticipated flight path in four dimensions, which include longitude, latitude, altitude and time. This information is then analysed and compared against the actual flight path, enabling improvements to flight predictability.

Green Connection is being implemented in collaboration with Swedish state-owned airport operator Swedavia, Scandinavian airline SAS, GE Aviation and Rockwell Collins.

The project is part-funded by Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) and is part of the Atlantic interoperability Initiative to Reduce Emission (AIRE) transatlantic collaboration.

SESAR and AIRE aim to boost the capacity of European airspace, reduce environmental impact of aviation and lower the cost of air traffic by half, while maintaining the current levels of air safety through 2020.

Swedavia Group CEO Torborg Chetkovich said: "Full utilisation of the latest navigation technology would shorten flight paths at Swedavia's airports, in one year alone, by a distance corresponding to 25 around-the-world flights."


Image: As part of the GPS-based navigation system trial, several flights will take take-off from Gothenburg Landvetter Airport and land at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Photo: courtesy of Norum (talk) Daniel Hausner.