IndiGo Airlines owned by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd on Thursday became the first airline in Asia to use the Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) Approach, the airline said.
In a statement, the company said the airline conducted the LPV approach on its ATR 72-600 aircraft, equipped with GAGAN, at Kishangarh Airport (Ajmer) on April 28.
The term GAGAN standing for GPS Aided GEO Augmented Navigation a space based augmentation system (SBAS), jointly developed by Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Airports Authority of India (AAI) to provide lateral and vertical guidance on an approach, approximating the accuracy of a Category I Instrument Landing System (ILS).
This test flight is a part of the approval process with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which includes training of pilots, validation of approach, simulator sessions amongst others.
According to the airlines, LPV capability provides the airline operators a precise and near-precision instrument approach option with the lowest minima relative to other approach options, when ILS is either not installed or unavailable, especially in case of regional connectivity scheme (RCS) airports.
“This is a huge leap for Indian Civil Aviation and a firm step towards “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”, as India becomes the third country in the world to have their own SBAS system after the USA and Japan,” Ronojoy Dutta, Wholetime Director and CEO of the airlines said.
He said GAGAN will be a gamechanger for civil aviation, leading to modernisation of the airspace, reducing flight delays, bringing in fuel savings and improving flight safety.
The DGCA issued a mandate for all aircrafts being registered in India after July 1, 2021 to be fitted with GAGAN equipment. GAGAN Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) user equipment is interoperable with all international SBAS systems – WAAS of USA, EGNOS of Europe and Japan’s MSAS.
In India’s civil aviation sector, GAGAN will modernise the airspace, reduce flight delays, save fuel, and improve flight safety. Additionally, GAGAN will provide benefits to many other sectors including transportation, railways, surveying, maritime, highways, telecom, and security agencies.
According to ISRO, GAGAN GEO footprint extends from Africa to Australia and has expansion capability for seamless navigation services across the region.
Indian space agency said GAGAN provides the additional accuracy, availability, and integrity necessary for all phases of flight, from enroute through approach for all qualified airports within its service volume.