GBAS commissioned at Melbourne Airport
An aircraft landing system known as SmartPath has been activated at Melbourne Airport, with the installation being only the second of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
The SmartPath technology — otherwise known as a ground-based augmentation system, or GBAS — is a precision approach and landing system enabling suitably equipped aircraft to land in low visibility conditions.
The technology improves the accuracy of aircraft positioning themselves on approach to an airport and guides them along a predictable, precise landing path by correcting reporting from GPS and transmitting data directly to an aircraft’s flight management system.
Airservices Australia Executive General Manager of Air Navigation Services Stephen Angus said the implementation of SmartPath at Melbourne Airport was part of Airservices’ continuing focus on technology and performance. SmartPath was first installed at Sydney Airport in 2014.
“The integration of SmartPath both at Sydney and Melbourne Airports highlights Airservices’ commitment to embracing Global Navigational Satellite Systems (GNSS) technology which delivers higher-performance services to our customers,” Angus said.
Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Simon Gandy said the airport welcomed the move towards more effective and reliable forms of aircraft navigation utilising satellite-based technology.
“GBAS can provide a more resilient system for all runway approaches at Melbourne Airport, providing airlines and air travellers an enhanced level of service, particularly when the airport is experiencing poor weather conditions,” Gandy said.
The benefits of GBAS at other locations have included more efficient descent and landings as well as fewer flight disruptions and improved airport capacity from accurately guided, simultaneous operations.
Airservices said it is continuing to work with the airline industry to encourage increased rates of installation of SmartPath-capable avionics.
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