Airports Authority of India (AAI) successfully conducted at Kishangarh Airport, Rajasthan light trial using GAGAN (GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation) based LPV Approach Procedures. The successful trial is a great achievement and major milestone in field of Air Navigation Services (ANS) in the history of Indian Civil Aviation Sector. India is the first country in Asia Pacific Region to achieve such a landmark.
LPV (Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance) permits aircraft guided approaches that are operationally nearly equivalent to Cat-IILS, without the need for ground-based navigational infrastructure. The service relies on the availability of GPS and GAGAN Geo Stationary Satellites (GSAT-8, GSAT-10 and GSAT-15), launched by ISRO.
GAGAN is an Indian Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) jointly developed by AAI and ISRO. It is the first such system developed for India and neighboring countries in the equatorial region. GAGAN System was certified by DGCA in 2015 for Approach with Vertical Guidance (APV 1) and en-route (RNP 0.1) operations. There are only four Space-Based augmentation systems available in the world namely India (GAGAN), US(WAAS) Europe (EGNOS) and Japan (MSAS). GAGAN is the first such system developed for India and neighboring countries in the equatorial region.
Indigo Airlines using its ATR aircraft has flown an Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) with LPV minima of 250ft, using GAGAN Service. The tests at Kishangarh Airport were performed as part of initial GAGAN LPV flight trials along with DGCA team on- board. After the final approval by DGCA, the procedure will be available for usage of commercial flights.
LPV is a Satellite Based Procedure which has been used by the aircraft for landing purpose today at Kishangarh Airport (Rajasthan). LPV approaches will make it possible to land at airportsnot equipped with expensive Instrument Landing Systems, which includes many small regional and local airports. Lowering the decision height up to 250 ft provides a substantial operational benefit in poor weather and low visibility conditions. Thus, any airport which hitherto would require higher visibility minima, will be able to accept aircraft benefitting remote airports which are devoid of precision approach capability equipment.
Number of airports including airports under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) are being surveyed for development of GAGAN based LPV Instrument Approach Procedures so that suitably equipped aircraft can derive maximum benefit in terms of improved safety during landing, reduction in fuel consumption, reduction in delays, diversions and cancellations etc.