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VLD.04 W2 Advanced Rotorcraft and Business Aviation (BA) Operations


Solutions #01-06 and #02-05 addressed in Wave 1 enhanced Rotorcraft operations in the TMA. The VLD shall cover the following aspects:

  • GNSS- based (e.g. APV SBAS/Baro) approach/departure procedures with vertical guidance procedures at busy airports by using Rotorcraft specific independent IFR procedures to/from FATO (Final Approach & Take- Off area) located at airports in order to remove IFR rotorcraft from active runways and allow fixed wing aircraft and rotorcraft to perform simultaneous non-interfering (SNI) operations. These rotorcraft-specific independent IFR operations will be enabled by Point-in-Space (PinS) procedures to allow approach to/departure from a VFR FATO. When reaching the PinS, the pilot shall decide either to proceed to a landing or to abort the approach. The PinS is also the MAPT (Missed Approach Point). Dedicated IFR SNI concepts can provide an alternative IFR capability to small airports where the installation of traditional navigation aids is not financially viable or unfeasible due to other specific constraints.
  • Advanced (e.g. curved) SBAS/GBAS guided PinS RNP approaches towards landing locations and PinS departures from landing locations are created with connections to/from Low Level IFR route network. The curved segment of the advanced PinS can be placed in the initial, intermediate or missed approach segment. The procedures can contribute to a reduced noise footprint and improved access to VFR FATOs. There is also a contribution to safety (fewer VFR approaches in marginal VMC, IFR approaches with vertical guidance). Use of a Head-Mounted Display (HMD) facilitates both the execution of curves in approach segments and departure procedures, and the transition from instrument flying and navigating via external visual cues. In this case, a three-dimensional path that the pilot has to follow (or to be more precise, a corridor in which the pilot has to stay) is displayed in the HMD; such a three-dimensional path has to give both lateral and vertical guidance. The HMD provides, with ‘eyes-out’ of the cockpit, the information that can be used to facilitate safe flying along the PinS procedure (take-off and approach), facilitating the transition from IFR instrument phase to visual phase (for ‘proceed visually’ PinS) or from IFR to VFR (for ‘proceed VFR’ PinS) and vice-versa, and reduces pilot workload;
  • ‘Enhanced visual operations’ consists of taking credit of emerging visual based technologies such as EFVS and SVS combined through CVS and displayed in coloured HMD in order to increase the operational efficiency in both taxi and landing while significantly improving situational awareness.

IFR Rotorcraft operations are constrained to use same approach/departure procedures as fixed wing aircraft and due to their lower speed profiles, runway throughput is very often negatively impacted at busy airports. Low visibility conditions impact negatively flight crews as well, with reducing their situational awareness in the aerodrome overall picture overall picture. A unique advantage of the solution is that it is mainly supported by the aircraft system instead of airport systems and there is no need of complex and costly ground infrastructures.

Access and equity to airport thanks to dedicated procedure and system enabling rotorcraft and business aviation to perform approach and departure procedures in low visibility conditions.